Nobody is cooler than the Frozen Few
Mel Stultz is best known as the fun-loving, hard-crashing ringleader of the Race of Gentlemen, a circus of vintage hot rods and pre-war motorcycles that race on the beach each summer in Wildwood, New Jersey. He’s the smile behind the beard, if you will. But now he’s up to something new, something that requires a little more hair on his nuts.
“Going flat out, straight down the beach is fun,” he says, “but laying a bike down on a turn over ice with another guy right next to you, is really incredible. You really have to trust your machine.”
Stultz, a couple of men from his Oilers Car Club, some Harley dudes, and various other loose cannons from around the world have revved their act to a different state—the state of Wisconsin (and the frozen state of water.): It’s called “The Frozen Few.” They’ve taken what Stultz and his partner Bobby Green built with the beach race that attracts 8,000 folks to Wildwood and adapted it to a culture around ripping up ice- and snow-covered tracks on vintage bikes.
“We don’t get the crowd we get on the beach,” admits Stultz with a laugh in his thermals and leather. “This is hardcore. It’s not as easy to get people to come out and watch in these elements.”
With Harley-Davidson behind them, Stultz and company have been chillin’ (literally) in places like Sault Ste. Marie all winter, building a fleet of period-modified bikes with North Carolina’s Matt Walksler that they call “cut downs,” 80-inch Harley JD’s. They hop up the engine, lower the seat, modify the frame, and put screws in all the knobbies to grab the ice, essentially what a hot-rodder would do with an old Ford.
After riding through the tundras of the Northern Tier, they began constructing icy tracks with giant berms for dramatic wallride turns, challenging each other, and taking some frigid falls.
“The very first weekend, we had this crazy Canadian contact us. He was like, ‘I do the same shit that you guys do. Let me come ride with you.’ The dude was so persistent that we had to let him ride,” recalls Stultz, “He was really going for it, maybe trying to prove himself to us, but that motherfucker went higher than anyone else on the wallride. The very first day, he went flying off a two-story berm. We all went running over the hill to find his bike stuck in a snow bank and him green in the face.”
That fanatical Canuck was Adam King, who is now counted among the Frozen Few.
“He was taken to the hospital with a broken collarbone. We actually rode his bike for hours. Then he showed back up with his arm in a sling and drank beer the rest of the day. Now he’s one of us.”
The Few certainly won some hearts on the Sunday of the recent Mama Tried Motorcycle Show in Milwaukee, when they engaged in some frosty flat track. Facing these elements, the Few are pretty tight-knit.
“We’ve become a family,” says Stultz. “Not only am I in love with every guy of this solid crew, but they each bring something to the table.”
Green, Walksler, King, tattoo artist Josh Kohn, Nick Toscano, and Sean Brayton each have roles, whether it’s welding, leatherwork, mechanics, painting, building—or promoting, which Stultz has become quite adept at.
In addition to raising fiery hell in the iciest part of the country, the mission is to find a spot with just the right early-century industrial look to play backdrop to a winter event that runs parallel to the Race of Gentlemen, a place where they can create a similarly creative vintage atmosphere.
“It’s not easy to talk a city into letting a bunch of psychos on 1920 Harleys come running through town to race on ice,” Stultz explains with his patented blend of passion and madness, “but when you’re on the edge of dying, that’s when you’re really living.”
Nobody is cooler than the Frozen Few Mel Stultz is best known as the fun-loving, hard-crashing ringleader of the Race of Gentlemen, a circus of vintage hot rods and pre-war motorcycles that race on the […]