Sushi ~ The Race of Gentlemen, 2017. Photograph by Sean Madden
Armed with a leaky old 35mm camera, and an iron clad determination to capture as many of the “Faces behind the Races” of TROG 2017— Sean Madden surely delivered the goods! Sean was snapping at a furious pace and wasn’t able to get everyone’s name – so help us out by sharing this post and/or leaving a comment if you see someone you know!
Sumner Dilworth has made quite a name for himself shooting incredible portraits, and some of the hottest up-and-coming models, brands & bands. We first met at our Greaser Getdown event with Triumph & Disaster in our New Hope, PA shop. Sumner has a commanding stature and presence that exude a gentle, self-assured confidence. His smooth voice and chill delivery immediately put you at ease. He went about setting up a very simple rig in our doorway consisting of a backdrop and a couple lights, and proceeded to take some of the most stunning portraits that any of us had ever seen.
Sumner fixed his attention on the numerous photos on the walls at The Selvedge Yard shop of The Race of Gentlemen shot by our friend and esteemed photographer Scott G Toepfer, and his interest immediately grew. From that Sumner was determined to bring his unique eye to TROG West (Pismo Beach, CA) and TROG EAST 2017 (Wildwood, NJ) that just occurred June 10th & 11th. Sumner has allowed TSY to share some of these latest photographs with you, and I am confident you’ll love them as much as we do.
I cannot imagine life without The Race of Gentlemen! Honestly, how did we ever live before it? TROG has become such an iconic event that brings so many amazing people together each year to celebrate their love of vintage motorcycles, hot rods, racing, Kustom Kulture, and so much more. Old shit is the best shit! The past is where it’s at! Sean Madden once again captured these rad shots of TROG for TSY that capture the vibe of the event and the people who come out every year to make it The Greatest Race on Earth!
Mel Stultz, founder of The Race of Gentlemen, TROG EAST 2017, ALL Photos c Sean Madden
The Race of Gentlemen, TROG EAST 2017, Wildwood NJ, ALL Photos c Sean Madden
The Race of Gentlemen, TROG EAST 2017, Sushi on Mel’s bike, ALL Photos c Sean Madden
The Greatest Race on Earth! The Race of Gentlemen 2017, ALL Photos c Sean Madden
“With caffeine levels topped up for the five hour journey to south wales, I was finally going to experience the buzz that surrounds the VHRA Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races.Stepping back in time doesn’t quite do it justice. It’s one of those events that people can’t stop talking about, and they assure others that haven’t been that they need to make the pilgrimage. Everyone congregates on the hill waiting for the tide to go out before the racing can begin– and when it did the two hundred strong fleet of rods seemed endless making their way to the pits on the historic beach.
With the sun bursting through the few clouds in the sky, it was as if our brothers across the pond at the east coast The Race Of Gentleman in Wildwood NJ, had sent some sunshine to the U.K. as rods and customs were kicking up sand on both sides of the Atlantic.
Sara Francello — To say she’s the TROG flag-girl is like saying Michael Jordan was a Chicago Bulls’ guard. I don’t know where the hell Sara gets the energy to jump and do what she does out there time and time again with such oomph and enthusiasm. When the racers line-up there’s no question who is in charge, and who has everyone’s attention. You may not remember all the hot rods and bikes at TROG– but you will remember Sara and how she gave it all out there on the sand for 2 days straight. Photo © Sean Madden
Photographer Bastian Glaessner shot these incredibly cool pics of vintage hot rod racing at the legendary Pendine Sands. His eye and unique style has created a strong signature that feels rich and nostalgic. The images are so stunning, I could stare at these all day…
“I was super chuffed when Neil Fretwell of the VHRA recently invited me up to the rugged Welsh headland that holds the infamous ‘Pendine Sands’ for a weekend of vintage racing. Since the early 1920s cars have pelted down this 7-mile stretch of fine golden grains to chase automotive speed records. On this early July weekend a mad crowd of hot rod racers from all over Europe had assembled their beasts at this historic spot. By the time I got there Friday after dark, the field around the Museum of Speed was brimming with glorious pre-1949 rods, glistening in the moonlight, begging to be let loose on the endless stretch of tidal sands below.” ~Bastian Glaessner
“Come Saturday morning and first the Welsh weather gods got their own. Heavy winds and some blistering downpours overnight meant racers had to be patient a little while longer whilst the team of helping hands were busy getting the course up and running. Once the fences were up, the 110 yard timing section established and the mile long track cleared of stranded giant jellyfish, the show got underway. As if on cue the sun popped out from behind the clouds, crowds gathered on the beach and with a mighty “ROOOAR…” our cars rolled out onto the sands to line up in the pits. What an exciting display of vintage sheet metal that was!” ~Bastian Glaessner
The amazing story of Bill Thomas’ Race Cars badass (pre-Charger) Chevy II / Nova Fastback, bought by CKC Racing Team back in 1964 for $2500! Supposedly it has survived and resides somewhere in PA after changing hands–
“Up until that time, the fastest car I had ever driven was a Corvette. That Chevy II used to do some incredible wheelstands, which made it a handful to drive. There was no way you could get off the throttle and get back on it again once it stood up on the back bumper, and it used to do that a lot! I remember one time at Houston Raceway during a match race with Dickie [Harrell], we both stood our cars up on the back bumpers, and the crowd went absolutely wild. Another time, I bent the front axle so badly on re-entry that J.E. had to use a floor jack and a torch to straighten it out just so we could load the car back on the trailer.” –Driver, Cal Callier via
1964, Callier and Kristek posing with the “orange car,” the team’s Chevrolet small-block-powered AA/FD that ran consistently at 190.00, and the team’s new Bill Thomas Race Cars ’64 A/FX Chevy II powered by a 427 Z11 carbureted big-block. Photo by Peter Peters via
TSY recenty received a scan of this great old Wall of death rider, along with the below note from the sender, Brian in Kansas City, MO. Anyone with knowledge of the rider, and/or this particular Wall of Death motordrome is kindly asked to chime in:
“…I am a collector of postcards and a while back I purchased a postcard of a man on a motorcycle riding in some kind of spectator show. Your article helped clarify a lot about the photo. I have attached the photo and thought maybe you have seen it before or could provide some more info. The back of the card is particularly interesting. It reads: ‘About 1912– Later he was killed– Someone threw a peanut at him– caused him to dodge and lose balance, falling with cycle to bottom of pit killing him.’ Sounds likes sport spectators were not much different then as they are today. I thought maybe the motorcycle may have been a Cyclone, however I don’t think it is. The lettering on his shirt may bring some clue as well…”
Back In Dec. ’09 TSY posted what remains today one of our more popular stories– Wall of Death riders with a lion, no less. I mean, really…old photos of a lion riding the Wall of Death is damn hard to beat…unless you have a video of said lion riding the Wall of Death! At that time there wasn’t a moving image to be found, but British Pathe, an amazing archive of historic film clips, uncovered a little gem of ‘Fearless Egbert’ giving his lion named Monarch a spin back in 1934. They also uncovered incredible film footage of ‘Tornado Smith’ with his Lion, ‘Briton’. It’s definitely worth a look…
Jade, Hot Rod Night, Ace Cafe London, 2013 — Image by © Horst A. Friedrichs
I’m a big fan of Horst A. Friedrichs. (I have literally worn the cover off of my copy of Or Glory, 21st Century Rockers.) His style is about as far away as you can get from the balls-out vibe in a lot of today’s lifestyle photography (which I also obviously love). In Horst, there’s a strong sense of controlled curation in every stunning portrait. No minute detail escapes his critical eye. Every subject is perfectly directed (dressed, coiffed, posed) to evoke the desired mood. Horst is much more than a great photographer– he’s an artist imposing his masterful will upon the subject and setting to create lasting images that move you through their overall flawless composition. In Horst’s latest book Drive Style he dives into Britain’s rich & eclectic car culture, capturing amazing rare, historical, and custom automobiles alone or with their owners, drivers, and spectators. Keep reading to find out how you can win a free copy signed by Horst A. Friedrichs.
Scott Toepfer, a guy I’m humbled to call my friend, came to the Jersey Shore to shoot the second annual The Race of the Gentlemen organized by Mel Stultz (OCC) and put on by the legendary Oiler’s Car Club. It’s an event that can only be adequately described by someone who was actually there in the thick of it– and Toepfer was kind enough to share his personal thoughts with TSY on the sights, sounds, and experiences had by a California boy in Wildwood, Jersey. Great stuff, Scott!