Destinations: Dave Mungenast Classic Motorcycle Museum, St. Louis, Missouri


| July/August 2008


Dave Mungenast Classic Motorcycle Museum
Where: 5625 Gravois Road, St. Louis, MO 63116
Phone: 314-481-1291
e-mail:classicmotorcycles@davemungenast.com ; www.classicmotorcyclesllc.com 

What do you think of when you imagine St. Louis? My wife, a St. Louis native, immediately conjures up images of the St. Louis arch sweeping over the city skyline, framing St. Louis Cardinals’ star slugger Albert Pujols as he drives another run home at Busch Stadium. Me? I think of classic motorcycles and the Dave Mungenast Classic Motorcycle Museum.

The arch, baseball and beer are definite naturals here, no question — but thanks largely to the efforts of one man, so are classic motorcycles.

Forty-three years ago, an aspiring trials and motocross racer named Dave Mungenast decided to open a Honda dealership in South St. Louis. A motorcycle enthusiast with a strong entrepreneurial streak, Mungenast had worked his way through college as a motorcycle mechanic and was manager of a St. Louis imported bike shop when he decided the time was right to strike out on his own in 1965, opening St. Louis Honda.

Although the new shop kept him busy, it didn’t keep Mungenast’s from riding competitively. If anything, it seems to have pushed him to ride even harder. In 1966 he entered the famed International Six Days Trial (ISDT) held that year in Poland. It would be the first of nine runs he would make in the ISDT, garnering two gold, two silver and two bronze medals along the way. It was during this time that he became friends with racing greats like Malcolm Smith, who, Mungenast once said, "told me he’s never seen someone crash so much and still finish."

Mungenast loved motocross, and he’d ride just about anything as long as it meant he got to compete, including oddities like the automatic-transmission equipped Rokon. He also launched a fledgling career as a motorcycle stuntman in the movies, appearing in numerous flicks including Hooper and Cannonball Run.





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