Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum’s Brian Slark likes to joke they’ve “created a monster” with the annual Barber Vintage Festival. Since its inception, the annual event has grown faster than anyone could have predicted, from an estimated crowd of 5,000-plus in 2005 to a record tally of 61,437 for the Oct. 11-13, 2013, 9th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, making it the largest vintage motorcycle event in the country.
Although it doesn’t hurt holding a vintage event on the site of the world’s best motorcycle museum and one of the most dynamic road race circuits in the country – situated in a park-like setting on 700-plus acres of lush forest in the Alabama countryside – the Barber organization has worked hard to make the event the success that it is, rolling out the red carpet for motorcycle enthusiasts in the best tradition of Southern Hospitality.
We’ve been attending the event every year since the first in 2005, and it’s been clear since the beginning that George Barber and his crew are not content to merely rest on their laurels. Life would be a lot easier if they did, but the event would never have seen the kind of steady, expansive growth it’s seen if they did. Instead we’ve been treated to an ever improving, ever changing vintage festival that’s worthy of the title “Festival,” because that’s what it truly is, a complete and thorough embrace of everything that makes motorcycling, and particularly vintage motorcycling, so satisfyingly important to enthusiasts across the country and around the world; Barber reports selling tickets to fans from all 50 states and six countries.
We’re still getting settled back in the office, but once the dust settles and we get all our photos uploaded we’ll give you a more intimate look into the 9th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, the largest vintage motorcycle event in the country. – Richard Backus
Craig Vechorik’s 1961 BMW R50S took the trophy for Best BMW at the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show held during the Barber Vintage Festival.