03.02The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
A gorgeous Hailwood replica Ducati at the Barber Museum
My good friend Dan and I were in Georgia recently visiting our long lost buddy Ed, it was a surprise visit for his birthday and it was great to see him and catch up. Thanks go to Dan’s wife who found us remarkably cheap airfare into Birmingham, literally half the price it would have cost us to fly into Atlanta. The only down side was the 140 mile drive in between the two cities. On our way back to the airport for our return flight we had a couple hours to kill, turns out the Barber Motorsports Park and Vintage Museum are just a few minutes from Interstate 20.
What we found was an unexpected surprise! Deep in Nascar country, just miles from the famed Talladega Super Speedway is the largest collection of motorcycles in North America. Along with a world-class racing facility, home to Porsche North America’s official Sport Driving School the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is a real diamond in the rough!
We arrived on Monday a little after 10:00 A.M. Perfect timing really, we had the whole place to ourselves.
We were greeted by a friendly and helpful young man at the counter, $15 to get in and the only rule was that we not touch or sit on the bikes. It was nice to see that there were no ropes or barriers around the displays, just the simple and polite request to not touch. The view as you enter is inspiring!
The museum is 5 floors of bikes and cars, an absolutely astounding collection of motorsports history. From sportbikes and race machines, to the earliest motorized cycles all makes and styles are represented. The organization is fantastic as well, one-off custom choppers sit next to production Triumphs and Hondas. The makes and styles are refreshingly intermixed. The impression that this gives is that the collector is a true motorcycle enthusiast, not a slave to a particular brand, style, or era. The variety and quality of the bikes on display as well as the creativity of the arrangement itself was simply overwhelming. Needless to say, if you are a motorsports enthusiast and find yourself anywhere near Birmingham Alabama you owe it to yourself to see this place in person.
I’ll let the photos do the talking from here, the few I have do not do justice to the awesomeness of the place.