The existing 140,000 square-foot Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is set to be augmented by a new, 100,000 square-foot building in the next few years.
We were excited as anyone when we heard rumors that the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum – hands down the most amazing motorcycle museum on the planet – would launch a 100,000 square-foot expansion in 2012. Jeff Ray, executive director of the Barber museum, confirms plans for an expansion, but says it won’t happen as soon as suggested by some sources. Writing for The Birmingham (Alabama) News, Stan Diel said that founder George Barber planned to start construction this year for a new building on the inside of the Barber Motorsports Park race track, with the new building connected to the existing museum by an enclosed bridge running over the track. Visitors will be able to stand in the bridge and watch racing below. Ray says engineering and site plans have yet to be conducted, and suggests it will be at least three years before the first shovel of dirt is turned.
Explaining the desire to add to the current 140,000 square-foot facility, Barber said the existing museum can only display about half of its total collection. Many bikes are kept in a huge storage room in the basement of the current facility, with others kept off-site. The expansion should free up valuable space in the current museum to be used for Barber’s expanding collection of vintage race cars, which includes the largest collection of vintage Lotus race cars in the world. Whatever they do with the extra space, you can bet it’ll be incredible. We can’t wait. – Richard Backus