The Race of Gentlemen started out a handful of years ago as the high-speed brainchild of Mel Stultz and Bobby Green. They wanted to bring back the thrills of racing from its heyday of the pre-war era. For the first few years The Race of Gentlemen (TROG) was held in the beachside resort town of Wildwood, New Jersey. As a town with a vibe and pace from many decades ago it was a perfect fit for TROG, and the race gained worldwide attention. As TROG acquired notoriety and success, the question came up repeatedly, "Why don't you have one on the West Coast in addition?" It made a lot of sense, seeing as the West Coast is arguably the epicenter of custom motorcycle and automobile culture and a major stashing spot for amazing vintage machinery of the two- and four-wheel variety.
Fast-forward to October 2016 and TROG West became a reality. Announced nearly a year in advance, anticipation and hype of the event was hitting the rev limiter by the time everyone rolled into town a day or two before the racing kicked off. The day before the race was a downright fantastic celebration as an amazing collection of vintage racebikes and cars littered The Pismo Beach North campground, and all in attendance took in the beauty and splendor of said machines.
Then it happened, the weather report called for downright horrible conditions for Saturday, the first race day. Rain, and not just a little bit but a raging storm all day. Would the wet weather destroy the race? Not by a chance. Saturday morning arrived and was joined by the storm and a massive crowd eager for some old-fashioned racing and good times, damn the conditions.
As the tide subsided in the early afternoon, the beach was blanketed in a cacophony of bellowing and revs from race machinery going full speed along the bumpy shoreline. It was a glorious sight to behold. The smiles on the racers and the spectators outshined all the gloomy weather tenfold.
The Race of Gentlemen bills itself as "The greatest race on Earth" keeping in line with its carnival like atmosphere and excitement. You know what, we won't argue with that claim either.