Museums and Shows

Gilmore Car Museum

There is a relatively unknown gem not too far from where I live named the Gilmore Car Museum. It is in a rural setting and the buildings are old farm barns or new ones made to fit in with the setting. It houses one of the Midwest’s best car collections. A Tucker, a Cord, an Auburn Boat Tail Roadster, a Franklin car collection, and many other rare cars are all housed on its grounds. While collections rotate, there is always something great to see. They have recently added a motorcycle barn. Making it even better is the fact that they hold specialty events each weekend of the summer. Admission to the show includes entry into the museum. I have been attending the Vintage bike show for many years. If you are in the area check Gilmore out. Its web site is:   Pictures from the 2012 & 2013 Vintage bike show follow.

A nice overview of the show grounds. 

A dual engine BSA hill climber. 

The next generation of antique bikes. A Honda CBX.

A classic indian 4 ridden to the show. 

My BSA & Norton at the show.

A Norton Featherbed with an Arial Square 4 Engine nicely done. 

A Triumph TT collection. Every year and every model. Very impressive. 

Kersting’s World of Motorcycles  Museum

How did I not know about this sooner? I must be living in some type of vacuum as it is only a couple of hours from where I live. If you want to see a collection of bikes you may not be familiar with this is the place for you. They have Harley Davidson’s and Indians but also a collection of British, German, Italian and Japanese bikes. Many of these, like the ABC, I have only seen in books. Check out their link at:   Admission is $5 dollars, well worth it, and they are some of the nicest people you will meet. If you are anywhere near Indiana you should see this. A few photos follow. 

Located in a rural setting. A great bike ride but I took a car.

A line up of British bikes. All original or nicely restored. 

A V twin BSA. Have you seen one of these?

The main entrance to the Museum. It's hidden behind the dealership. 

Me and one of my dream bikes. A nice Indian 4. 

The  biggest HD I have ever seen!

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Ok, so I have been reading about the Barber collection for many years and have seen it on TV and in magazine articles. I pictured it as a Mecca for motorcycle fanatics and I was not at all let down by my visit. I spent a limited amount of time there as it was a stop on a return trip from a vacation in Florida. I appreciate my family “enthusiastically” supporting my trip to yet another museum!

I don’t know where to start in a review except to say they have just about everything and all vehicles are original condition or immaculately restored. Where else can you see a Britten, a Vincent lawn mower, a Hesketh, and an Indian outboard motor? I actually tired of saying “wow, I have never seen one of these” after the first 10 minutes, (my family after 5).  The displays rotate and a full restoration services are in view from the display areas. Oh yeah, there are cars to if you are into that sort of thing.

The complex also has a motorsports park that holds events throughout the year. My next trip to Barber will be done in tandem with one of these events. Thanks for sharing your collection Mr. Barber!

Located east of Birmingham in a pleasant setting. 

Five floors of classic bikes and cars.

Wow! I have never seen one of these before.....

Displays are creative and impressive. 

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, Mid-Ohio Sports car Course

This is 3 day event focused on vintage motorcycle racing. My friend and I have talked about going for several years and finally made it this summer. It is located in Lexington, Ohio which is an hour and a half south-west of Cleveland. The area is relatively rural with rolling hills and wonderful scenery.

Sidecar racing on Saturday afternoon.

Motocross on the grass which quickly turned to dirt and mud. 

We arrived at 10 AM on Friday after departing at 4 AM from the Grand Rapids Michigan area. The main drag is a place to sit and watch the constant parade of bikes. I did not know Hodoka made so many machines but they came out in force. My favorite bike was an Indian chief that appeared to be piloted by a grandson of the owner with his very proud grandfather in the side car.

Part of the informal show. Bikes parked along the main drag. 

The focus for us on Friday was the 30 acre swap meet. I have not been one this large and it was rather overwhelming. There were parts for just about everything you could imagine although Japanees bikes and parts were far more abundant than other makes. I was able to find odds and ends I have been looking for along with literature at good prices that goes for top dollar on ebay. One of the more interesting things was a “barn find” Vincent that had a sold sign on it with a price tag of $15k. Not sure if this was for real or a prop but it was pretty cool.

The swap meet. Bikes for sale, bikes for show and I liked these.....

Acres and acres of parts......

Vintage racing was exciting and new to me.  There were trials demonstrations, demo rides and a “wall of death” attractions as well. KTM & BMW brought many models for people to throw a leg over and take for a spin.  Motocross was in a grass course while road racing was on the sports car course. Open access to the paddock and infield gave great views of racing and discussions with racers themselves who were all open to speak about their bikes. A great experience that makes one want to go racing although I know better since I was slow when I was young and fast.

Kawasaki's in the paddock. 

A "Wall of Death" bike from the past on display.

Another aspect of the gathering was the lecture series. The topics covered ranged from the state of electric motorcycles to the cannonball cross country rides. My personal favorite and a highlight of the weekend was a talk by Craig Vetter titled “Designing the Triumph Hurricane”. A great speaker, incredibly interesting topic and who knew the Corvair contributed to the ruin of BSA? Wow!

The Craig Vetter lecture covering his work from early design 
with Suzuki to his electric vehicles. 

The motocross display tent was an excellent stop.

A pair of Indian Scout racers which performed quite well. 

 Mid-Ohio is an event worth repeating and I will do so. Maybe next time I will take a bike to cruise around on and show in the judging event. Staying on the grounds would also add a level to the experience if one has the ability to do so.  

A Triumph 4 cylinder very well done. 

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