Andreas Ullstein has had the idea of participating in beach races with a vintage hot rod for many years. Some years ago he finally found these two vintage hot rods in the USA and moreover, each of them with a great history attached. When Andreas introduced the idea to Ken Robinson, a long-time friend, Ken convinced him easily, that he would join in on this life adventure. It was back then when Andreas initiated the idea of a multicoloured team to participate in various beach races and called it; “Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing”. Ken and Andreas are excessive classic car enthusiasts who share a passion for authentic vintage hot rods, vintage motorcycles, and vintage racing events.
Ken Robinson #15 & Andreas Ullstein #72
Normal for us equals BORING, don’t be boring!
Since ever they have been fascinated by the mother of all vintage Hot Rod races nowadays; the greatest race on earth, they call it “The Race of Gentlemen” in the USA. Mel Stultz, the founder stated once; “The Race of Gentlemen” is an automotive carnival that celebrates American racing heritage. A true homage to automobile and motorcycle history, hosted by the Oilers CC/MC and commonly called the TROG”
However, not less important and on the other side of the pond is the Rømø Motor Festival, in Denmark. Yea, no speed records are set, as they have been set in the past during the years 1919-1924 on the beaches of Denmark. But the enthusiastic team around Thomas Toft Bredahl, Carsten Bech, Steffen Sonnberg, Finn Andresen and Holger Sonnberg, created a true time pocket racing event for pre-ww2 cars and motorcycles in an up-to 1947 styling and engineering.
Now, the team being based in southern Spain, Estepona – Costa del Sol, participates since then in various race events throughout Europe. Ok, here the Vintage Hot Rod racing scene might be substantially smaller, however not less enthusiastic and events can be found in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Wales and England. Until today the team took part in events such as the RIVERSIDE Crazy Car Hop and the Motorbeach Festival in Spain. Also, at the GOW!, the famous Prescott Hill speed climb in the UK, the VHRA Vintage Nationals at the Santa Pod Raceway also UK, or at the legendary Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races in Wales, the Normandy Beach Race (NBR) in France, the Devil’s Hill Climb at the OSW A-Bombers Meeting in Sweden and of course at the RØMØ Motor Festival (RMF) in Denmark.
The boys love the vintage racing heritage. Events like the RØMØ Motor Festival for example, are a living and breathing celebration of that history, filled with action and fun for everybody. “Period Correct” is what all are looking for, being it for Motorcycles, Cars or the entire look and feel of their events.
During the years 2017 and 2018 the team toured Spain and participated in several European events. In 2019 the team named their tour throughout Europe the “Die Young But Late” Tour for the first time. The tour made the boys travelling over 9000 km, it took seven months and brought them to nine events, in six countries.
Unfortunately the “Die Young But Late” Tour 2020; was cancelled completely due to a world upside down fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the “Die Young But Late” Tour 2021 the team was invited to race at the RMF and the NBR. Regretfully all other events planned to participate in, have either been cancelled due to the pandemic, or new post-BREXIT rules for cross-border transportation of race cars to the UK, made it impossible to go for European teams.
The team around Bonnie & Clyde is formed of many colours, ideas and dreams. The latest developments around the world encouraged us to STAND UP. As team, we wanna set an example and do our part.
Everyone has to raise their voice and show that they no longer tolerate racism and intolerance.
Hopefully this is not a movement but a historic turning point. We are all humans.
There are various theories about the origin of the term “hot rod“. The common theme is that “hot” related to “hotting up” a car, which means modifying it for greater performance. One theory is that “rod” means roadster, a lightweight 2-door car which was often used as the basis for early hot rods. Another theory is that “rod” refers to camshaft, a part of the engine which was often upgraded in order to increase power output. In the early days, a car modified for increased performance was called a “gow job”. This term morphed into the hot rod in the early to middle 1950s.
The Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) has been in existence since its first meeting on November 29, 1937 and is considered to be the oldest operating racing organization in the United States. At that first meet between five and seven local car clubs met to organize lake bed races and to establish a set of guidelines to make dry lake land speed trials safer. After World War II, many small military airports throughout the US, were either abandoned or rarely used, allowing hot rodders across the country to race on marked courses. Originally, drag racing had tracks as long as 1 mi (1.6 km), however most common was 1/4 mi or 1/8 mi, and included mainly two lanes of racing simultaneously. As some hot rodders also raced on the street, a need arose for an organization to promote safety, and to provide venues for safe racing. And the National Hot Rod Association was founded in 1951, to take drag racing off the streets and into controlled environments.
In the early days the Ford flathead V8 and the four cylinder “4banger” engine were the most common engine used. Many hot rods would upgrade the brakes from mechanical to hydraulic (“juice”). A typical mid-1950s to early 1960s custom hot rod was fender less and steeply chopped, powered by a Ford or Mercury flathead, with an Edelbrock intake manifold, a Harman and Collins magneto, and Halibrand quick-change differential.
Bonnie & Clyde and the boys are proud member of the Vintage Hot Rod Association, the VHRA in England, the Roadster Club Scandinavia, the RCS in Sweden and the American Hot Rod Foundation in the USA.
Below you find videos and hundreds of pictures documenting the history of both Hot Rods and the boys today’s adventures tour.