Tag Archives: Motorcycles

  • The 2014 The Race of Gentlemen Report

    The Race of Gentlemen or "TROG" has by far become my favorite automotive event of the year and this year was no exception. TROG is a perfect example of a small low-key event that's kept true to their roots. Even with all of the exposure and hype surrounding this year, Mel and the Oilers CC/MC did a great job keeping the race feeling as low-key and laid back as the first. This year the guys really worked hard to turn this event into a full fledged weekend event, with things to do all weekend. I decided to stay the entire weekend and see and do as much as I could.

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    As early as Wednesday or Thursday cars and people from out of town were rolling in with cars coming from as far as SoCal, and people from as far as Europe! The crew began assembling the "race arena" by putting up timing towers, signs, tents, and barriers to keep the crowd safe. From the buzz surrounding the event and the sponsor hotels selling out in hours after the dates being announced, the Oilers knew they were in for a good turnout.

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    Previous years most people ended up hanging out Friday night at the Stardust and neighboring hotels where the majority of the race cars were parked, so this year Mel and co. decided to put on a proper Pre-Party with a Chopper show, a couple bands and a DJ spinning vinyl for good measure too! The city was nice enough to partition off the block surrounding these hotels and let cars and bikes park on the street and the party spilled into the streets where everyone could talk about the passion we all share.

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    The chopper show followed the same ideals as the race in which all of the bikes featured were true vintage and "traditionally" styled choppers from their heyday. I throughly enjoyed the bikes in this show because every single one was different and pretty much hand built and! The way it should be, not brand new bikes with navigation, tv's, heat, and whatever other gadgets put on bikes to make them closer to a car than a bike these days!

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    Ahem.. sorry struck a nerve there.. anyways! To sum it up, the bikes show had no shortage of flake, flames, lace, pearl, and custom metal work. The cars in the street were some of the cars to race later in the weekend, and even some killer spectator cars that were cruised down for the race. Even though the party only stretched a block down the strip, there was so much to see, and so many cool people to meet, we easily burned the good portion of our evening here and the party went into the wee hours of the morning!

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    The next morning we woke up early to try and get down to the sand to get good a good spot next to the track. The weather looked dismal but that didn't stop hundreds of other people to line up to get into the gates early. The setup this year was changed a little bit for the safety of the crowd so the pits and staging area were sectioned off for just the racers and their crew. The only other changes were concrete barriers put in place down the track to keep everyone safe in case a car or bike went out of control, a necessary evil for sure, but didn't obstruct the spectators view of the track too much.

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    Even with rain lightly coming and going, the races started and the cars and bikes alternated going down the track. These guys didn't let the dreary weather bother them one bit with their throttles wide open and exhausts roaring. The weather really made for some dramatic shots with the rough surf crashing down and the dark clouds in the background. This of course brought everyones techno-gadget out to shoot photos and video of every pass.

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    After watching the races for a few hours the clouds began to break and the sun came out and we decided to book it across town to see our friends from the Kustomrama website that were putting on the 1st annual Customs by the Sea show for the traditional custom fans that wanted to show off their lead sled, tail dragger, lowrider, or otherwise traditionally styled custom car or truck. The styling of the vehicles varied widely with everything from mild historic 40-50's customs to over the top Kustoms like a recreation of the Barris "Copper Cart" and paneled, laced, and metal flaked 60's style cars that just screamed for your attention. It was really cool to see some of the historic cars that came out of the woodwork for the event that were actually built in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's and read about their history on their window plaques. I'd definitely say that seeing all of these great cars really gave me some inspiration to get Project Pilehouse roadworthy so maybe I could cruise it to the show next year! For the first year the show was pretty well attended both days and was a great addition to the TROG weekend.

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    Saturday night after everyone grabbed some dinner the vendor area by the race track turned into a beach party with some killer rock bands playing all night and a huge bonfire burning hot. It brought everyone together to talk and mingle and shake it on the dance floor in the sand. The beach party is really surreal with the cars parked all around you on the beach, people dressed in period correct attire, and some good ol' fashioned rock and roll playing, you felt like you were in the scene of an old movie! I couldn't ask for a better way to round the night out after a day of watching cars race!

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    Sunday morning we (like I'm sure many others) woke up a bit later then we'd like and got up a little slower than the morning before, but we were greeted by sunny skies and a near perfect cool fall-like day. We headed back to the beach and the crowd for Sunday was significantly larger than Saturday. Either the word spread that this event rules, or the nice weather brought out some more folks.. I'd say it was a combination of the two! Some new cars entered the races on Sunday with some vehicles taking "exhibition" runs like some Hemi powered Fords, but I doubt anyone was complaining about the lovely sound of some vintage Hemi engines singing at WOT!

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    All in all this weekend was the best yet and shows no signs of getting smaller and we can't wait for next year. If anything go to this event to get yourself inspired to go work on your project car or bike and bring it out to cruise with everyone next year! Thanks to Mel and the rest of the Oilers for putting on another great year of TROG, the classic car and bike community thanks you!

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  • Evan S., Eastwood Product Engineer- What Makes Us Tick!

    A finely tuned machine- Eastwood Employees makes us tick

    We want to share the great Eastwood staff with you, our customers! We have asked them to fill out the first five questions, and then pick 5 random questions from a “Wildcard” section of questions. We allowed them to answer these however they’d like. You’d be surprised at what some of us have to say!

    1. Name and Title at Eastwood?

    Evan S. – Product Engineer

    2. What the heck do you do all day?

    I have a multitude of tasks at Eastwood mostly involving bringing new products to market including ideation, development, testing, and finally making the product available to our customers. The job doesn’t stop there though as I also strive to control quality of all of our products.

    3. Did you come from an automotive background before Eastwood? What did you do before Eastwood?

    I have always been involved with motorsports as I started riding and racing ATV’s and dirt bikes at a young age, worked at power sports dealerships throughout high school and college, and then graduated college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and came to work for Eastwood.

    4. When not talking cars, tools, and restorations all day, what are a few of your hobbies?

    I love the outdoors more than anything, well maybe not more than motorsports, but I always make time for hiking, camping, and just enjoying seeing new things in the outdoors.

    5. What's your favorite Eastwood product? Why?

    I’m not sure I have a favorite since I use many of them and have never had any bad experiences, but if I had to choose one it would be the Eastwood TIG200 Welder. I had some brief experience in TIG welding in my past but was never good at it. I was able to afford a MIG welder when I was younger so I had a lot of experience in MIG welding but could never afford my own TIG welder till now. After a lot of practice I was able to lay down some amazing looking welds and now I am nearly unlimited in my possibilities in welding due to the versatility of the TIG welding process.

    6. What's your favorite thing about working for Eastwood?

    My favorite thing about working for Eastwood is being able to talk ‘cars’ with your coworkers. It’s great to come in Monday morning and talk about all the hard work you completed on your latest project over the weekend.

    7. What's the first tool you reach for in the garage (what do you use most often?)
    The tools I reach for most often when working in the garage is a set of 3/8” drive metric sockets and a ratchet. There aren’t many general mechanical tasks you can perform without a set of sockets and a ratchet.

    8. Do have any prize possessions? What are they?

    My prize possessions are my family, friends, girl friend, and go fast toys. Life just wouldn’t be as great if it were missing any of these.

    9. Do you have any projects going right now? What are you building, restoring, or a job you are tackling next?

    I always have ongoing projects that actually never seem to end. I am currently working on a 1990 Nissan 240sx in which I swapped the motor to an inline 6 with a larger turbo. The car was a rust bucket when I got it so I had to do a lot of rust repair and body work and then finished it all off with our Moonlight Drive Metallic Blue paint. My other project which is almost done is a Honda 450r ATV, which I have owned since 2005 but it needed a complete overhaul so over the past few months I rebuilt the entire motor and blasted and powder coated nearly every part on the chassis.

    10. You have one wish, what is it?

    I would like to win the lottery as it would help me fulfill many wishes but realistically I want to race in the Baja 1000. I view this as being one of the most physical, mental, and mechanical demanding races there is.

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  • Behind the Scenes look at a local Auto Museum's Collection

    Here in Eastwood country, we are spoiled with the diversity of all types of automotive enthusiasts. It seems we have everything from antiques, to brand new sports cars being tuned, modified, and restored. It's pretty common to see all sorts of unique enthusiast driven vehicles out for a drive on a nice Sunday afternoon. Many times when I have friends coming from out of town to visit, they comment on some sort of cool car that they saw as they got near my house. Often they are surprised at my unenthusiastic reply.... you could say we are a bit desensitized around here!

    I think our deep automotive heritage in this area is the answer to why it seems to be "in our blood" to tinker with our vehicles. Why, miles from Eastwood headquarters, Boyertown Body Works (also known as Boyertown Carriage Works) operated and produced many early commercial and industrial bodied trucks. Or, if you want to touch on 2-wheeled motorized history, let's not forget Reading-Standard Motorcycles that built some early motorcycles that are highly sought after these days.

    Because of all of this heritage, not only do you see a ton of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles around, we are also lucky enough to have some cool little antique vehicle museums in the area. Recently I was given an "all access" tour of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. This museum specializes in primarily historic vehicles built in our general region. You will find everything from early horse drawn carriages, to very early coach built motor vehicles. This is the stuff you only read about in magazine articles and see in photos from prestigious shows like Pebble Beach.


    As I walked through the museum, I was amazed at how LITTLE I really did know about some of these vehicles. I consider myself to be pretty well versed in automotive history for my age. But I found myself constantly looking over the descriptions of these vehicles, trying to figure out WHAT they were, and WHERE they came from. I think this type of stuff is the most interesting when viewing cars at a museum. I want to see things I've never seen OR heard of before, and learn their history. That is what going to a museum is all about right? It's interesting to read the history on how these auto builders came about, many times they weren't even from a automotive background, but horse drawn coach builders, bicycle builders, or even industrial workers. I can only imagine how hard it was to design, and build an automobile with no prior designs to really look at, or experience on what "works", and what doesn't!

    Here are a few shots of some of my favorite installations on display at the museum when I visited. Please watch this space for my next post where I climb around some dusty cars in the private storage warehouse for the museum. I stumbled across some "electrifying" finds!

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