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
“Sushi” Atsushi Yasui of Freewheelers & Co. The Race of Gentlemen 2016, Wildwood NJ– Photo © Sean Madden
Sean Madden came into the TSY shop last summer emitting an abundance smiles and good vibes. I liked this guy right away. We chatted about his passion for motorcycles and photography, and reconnected a few times since. Well, he decided to bite the bullet and come down to Wildwood, NJ and shoot The Race of Gentlemen 2016– which can be quite daunting as many of the best photographers in the business now religiously make the trek to TROG. When I got a look at some of his shots I was impressed enough to ask if TSY could share them with all of you. I especially dig his shots like the one above of Sushi racing. Sean’s shots where he’s intentionally cropping the images of the riders & machine flying out of frame emit a sense of speed and movement that I dig. Definitely very different from a lot of the standard TROG imagery you see these days. Hope y’all enjoy.
The Race of Gentlemen, 2016, Wildwood NJ– Photo © Sean Madden
Love this shot of Chris Price of Archive Moto on his Indian that traces back to Bill Brownell, married striptease legend Patti “Waggin'” Brownell– Photo © Sean Madden
Ian Beaudoux and the DKS! crew spent eight months documenting the build of a 1928 Ford Roadster. Check out BMX’er Heath Pinter as he builds the roadster and treks cross-country to participate in The Oilers Car Club The Race of Gentlemen. I ran into Ian at TROG in Wildwood and have been waiting to see the fruits of his labor– so her ya go.
Man, The Race of Gentlemen 2015 already feels like a long time back. Damn the blasted holidays for drowning out the amazing memories on the beach and off-season streets of Wildwood, NJ! More good times, familiar faces, new friends, and great races than you could shake a stick at. Mel Stultz, Bobby Green, Sara Francello, Hollywood, and the entire TROG crew over-delivered on a great event, even in the face of a hurricane threat. In honor of them, and to relive the good times, here’s a great little TROG 2015 film shot by the crew at awol.tv x worthless.co–
“This is the closest thing to time travel we will probably experience in our lifetimes. The Race of Gentlemen challenges the owners of hot rods and motorcycles from the 1940’s and earlier to drag race as it used to be done– at the wave of the flag and on the beach. We ventured to Wildwood, NJ to watch the most unique racing we’ve ever seen.”
The Race of Gentlemen 2015 shined bright in terms of excitement and attendance– even in the shadow of a hurricane threat, and sharing the same weekend with the widely attended Barber Vintage Days motorcycle show. Mel Stultz, Bobby Green, and the team were admittedly short-handed due to the last minute need to push back a week into the off-season, but everything seemingly came-off without a hitch due to the passion, positivity, and perseverance of all involved in putting on what many call The Greatest Race on Earth. Thank you!
Allan Glanfield (one half of The GodSpeed Company and founder of Blackburn and Foster & City Dog Living) generously captured the weekend for The Selvedge Yard — The sea of jaw-dropping hot rods and bikes, and the colorful cast of characters that convened in Wildwood, NJ for the races and to get shit-faced. In that order. Both with gusto. With all the photographers on-hand, the challenge was to balance the must-have shots right in front of your face with pulling away from the pack to find the gems that occur off to the side, caught with a candid eye. Allan more than succeeded, and we are excited to share his captures of TROG weekend.
All photography in this post: the work and property of Allan Glanfield @blackburnandfoster
It’s been a personal pleasure of mine getting to know David Teague and Ginger Hall, proprietors of America Antiques & Design, and Compromise Lodge (Ginger’s upstairs vintage hideaway inside America Designs). Their shop full of vintage and custom treasures is nestled in at 5 S. Main Street, Lambertville, NJ– the bucolic Bucks County sister town of New Hope, PA sitting just across the Delaware River. David & Ginger are as unassuming and low key as they come, yet draw a loyal and very notable following. Creatives in the world of furnishings, fashion & film come from around the globe in appreciation of the couple’s discerning eye and uncommon taste level. For anyone looking to get off the homogenized grid and have a true experience of eclectic discovery and one-off finds– this is the place.
David Teague of America Antiques & Design in Lambertville, NJ.
Pulsating Paula tapped TSY with her eye-popping photographic archive of the New Jersey bike and tattoo crowd she shot back in the ’80s & ’90s. These images speak of authenticity, grit, and good times. Looking at these raw, honest shots what speaks to me is that life itself is f’ing good, if you have the nuts to truly go out and live it. It’s not the stuff. You need to show up, be authentic, truly appreciate family & friends, where you are and what you have. When you do that you realize you have all you need.
“Born in Jersey City. Moved to New Brunswick when I was 8. Got married to my first lay in 1973. 10 years later he bought me a camera, a Canon AE1. I still have it. Started taking photos of biker parties and tattoo events. Sent them into ‘Biker Lifestyle’ magazine who later Paisano publications took over. They came out with ‘Tattoo’ magazine first of it’s kind ever. Between the Biker and Tattoo magazines I had thousands of photos published. The 10 minute set up of my photography studio consisted of 2 flood lights that burnt the shit out of any poor person in front of them, and a 6×9 foot black cloth I got from Kmart that was tacked onto a wall. Never considered myself professional ever. I just loved doing it with every fiber in my body. I know the wonderful people I met and places I been in this journey will live on forever in my photographs. I’m so glad I was there with you.” –Paula Reardon (aka Pulsating Paula)
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!
My friend Matt Smith over at Smoke and Throttle has been schooling me on the legend that is John Melniczuk. All this incredible Triumph racing/building history and a showroom of beauties to die for, and in my own beautiful home state (no joke) of New Jersey of all places.
“John Melniczuk is not just a Triumph enthusiast whose hobbies turned into an occupation. He’s been working in the field since the ’60s when he was just a young man at his fathers Triumph dealership– Bauer Cycles (established in 1953). John’s grandfather owned another dealership, Cycle Sports Center, which sold Indians and Vincents among others. John’s ambition and devotion for the sport of motorcycle racing eventually lead to a job turning wrenches for the late great Gary Nixon. After a while, being a behind-the-scenes guy was not enough, so John began to campaign his own custom built Triumph T110 drag racer– setting many track records throughout his career. Dragging Triumphs runs in the family as well– His father’s shop raced a twin-engine Triumph-motored monster dubbed The Parasite.” –Smoke and Throttle
Check out the incredible story of the epic Parasite dragster below, which can be found on John Melniczuk Jr.’s J&M Enterprises site. This tale of the twin-engine Triumph marvel built by John Melniczuk Sr. and later restored by John Jr. is truly something to behold. The images alone are enough to make you crazy. Combined with the personal stories behind the bike and the family’s who shared in its history make it a truly special piece of history.
The story of the Parasite is a tale of two engines, conceived in casual discussion and created by two friends whose dedication and innovation propelled a one-off motorcycle into the Daytona Drags record books. –via John Melniczuk, J&M Enterprises
So Crazy It Just Might Work
It all started in the winter of 1958 when John Melniczuk Sr., a Triumph Dealer and owner of Bauer Cycles of Salem, NJ, and Tommy Grazias, a fellow racer, first toyed with the idea of building a twin-engine dragster. Both had been racing T-I10 Triumphs and the thought of taking the engines from each and building one dragster was too tempting not to try. John would design and build it and Tommy would race it. The best place to showcase such a motorcycle was the upcoming Daytona Drags. The bike would have to be ready to contest Daytona by March of 1959.
In the late 50s, the two-engine dragster concept was unheard of and John and Tommy spent hundreds of hours over a two month span designing, building, redesigning and rebuilding the motorcycle. Without the advantages of modern aftermarket and factory race parts, each part had to be fabricated by hand. The modified Triumph frame was hand built by John and included a girder fork front end brought back from England in a suitcase by Triumph Corporation’s Rod Coates. The half quart gas tank was made of two bicycle headlight shells and an empty can. The rear rim was reworked from an old Indian rim drilled out to save weight. Due to the horsepower created, most of the transmission gears were removed leaving only second and third. Finally, the drag slicks (not available at the time) were created from recapped Indian tires. But difficulties often follow the exhaust of innovation.
The twin-engined Triumph Parasite dragster getting ready for takeoff. –via Smoke and Throttle
“You don’t understand– I could-a had class. I could-a been a contender. I could-a been somebody… instead of a bum, which is what I am– let’s face it.”
–Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in “On the Waterfront”
The masterful Marlon Brando, as longshoreman Terry Malloy, in 1954’s epic film “On the Waterfront.” –Image © Bettmann/Corbis. Based on New York Sun reporter Malcolm Johnson’s 1949 Pulitzer Prize winning exposé on crime and corruption (Crime on the Waterfront), Kazan and cast’s gripping portrayal of blood, sweat, toil and tears on the docks is a gutsy Hollywood classic without peer. It was shot entirely on location in Hoboken, NJ– using the gritty Jersey streets and rooftops as its living, breathing sets– and the hard-as-nails local longshoremen for extras with real life experience and attitude.
Still one of the most powerful films Hollywood has ever put out– On the Waterfront caught a lot of Tinseltown’s elite off-guard when it ran off with 8 Academy Awards in 1955, including– Best Motion Picture (Sam Spiegel for Columbia Pictures), Best Director (Elia Zazan), Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Best Screenplay (Budd Schulberg), Best Supporting Actress (Eva Marie Saint), Best Art Direction (Richard Day), and Best Cinematography, B&W (Boris Kaufman).
It was a low-budget film, dealing with low-brow business– when Producer Darryl Zanuck was pitched the film he blasted it, saying “Who’s going to care about a bunch of sweaty longshoremen?” Even Marlon Brando wasn’t interested, but for personal reasons– Director Elia Kazan’s perceived act of betrayal against fellow artists by providing names to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952 (screenplay writer Shulberg was also an informer), left a bad taste in Marlon’s mouth. It was a stigma that Kazan would never fully shake. In fact, many would later believed upon its release that On the Waterfront represented a self-serving, cathartic expression for Kazan– a vain attempt to regain his lost dignity, and rebuff his attackers, Hollywood style. Were we watching Kazan, the shunned name-dropping director, making a case for himself vicariously through the heroic Brando as Terry Malloy, the underdog whistle-blower, onscreen?
Marlon Brando and Karl Malden in 1954’s “On the Waterfront.” Karl Malden’s “Father Barry” was based on Father John M. Corridan, a tough-talking Jesuit priest, who ran a Roman Catholic labor school on the Manhattan’s West Side and a very active “waterfront priest.” Budd Schulberg interviewed Father Corridan at length for his version of the “On the Waterfront” screenplay– the original had been written by Arthur Miller (called “The Hook”), and rejected by studio heads– causing a deep rift between Miller and Director Kazan.