Italian Beach Racing

The 6th Annual Roll & Flat Beach Race near Venice Italy – molto bene!!

Roll and Flat Beach Race

Old cars and bikes on the beach is a recipe for fun anywhere, but add a location like Caorle, Italy and picture-perfect late summer weather and you get a full-flavored experience unlike anything back home.

Roll and Flat Race
Roll and Flat Race starting line at daybreak.

Back in 2013 Luca and Stefano from the ’50 Brothers Car Club got around 15 of their best friends and spent the weekend driving their old American hot-rods and motorcycles up and down the beach about an hour up the coast from Venice. Over the past 6 years it’s grown to over 100 cars and bikes yet still maintains the feel of a get-together of good friends.
Roll and Flat Beach Race
Most of the participants have been coming for years after having been bit by the beach-racing bug. For most the racing isn’t too competitive – the short-course and deep, heavy sand keep the speeds low and these cars still need to travel often many hundreds of miles back home after the weekend.
Starting Line
Starting line.

Racers drive these machines from all over Europe – Germany, Luxembourg, Austria – places where merely acquiring and legally registering an old American car can be an exhausting, multi-year nightmare. These countries have incredibly strict rules with only extremely original cars being allowed to run legally. Nevertheless the hot-rod spirit always finds a way and there were many examples on the beach in Caorle.
Hot Rod
Andy Reisinger from the Teasers CC drove his 1934 Plymouth coupe all the way from Austria.

Italian Hot Rods
Italian Hot Rods.

The majority of cars were post-war sedans and coupes since visitors came from such great distances and usually with friends and family. Caorle is a beautiful little seaside town with great white-sand beaches and a postcard-perfect historic old-town. A lot of folks use the race as an excuse to have a last holiday of summer – or the other way around.
Spellini Nomad
Steve Spellini drove his ’55 Nomad down from Luxembourg – with his wife, son and family dog!

The big cars weren’t the only ones throwing sand – there were plenty of traditional hot-rods as well. Most with flatheads, fenders removed and bias-plies.
Italian Hot Rodders
Luca De Franceschi’s Model A coupe.

German and Italian Hot Rods
German and Italian hot-rods.

Banger Power
Michael Rormoser from Austria using 4-banger power for the win!

Flathead Tune Up
Pre-race tune-up.

Sand Eater
Playing in the sand.

Roll and Flat Hot Rods
Morning line up of hot-rods. The black coupe is running a BMW V-12.

The two-wheeled presence on the beach was strong as well with a large number of early Harleys and Indians, many stripped down specially for beach racing.
Fabrizio Iacono WLA Flathead
Fabrizio shipped his WLA flathead harley all the way from Italy to New Jersey for this year’s TROG.

Street Bikes
Street bikes getting in on the action.

Flathead vs Shovelhead
Flathead vs Shovelhead

Flathead Harley
Flathead Harley

The racing took a long European lunch for a couple of hours and returned with elimination races until the fastest car and bike were determined. Then, for the final race, they squared off against each other with the “Speed Rod” just edging out Willy Miller’s shovelhead.
Hotrod Hangar Speedrod
Built by Hotrod Hangar of Austria, this car was the fastest machine on the beach – helped no doubt by those paddle tires.

Shoveling up the sand
Shoveling up the sand.

Hotrod vs Shovelhead
Hotrod vs Shovelhead

Willy Miller had the fastest bike.
Willy Miller had the fastest bike

They seem to do things differently in Italy. Rarely rude or in a rush, people here savor their days. Taking time to really enjoy what you’re doing is paramount and if you can do it in a gorgeous setting among beautiful machines and people – even better.
Rumors about this being the last Roll & Flat beach race swirled around the event but if we’re lucky and the hot-rod gods are smiling, there will be another next year. And if so you should make plans to be there!
After the party
After the party.

E&J Headlights
E&J headlights always get attention.

Hot Rod Parking
Hot Rod parking.

Hot rods
Hot-rods waiting patiently.

Flathead Temperature
Always gotta monitor the temperature in your flathead!

Nice work
Nice work if you can get it.

Italian Graffiti
Italian Graffiti

39 dodge
Nice ’39 Dodge from San Diego – painted in Tijuana!

1959 Cadillac
1959 Cadillac 4 door. So long it almost crossed the finish line as it left the start line.

1932 Ford Sport Coupe

1952 Styleline
Giuseppe Gallo’s ’52 Chevy.

Flathead Power
More flathead power.

32 Sport Coupe
This 1932 Sport Coupe was fast!

Flat black merc
Flat black Mercury.


Flathead Lucy
Flathead Lucy.

Everyone loves doughnuts.

29 RPU
Andreas Hertwig’s ’29 RPU from Rodgau Germany.

Italian rednecks
Italian rednecks.

Smiles for miles
Smiles for miles.


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