Over 500 motorcycles in a gorgeous environment!Birmingham, Alabama.
As a huge car enthusiast and amateur Porsche driver, George Barber wanted to restore classic race cars. This influential milk industrialist first relied on the shops and mechanics of his own milk facilities. One day, the shop director made him realize that the mechanics were trained and skilled to work on trucks, especially diesel-powered ones, and not on precious sports cars. Then, he gave him the idea to restore a motorcycle. The results were amazing. Mr. Barber noticed that there were virtually no motorcycle museums at the time, so he decided to start acquiring and restoring various kinds of bikes.
Building the Barber Motorsports Park
|George Barber, in the middle.|
The whole project expanded so rapidly that he had to create a special foundation to prevent the IRS from swallowing his investments. In addition to the museum, Mr. Barber and his team built a park and a road course where world-caliber car and motorcycle races are held each year. The museum, in its current form, opened its doors to the public in September 2003.An international collection
The Barber Motorsports Museum is far from being too patriotic; there are no less than 143 different makes of motorcycles and scooters coming from all continents. Overall, the Foundation boasts more than 900 vehicles. The two-wheeler exhibition is well laid out over five floor levels. The walls of the museum hold gigantic shelves that contain some of the more precious models. The visual effect is mind-blowing and pays tribute to the entire history of motorcycles. Ducati, Honda, Harley and the others
The bikes are separated in various ways: historically, thematically (racing, transportation, scooters, side-car, etc.) and corporatively (Honda, Harley-Davidson, Buell, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ducati, Morbidelli, etc.). There are many collector's items and unique models. Every motorcycle in the museum is still operational. Moreover, you can learn some pretty interesting tidbits by visiting the outstanding library or by watching the mechanics do their tricks while they rebuild engines and motorcycles. Flawless work!
So, if you're in the neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama, you should definitely stop by. For car enthusiasts, there is also a nice collection of Lotuses, Porsches and open-wheel cars.
For more information and pictures, go to www.barbermuseum.orgPhoto Credit : Amyot Bachand