Motorcycle Classics

Inside the Barber Vintage Festival

The hotels and motels around Leeds,
Ala., are filling up fast, and camping spots
at Barber Motorsports
Park will be thin on the ground in no
time as the 9th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, Oct. 11-13, 2013, at Barber Motorsports
Park draws near.

A record 57,000-plus vintage motorcycle enthusiasts
descended on Barber’s 740-acre park last year, and the Vintage Festival’s
explosive growth — more than 10-fold since the first festival in 2005 — has
made it one of the biggest events on the vintage scene, second only to Vintage
Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio.

It doesn’t hurt having the world’s preeminent motorcycle
museum in your backyard, but the festival’s popularity doesn’t hinge just on
the museum. The key to success is the Barber organization’s total enthusiasm
and engagement for the festival. It starts with founder George Barber and
extends to every member of the staff, with everyone making sure the event goes

Last year, Ace Café and Dime City Cycles set up the Ace
Corner in the infield at Turn 17 for a celebration of all things café. It was
an event within the event, and it worked so well it’s returning for 2013. This
year’s Ace Corner will again feature Dime City Cycles, along with Café Racer TV
and other cool cats from the café scene, plus a biker build-off, an on-site Ace
Café and a Saturday night band party.

Also returning is the Century Race for bikes 100 years old
or older, won last year by Wheels Through Time museum founder/owner Dale
Walksler riding his 1912 Indian. The American Motor Drome Wall of Death also
returns, with daredevils on vintage Indians and Harleys riding the wall of a
14-foot tall, 30-foot diameter wooden drum. Amazing stuff. Expect to see the
AeroShell Aerobatic Team flying overhead on Saturday, and of course don’t miss
the always excellent swap meet.

The Friday night Motorcycles by Moonlight also returns. A
fundraiser for the museum, Motorcycles by Moonlight treats donors to an evening
of excellent food and even better company. Special guests this year are famed
Italian motorcycle designers Miguel Angel Galluzzi and Pierre Terblanche, both
formerly with Ducati. Galluzi is best known as the designer of the Ducati M900
Monster, the bike that launched the naked bike category and now 20 years in
production, while Terblanche is acclaimed for creating the Ducati Multistrada,
the Sport Classics line and the controversial 999 Superbike, recognized as a
milestone machine. International motorcycle journalist, vintage racer and
regular Motorcycle Classics contributor Alan Cathcart will interview
Galluzi and Terblanche during the dinner.

Throw in vintage racing with rounds 17 and 18 of the
American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association/CPL Systems National Historic
Cup Roadrace series, Legends of Motocross, Speed & Sport observed trials
and Penton Cross Country and you have a weekend of vintage motorcycling not to
be missed. And when you visit the museum, take a look out the trackside windows
toward Turn 9: The construction you’ll see is a new museum annex. Plans call
for a four-story building housing the museum’s car collection, special exhibits
and maybe even a new banquet hall, connected to the main museum by a 30-foot
wide, glass-covered walkway.

And don’t miss the Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland
Cycle Barber Vintage Bike Show. Our featured marque this year is BMW,
celebrating the Bavarian marque’s 90th anniversary. We’ll have a special trophy
for Best In Show BMW, along with trophies for best restored and best rider in
five other categories including British, European, American, Japanese and
Custom. BMW owners and riders are especially encouraged to join us, and even if
you don’t enter your bike we’ll have a special parking corral for all BMW
riders. It’s an event not to be missed. MC

  • Published on Aug 5, 2013
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