Norton was our Featured Marque at last year’s Barber Vintage Festival; this year it’s Ducati. Photo by the Motorcycle Classics staff
The almost-finished 86,000-square-foot addition will house the Barber museum’s restoration shop, library and more motorcycles. Photo courtesy the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Every Barber Festival is special, but this year’s 12th Annual Barber Vintage Festival, Oct. 7-9, is sure to blow the top off the Motorcycle Classics tent with a special appearance from Ducati specialists Vee Two Australia, who will join us to show off a just-completed Ducati special powered by the incredible Vee Two Ritorno Twin.
A modern re-creation of what many consider to be the ultimate bevel-drive Ducati desmo V-twin engine, the NCR race engine used by Mike Hailwood to win the 1978 Isle of Man TT, the Vee Two Ritorno is being manufactured for sale using the original Ducati drawings, supplied with the approval of the Ducati factory.
In celebration of the Ritorno’s U.S. unveiling, we’ve chosen Ducati as the Featured Marque for the annual Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show at Barber, so grab that Ducati and head to Barber! Enter your bike in our show, and look for your favorite vintage Ducs in front of the Motorcycle Classics tent, with Vee Two general manager Andrew Cathcart — son of motojournalist and regular contributor Alan Cathcart — regularly firing up the custom-built Vee Two Ritorno-powered special.
We’ll judge bikes in five classes — with both Cathcarts on hand as guest judges — plus hand out our annual Editor’s Choice award. We’ll also hold vintage bike seminars Friday and Saturday, with planned seminars from vintage suspension specialists Matt Wiley of Race Tech Suspension and an educational discussion on lubricants for vintage bikes from the oil specialists at Spectro Oils, along with a special seminar by Andrew Cathcart on bevel-drive engine design and the development of the Vee Two Ritorno Twin.
This year’s festival will also introduce the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum’s 86,000-square-foot addition, currently under construction on the southwest side of the museum and close to completion. It’s unclear whether the new five-story addition will be open for the festival, but once done it will house the Barber restoration shop (currently in the basement of the main museum), the machine shop (also currently in the basement) and the library (currently on the main floor). That move will clear out room for the museum’s collection of vintage Lotus race cars, another focus of museum founder George Barber, and gives the museum freedom to create more displays and events.
As ever, look for everything else that makes the Barber Vintage Festival the biggest weekend on the vintage calendar — the museum says just over 69,000 people attended last year’s event and 2016 pre-event ticket sales are already outpacing 2015! You’ll find one of the best vintage swap meets of the year, and this year’s festival hosts rounds 19 and 20 of the 2016 AHRMA/CPL Systems Historic Cup Roadrace Series on Barber’s 2.38-mile track, plus the Speed & Sport National Trials Series, the Penton Products National Cross Country Series and the Northwest Maico & CZ National Vintage Motocross Series will run in the park’s offroad racing area.
The Ace Corner hosted by Dime City Cycles and Ace Cafe Orlando returns to its now regular place inside Turns 14-17, and the AMCA and VJMC will set up their shows on the perimeter road. Look for the annual Lap of the Century featuring motorcycles 100 years old or older, plus stunt riding inside the American Motor Drome’s Wall of Death and the Globe of Death. It’s an incredible event, and if you haven’t been you have no idea what you’re missing. Go. It all happens Oct. 7-9, 2016. More on the web at barbermuseum.org. MC