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Fast from the Past: A new exhibit at Hershey

by Richard Backus

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Honda Elsinore
1973 Honda Elsinore on display at the AMCA/AACA Museum
in "Fast from the Past: Competition Motorcycles of Yesteryear."

For a lot of enthusiasts, old bikes and old cars are a natural pairing. That thinking prompted last year’s alliance between the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA) and the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (AACA), with the AMCA exhibiting at the AACA museum in Hershey, Pa. The latest fruit from this partnership is Fast From the Past: The Competition Motorcycles of Yesteryear.

We haven’t had a chance to visit the AACA museum, but everything we’ve seen and heard has us convinced it should be on the short list of every old bike and old car enthusiast. Last year, the two clubs worked together to launch the AMCA’s first exhibit, Motorcycles: 1884-1973, which quickly became one of the museum’s top-rated features. 

Now, the exhibit is being updated to tell the story of the competitive tradition of motorcycling in Fast from the Past: The Competition Motorcycles of Yesteryear. The new exhibit will bring together racing machines owned by AMCA members from throughout North America, ranging from a little 5hp 1908 Indian to a 1972 Harley-Davidson XR750 flat tracker. AMCA Foundation President Peter Gagan says, “No matter how old or new it is, there’s a Spartan, no-nonsense beauty in any motorcycle built specifically for competitive use. We will demonstrate this fact and show how designers have fulfilled their need for speed through more than a century of motorcycle history.”

1962 H-D KR
1962 H-D KR on display 

The exhibit will also highlight the range and diversity of motorcycle competition, featuring motorcycles from the trim, light bikes used in observed trials to the sleek, missile-like machines used to pursue the upper ranges of all-out land speed competition. Between these extremes are more than a dozen categories of motorcycle competition that will be depicted through the display of motorcycles ranging from 1908 to the late 1970s.

For more information about the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, go to For information, hours, and directions to the AACA Museum, go to, e-mail, or call 717-566-7100. – Richard Backus