For years, Andreas Ullstein had a strong desire to take part in beach races with a vintage hot rod. After searching for a long time, he was fortunate to find two vintage hot rods in the USA, each with an impressive history. He shared his dream with his friend Ken Robinson, who eagerly agreed to join him on this life-time adventure. Inspired by their shared passion, Andreas came up with the idea of forming a multicolored team named "Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing" and to compete in beach races all over Europe. Ken and Andreas are dedicated collectors of classic cars and passionate enthusiasts of vintage hot rods, as well as all kinds of retro racing events.
Ken and Andreas have always been fascinated by "The Race of Gentlemen" in the USA, also known as TROG, the mother of all vintage Hot Rod race today. The event, as described by its founder Mel Stultz, honours American racing heritage and pays tribute to the automotive and motorcycle history. The vintage Hot Rod racing scene may be smaller in Europe, but it still carries significant importance. The annual Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races in Wales, organized by the Vintage Hot Rod Association (VHRA), are just as significant as the TROG (The Race of Gentlemen) in the USA. Both events celebrate the rich heritage of vintage Hot Rod racing. The Pendine Sands race is widely recognized as the world's fastest beach race, where participants aim to set remarkable speed records on the historically renowned beach of Pendine, just like in the past.
The team, headquartered in sunny Estepona at the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, has been participating in various vintage race events across Europe. Since 2016, the team has participated in various events in Spain, including the Riverside Crazy Car Hop, the Crossroad 1/8 mile, and the Motorbeach Festival, as well as multiple appearances at the prestigious Rømø Motor Festival in Denmark. In addition, the team competed in three VHRA events, namely GOW! at PrescottHill and Vintage Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway in England, as well as multiple times at the Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races in Wales. Furthermore, the team also participated in Race the Waves in England, Normandy Beach Race in France, Devil's Hill Climb at the OSW A-Bombers Meeting and the RCS Drag & Show in Sweden. Last but not least at the GRIP Motorevent at the Nordschleife/Nürburgring in Germany. The team is committed to preserving the vintage racing heritage and maintaining "Period Correct" authenticity, as evident in the look and feel of the events they participate in. For the team, these events provide an immersive celebration of that history, full of action and fun for everyone involved. As a result, the team intends to add more events to their list in the future.
Between 2016 and 2018, the team toured Spain and participated in various events throughout Europe. In 2019, they kicked off their first-ever "Die Young But Late" (DYBL) tour, which spanned seven months, covered over 9,000 km, and included participation in nine events across six European countries. Unfortunately, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruptions, the entire DYBL tour scheduled for 2020 was cancelled.
In 2021, the team received invitations to participate in the RMF and NBR events for the DYBL tour. However, the pandemic led to the cancellation of all other planned events, and new post-BREXIT regulations on cross-border transportation of race cars made it impossible for European teams to attend any events in Great Britain that year.
The DYBL tour of 2022 included invitations to events held by VHRA in Wales, the RTW in England, and GRIP in Germany, before concluding in Denmark at the prestigious RMF in August. The team journeyed through four countries, covering a distance of around 7,000 km throughout Europe during a six-month period.
Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing celebrates the completion of the "Die Young But Late" Tour of 2023
Estepona - Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing proudly announces the successful completion of their "Die Young But Late" tour of 2023. This grand tour spanned five European countries, covered over 9400km, and featured seven exhilarating vintage race events, each with its unique charm and challenges.
The journey began with the adrenaline-fueled VHRA Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races in Wales, setting the tone for an unforgettable tour. The team then showcased their skills at the MPH Vintage Drags and the prestigious VHRA GOW! at Prescott Hills in England. The adventure continued in Switzerland with the enchanting Kilomètre Lancé, followed by a stop at the historic Normandy Beach Race in France.
A major highlight was the Jochpass Oldtimer Memorial inGermany, where the team's performance was nothing short of spectacular. The tour concluded with a flourish at the Crossroad Motor Festival - 1/8-mile event in Andalusia, Spain, leaving fans and participants alike in awe.
Throughout the tour, Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing participated in all of the planned events, with each location providing its distinct atmosphere and excitement. Fans were treated to some of the most thrilling vintage hot rod and vintage racing spectacles in Europe, experiencing a blend of tradition and high-speed excitement.
The "Die Young But Late" tour of 2023 by Bonnie& Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing was more than just a series of races; it was a journey through time and space, celebrating the spirit of vintage racing. The team's dedication to exploring new locations and bringing unforgettable experiences to their fans was evident in every event.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to all the fans, participants, organizers and our racer friends Hans and Glenn, who joined us on this incredible tour. Your enthusiasm and support made the "Die Young But Late" tour a remarkable success and a memorable adventure in the world of vintage hot rod racing.
Stay tuned for more exciting events and tours from Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing!
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.
Ken and Andreas, "Bonnie & Clyde", are proud members and supporters of three highly renowned organizations: the Vintage Hot Rod Association (VHRA) in England, the Roadster Club Scandinavia (RCS) in Sweden, and the American Hot Rod Foundation (AHRF) in the USA.
Estepona, the hometown of Bonnie & Clyde Vintage Hot Rod Racing, holds an irresistible allure for every visitor, thanks to its enviable location and captivating charm. The revamped old town, celebrated as one of the most exquisite treasures not only in Andalusia but also in all of Spain, presents tourists with the opportunity to indulge in an authentic urban sanctuary called "El Jardín de la Costa del Sol." Its intricate maze of whitewashed streets, adorned with lively pots brimming with colorful flowers, encapsulates the very essence of a coastal Andalusian town. Estepona seamlessly blends its cherished customs and traditions with contemporary elements that cater to the needs of tourists and modern living. The team is immensely grateful for the unwavering support they receive from the City of Estepona.
At the end, you will find a collection of videos and hundreds of photographs showcasing the evolution of the Hot Rods, as well as documenting the boys' exciting tour adventures.
Good, fast, cheap. - Any two, but never all three.
If you want something good and fast, it won’t be cheap.
If you want something good and cheap, it won’t be fast.
If you want something fast and cheap, it won’t be good.