Pre-war machines have a special sound. A mechanical clatter that's harsh and sharp and pleasing. Unleashed in pairs across the sand in Denmark, it becomes mesmerizing. The smell of unburned hydrocarbons and salt air lingers at the racket fades. Then there's the uptake. More rapping, more clatter, and then another pair of sandy rooster tails racing down the beach. This is the Rømø Motor Festival, a meeting of pre-war metal enthusiasts. Among them was Motorcyclist contributor and photographer Amy Shore, there race her vintage BSA.

A quick point with a finger and a nod of the head mark a wordless challenge. Competitors line up on the hard sand and wait their turn, each eager to beat another smoking, clattering old machine across the finish line.Amy Shore
When the flag drops to mark the winner that’s when competition stops and camaraderie in the language-less worship of pre-war metal begins.Amy Shore
This is the Rømø Motor Festival in Denmark, and it is a race like no other.Amy Shore
National barriers and language limitations alike are traversed by a mutual love racing pre-war metal.Amy Shore
And so when problems arise everyone jumps in to help get the rider or driver back in the running. That is, until they are on the start line and eyebrows drop again and the focus is on reaching the end of the 201-meter hard-packed sand before the other.Amy Shore
Rømø Motor Festival limits vehicles to pre-war only, with period tuning, and demands that all riders and drivers wear period clothing. It makes for an awesome spectacle with a fantastic atmosphere.Amy Shore
In its third year, more than 100 pre-war machines turned up, with approximately 60 cars and 40 motorcycles taking to the sand. It’s a great mix, and every brand you can imagine is represented.Amy Shore
BSA, Harley, Husqvarna, Nimbus and Indians can be found spitting sand and smoke into the air. Antique Fords, Chevrolet and all manner of customs taker to the beach. Even an aero-engined American LaFrance battles it out.Amy Shore
Photographer Amy Shore’s 1945 BSA is one of the newest vehicles you’ll see on the beach. Even with one of the most modern machines on the beach, her bike boasts the vintage reliability you would expect. The speedometer no longer displays a speed—it’s been replaced by the message “Faster, Faster.”Amy Shore
Competitive, sure, but when the bike refused to kick on the start line, or flung its oil cap off into the sand, it was Amy’s competitors that came to her rescue. The guys and girls of Rømø Motor Festival are some of the friendliest and most fun you’ll ever compete against.Amy Shore
Bikes line up against bikes, and cars line up against cars, but all are aiming for two simple things: First, to beat their fellow racer for bragging rights.Amy Shore
Second (and most important,) everyone is trying to achieve the fastest speed of the day. This year saw Adrian Smith of the UK take the fastest speed for a car at 103 km/h (64 mph) in his custom Ford V8 Buckland Special. Andreas Röhrs from Germany took home bragging rights for the fastest bike with a staggering 110 km/h (68 mph) on his Knucklehead. Don’t forget this is on loose sand and after just ⅛ mile!Amy Shore
Races like this don’t come together by chance. It’s hard work and dedication by a team of passionate and enthusiastic people. The RMF team are possibly the most passionate and most enthusiastic, and that dedication shines through in every aspect of the Rømø Motor Festival.Amy Shore
Perhaps next year you’ll join the 20,000 plus people on this expansive Danish beach to watch. Or maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few, gritting their teeth as they twist the throttle or shove pedal to the metal.Amy Shore