Smearing Smiles on Faces at The Race of Gentlemen [Gallery]
As enthusiasts, I think we can all pull a quick memory from our minds of that time when a car was able to smear a silly grin across our face. I can’t remember the last time I saw so many of those goofy grins of joy than this past weekend during the 4th annual The Race of Gentlemen. Dubbed the “greatest race on earth” it’s a little bit Speedweek mixed with a little bit ren-faire-esque period correctness – and the entire event transports you back to an exciting moment in automotive history when wheeled vehicles were new and exciting and gentlemen were, well, gentlemen. Taking place on the sands of Wildwood Beach, New Jersey, The Race of Gentlemen matches pre-’47 motorcycles and pre-'35 cars with pre-'53 parts in head-to-head drag races down the shoreline. And when they say “pre-‘35” they don’t mean a 1934 Ford with a small block stuffed in the engine bay – they mean a completely period correct hotrod how the fellas coming home from the war would've built 'em, including engine, suspension, transmission, the works. Pair that with carnival tents and games, wooden fan stands, and people dressed in pre-war clothes and you’ve got yourself a little slice of history. As for me, I got to attend as both journalist and pit crew for a Craftsman Tools-sponsored twin-T engine railer built by Oilers Car Club (which also hosts the race) and piloted by Jessi Combs… becoming one of the first “women” racing in The Race of Gentlemen. I’ll share more on my own experience later, but for now, get a glimpse of this “automotive carnival” unlike no other in the gallery below.