Photographer: Sara Nami Lewkowicz/Bloomberg
Photographer: Sara Nami Lewkowicz/Bloomberg

See Classic Hot Rods and Harleys Chew Sand at the Race of Gentlemen

Each year more than 100 vintage motorbikes and cars gather in Wildwood, N.J., for the annual Race of Gentlemen, a Mad Max-style celebration of prewar motoring along the sand of the Atlantic Ocean. Over two days and two nights participants race their classic Fords and Chevrolets and Harley-Davidsons along a long beach straightaway while spectators cheer. The whole thing is called TROG for short. Here is the best of what we saw. Photographs by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz/Bloomberg
Blue Racer
Blue Racer

Dan Withers of Phoenix races a 1932 Ford Roadster Flathead V8 Saturday at the Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, N.J. The races start first thing in the morning after the tide rolls out and continue all day long. 

Group It Up
Group It Up

Motorcycles return to the starting line after their races during the Race of Gentlemen. Most of the participants dress in vintage or vintage-inspired gear, including goggles, leather helmets, white coveralls, and old Harley-Davidson sweaters. 

Mercury Red
Mercury Red

A 1921 Mercury has a Whippet radiator and Dodge parts. It was the 11th car to roll off the Mercury lot when it was made in Louisville, Ky. Louis Chevrolet built the engine himself. The car is owned by T.W. Scott of Monkton, Md.

Big Engine
Big Engine

The engine of a 1921 Mercury. The writing on the engine, "Frontenac," indicates that Louis Chevrolet built the engine himself. 

Personal Style
Personal Style

Stickers decorate the rear window of a vintage Chevrolet. Part of the attraction of the event is to be able to see how much modification and personalization each entrant applies to his or her car. 

Back to the Start
Back to the Start

Motorcycles and cars return to the starting line after their races during the Race of Gentlemen. There are no race lanes or barriers along the way, so there is lots of swerving and blocking on the drag strip. 

Tangerine Daydream
Tangerine Daydream

Only cars made prior to 1934 and motorcycles made before 1947 may enter the TROG races. That means you’ll see things such things as 1923 Fords and 1946 Harley-Davidsons all souped up by the racers over months and even years of work. 

The Fans
The Fans

Spectators watch the races at the Race of Gentlemen from atop sand barriers a 10-minute walk off the Jersey boardwalk. Tickets cost $50 for the weekend. 

English Lessons
English Lessons

Lisa English of Pittsfield, N.H., behind the wheel of a a 1929 Ford A Roadster Flathead V8. English estimated that she has won half of her races.

Social Bonds
Social Bonds

Racers at The Race of Gentlemen debrief after the last race Sunday afternoon. The weekend included beach bonfires, live music, food and parties starting Friday night.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Interior Details Matter
Interior Details Matter

The engine of a 1932 Ford three-window coup. The car is an early-1950s Mercury hot-rod V8 owned by Steve Crile of Cleveland.

Three-Window Coup
Three-Window Coup

Here is the full 1932 Ford three-window coup owned by Steve Crile of Cleveland.

Hang Loose
Hang Loose

Everyone brings his own style to the races, such as the paintings on this vintage Chevrolet.

Fun for All Ages
Fun for All Ages

A young girl takes a look at a few of the vintage cars on display at the Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, N.J.

Work It Out
Work It Out

Jeff Bloedorn, of Stillwater, Minn., works on his 1932 Ford Roadster. Bloedorn won three of his four races.

Death Riders
Death Riders

A detail on a vintage Ford at the race.

Family Affair
Family Affair

A 1930 model A ford "woody" station wagon owned by Jeff McKelvey. McKelvey inherited the car from his brother, John Jr. His father, John Sr., brought the car to TROG; it will be passed down to John's seven-year-old son, Trip, on his 16th birthday.

Open-Air Passon
Open-Air Passon

Karla Mauch sits in a 1030 Model A Roadster owned by Scott Sheehan of Bay City, Mich. Sheehan won three of his six races at the Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, N.J.