Night Of The Troglodytes

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Article And Photos By: Joshua Elzey

Originally Published In The October 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

As in years past, the ‘Night of the Troglodytes’ was hosted by Harley Carrara, of Tradition Cycles, and Mel Schultz (founder of the “Race of Gentlemen”). To kick off this epic weekend in June, June 8 -10, 2018, they boasted some pretty cool events which included ‘Customs by the Sea’ held by Kustomrama and ‘The Race of Gentlemen’ hosted by the Oilers CC. The ‘NOTT’ Chopper exhibit was held in the courtyard of the Bonita Hotel in Wildwood NJ near Cape May. All of this was only about seven blocks from the hosting Surfcomber Motel and Starluxe Boutique Hotel who were hosting the weekend’s festivities. This is the sixth successful year of ‘NOTT’ on the east coast and it continues to grow. Attendees came from around the world and were excited to see ‘NOTT’ set among the historic hotels.

Over 2000 attendees and TROG participants made for a late night at ‘NOTT’. What a way to start the celebration, immersed in grassroots Chops. For the fi rst time during tourist season that typically starts in June, the town shut down the side streets to accommodate the large crowds. Having more room to move about and the display was a fan favorite  and the true enthusiasts enjoyed it tremendously. The grander space provided ample room for the 55 wild motorcycles within the exhibit and this number was easily tripled on the street and included a few hot rods that belonged to attendees. DJ’s from Riff Mountain played some killertunes on old school decks with wax blazing as the party started around 7 PM.

‘NOTT’ had on display pre-1976 machines with OEM cases that were period 60’s and 70’s style choppers, outlaw chops, long bikes, diggers, and survivors. Carrara handpicks the entries prior to the event ensuring a wide array of styles portraying a wonderful exhibit of the era. Those chosen came from New England, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and as far away as Washington and Quebec, Canada. Participants lined the hotel’s fl oors or took in the show from the 3rd-fl oor deck while others jammed near the DJ and the Mayor’s beer stand. Quickly the night started to glow from the local vintage neon. The glow of the historically protected Wildwood hotels and other art deco infl uenced fi fties diners bathed the choppers in light as they arrived. Albeit ‘Troglodyte’ stands for hermit and is regarded as being deliberately ignorant or oldfashioned. One would beg to differ as the area was packed with spectators ranging in various ages stacking cans up to the choppers primaries.

 

‘NOTT’ provides a unique experience on the east coast displaying not only choppers but fantastic tank art in every color and pattern imaginable, long back seats, raked forks, and various exhaust styles, vintage hopped up motors, and sissy bars that reach for the moon. A crowd favorite and best in show went to a 1947 Knucklehead owned by Gentry Dayton. It had an incredible rack. The ‘NOTT PICK’ went to Steve Green’s 1969 Shovelhead while Best Outlaw Chopper went to Arizona’s fi nest, Jeremiah Armenta’s orange 1936 Knucklehead that was a tribute to Tom Fugle. The winners were chosen by a well-versed committee and after much deliberation decide on those best fi t. Dave Perewitz’s pick was hand painted by the legend himself and chose an awesome red 1959 Panhead owned by Jerry Merola from New Jersey. Many of us were out until the wee hours of the morning enjoying the festivities and comradery of likeminded individuals while making new friends and further creating memories to last a lifetime! Some even managed to score rare killer prints by B. Hancurkan. Night of the Troglodytes certainly set the tone for a killer weekend and one could hear a multitude of stories that recapped a helluva kick off to an even better weekend

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