2010 Barber Vintage Festival

Bigger and better than ever

| January/February 2011

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    John Surtees takes a few laps on a MV Agusta factory racer of the type he rode to world championships.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    Fisheye view of the “wine rack” in the Barber museum hints at the scale of the museum’s collection: It’s motoheaven to the max.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    A 1968 Triumph T100 scrambler rolls across the block at the Bator auction. One of many nice bikes at this year’s auction, it sold for $3,550.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    The Aeroshell aerobatic team is a perennial favorite at the Barber Festival.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    Mark Mederski pitches the National Motorcycle Museum.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    Attendees could check out Sixties Japanese bikes at the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club tent.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    Attendees could watch riders duke it out in the vintage offroad races.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    Triumph-engined racer with a BSA-badged tank in the race paddock.
    Photo by Vicki Smith
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    Spectacular vintage firetrucks share the limelight.
    Photo by Vicki Smith

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There’s a good chance you’ve heard the old saying, “There are two kinds of riders ... ” Barber Motorsports Park offers a new twist on that: There are those who have been to Barber, and those who want to go to Barber.

The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and surrounding complex is a genuine mecca for motorcyclists, and once a year the folks at Barber throw a party just for people like us: lovers of classic motorcycles of all types, ages and conditions. And the 2010 Barber Vintage Festival was bigger and better than ever.

When you arrive, start with the museum and experience “motocoma,” the condition most first-time visitors go into somewhere between the front entrance and the elevator that navigates the museum’s five floors of motoheaven. Check out the view from the sweeping glass windows; if you time it just right you may catch a bit of the AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) vintage races, the air show — complete with pyrotechnics — or maybe even see Sir John Surtees take a lap or two in a replica of the Ferrari 158 F1 he drove to a world championship in 1964, or aboard a factory MV Agusta of the type he rode to successive world championships in the late 1950s.

Once back out in the park the choices are numerous. For those who never see a project too challenging, it might be best to start in the swap meet area. If you prefer to bid for your next machine, the Bator auction has a big lineup, everything from boxes of parts to a 1923 Harley Davidson JDCA Board Track Racer, and often with no reserve.



In between there are bike shows, an antique fire truck display, even an old fashioned Wall of Death carnival show. There’s a free tram to take you around the park, and from the inflatable chapel (really!) to the AHRMA paddock, the whole show is included in one $45 ticket that gets you in for all three days. Museum admission costs extra, but it’s probably the best $15 you’ll ever spend. And don't miss the Motorcycle Classics tent, where you can chat with the editors of the magazine and renew your subscription.

This is the 6th year of one of the best values in entertainment, and from 6,000 people in 2005, word of mouth and just plain great vibes resulted in well over 40,000 people enjoying this year’s sunshine soaked event.



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