The Frozen Few may be the antithesis of The Race of Gentlemen in climate & conditions, but in spirit it’s the same balls-out combustible mix of freedom, speed, and more than a pinch of chaos that’s behind everything TROG founder Mel Stultz brings to the world. What’s in store for The Frozen Few & Crazy Eights ice-racing wrecking crew? You’ll just have to wait and see… For now, enjoy this amazing short film by Stephen M. Marino that just won the Tokyo Moto Film Fest award for “Most Inspiring Film.”
The Frozen Few
“Once upon a time, on a cold day in March, a group of men known as the ‘Crazy Eights’ crossed their American borders in search of an even colder climate in the ‘Great White North.’
It was in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada that their icy, snow-covered tires finally came to a halt. A forgotten land that once provided great trade between these two countries during their industrial revolutions—now a vast, almost-wasteland of buildings left behind; lost in time…
That is, until the Crazy Eights laid their eyes and wheels upon it! Once again, this land was looked upon with great hope and promise. Hungry and wild-eyed, they set their appetites for that ever-lingering taste of speed.”
-Meldon Van Riper Stultz
Mel Stultz, also founder of The Race of Gentlemen – Photo (C) Stephen M. Marino
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.
Bummed that TSY could not make it to TROG West out at Pismo Beach, CA. Stoked though that our photographer friend Pierre Robichaud shot these amazing images for us to share with y’all. I can’t imagine The Race of Gentlemen without the colorful (in more ways than one…) backdrop of Wildwood, NJ… but damn if Pierre’s photography and words don’t make me even more sorry that we weren’t there.
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
Max Bubeck sitting on his 135.58mph hybrid Indian Chief/Scout that he rode at Rosamond Dry Lake on June 27th, 1948. The Fred “Pop” Shunk-built “Chout” is as lean and mean as a straight razor except, for two badass methanol-fed Schebler carburetors that look big enough to pluck poultry. Bubeck’s “Chout”, sporting custom cams and a single speed gearbox, still holds the record for the world’s fastest unfaired Indian motorcycle.
A few weeks back, Dan Daughenbaugh’s 1951 BSA Star Twin custom bike generated a ton of buzz and picked up the 1st Place People’s Choice Award at the Triumph National Rally in Oley, PA. To hear the story of how the charred engine was literally plucked from the ashes of a garage fire in Philly to be reborn as the Greasy Gringo is pretty cool. In Dan’s words, “They had a Fire Sale, and there it was blackened and charred. All the pot metal parts had melted off but the cases were still good!” He took it home and dedicated himself to machining it into a land speed record bike in his barn, and mostly on a mill dating back to the 1940s.
Then fate struck– driving with his family in the Pennsylvania countryside, Dan stopped when he noticed a motorcycle that had wrecked. He thought nothing of taking the guys and their bike back to his barn where he kindly fixed them up. He also showed them his BSA barn build bike and shared his humble story which amazed them– and led to a joining of forces to make it to Bonneville together and document the Greasy Gringo’s attempt at setting a new land speed record. Obviously this takes money, and so they’ve started a campaign on INDIEGOGO to raise funds to get them to Bonneville and make a film on Dan’s inspiring story.
“Before Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson, or Jesse Owens, there was Marshall “Major” Taylor. The greatest athlete the world ever forgot.”
In 1896, 18-year-old “Major” Taylor dominated the competitive cycling scene as “the most formidable racer in America,” earning up to $15,000 per race. In 1898, at age 20, he set seven world records. In 1899, at age 21, he was the first black World Champion in Montreal, and the American Sprint Champion that year and the next year, 1900.
Major Taylor was undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes of his time, but cycling soon declined thanks to the new found fascination with the automobile. The Great Depression, personal trials, and health woes took their toll on Taylor and he soon slipped away into the fog of forgotten memories. Sadly, in 1932 he died a lonely pauper in a Chicago YMCA. In 1948, Taylor was re-buried in Glenview Cemetery, Chicago thanks to the rallying support of Frank Schwinn of the Schwinn Bicycle Company. via Check out that amazing Fearnhead bevel-wheel gear shaft-drive bicycle he’s on!
This is the one event that I seriously regret missing this year!
Dirtquake USA, brought to you by See See Motorcycles & Sideburn Magazine is the self-described “…go fast, turn left celebration made for anyone and everyone with motorcycle unfit for the half-mile Castle Rock Dirt Circle. A spectacle that cannot be unseen, an event that will leave you trembling in anticipation as world class racers compete in four uncommon categories: Inappropriate Road Bike; Street Tracker; Kitchen Sink; and everyone’s favorite Chopper Flat Track.”
Check out the amazing recap film by Ray Gordon’s Throttled Films which somehow captures the spirit of the event that to me feels like the epic The Bad News Bears bike scene on Rocket Fuel. “It sure was a hoot, and I can’t believe we pulled it off! I don’t think a group of people could’ve had more fun. It’s just impossible.” ~ Ray Gordon
(Do not miss the 4:00 mark…)
“After losing his wife (and mother of their 3 boys) in 1958, John Penton went on an absolute tear on the enduro circuit trying to outrun his grief. Family members cared for his boys while Penton dismissed the winter cold and rode off for Daytona on his 175cc NSU motorcycle. Stopping in Atlanta, Penton won the Stone Mountain Enduro, then rode the NSU to Florida winning the Alligator Enduro, and racked up a few more wins across the Midwest– including his first victory at the Jack Pine.
Penton closed out 1958 with a road trip to Mexico. Upon hitting California on the way up the Pacific Coast, he decided it was time to return home to Ohio and did so non-stop– inspiring his brother Ted to challenge him to break the New York to Los Angeles transcontinental record.”
“On June 8th, 1959 John Penton recorded his time and location with Western Union in New York City and set off for California on a BMW R69S outfitted with an oversized gas tank. On June 10th, just Fifty-two hours and eleven minutes later, Penton rolled into Los Angeles. His record was heavily advertised by BMW, and newspapers all over the world covered the record run. Penton was now a legend in motorcycling.” via
But the story of John Penton’s awe-inspiring career does not end there. Find a screening of “Penton: The John Penton Story” near you by going to http://pentonmovie.com/see-the-film/ and reserving your tickets. I’m also proud to announce that the film will be entered in the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY held Sept. 24th – 27th.