Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum-
A trip into the past and a glimpse into
At the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, just 15 minutes from downtown
Birmingham, RVers can see motorcycles from around the world spanning 100 years
of production. The museum's collection of over 960 motorcycles includes bikes
built in 1902 all the way up to a 2005 MV Agusta "Brutale", one of their newest
acquisitions. This Italian bike is not yet available for purchase in the
About 550 motorcycles
are on display.
The museum is home to marquis names such as Harley-Davidson, Honda and
Indian, as well as little or unheard of names such as Showa, DSK and Cagiva.
Visitors can wander up and down the helical ramp of this five-story
architectural marvel and enjoy the many exhibits that include wartime machinery,
a Morbidelli bike display and for a special treat, a race bike exhibit that
brings a piece of Daytona racing to Alabama.
The museum also houses a unique
and rare automobile collection that includes John Surtees' 158 Ferrari that
helped him win the 1964 World Championship, one of Bobby Allison's #12 road
racing stock cars and an extensive collection of Lotus race cars.
Vintage Motorsports Museum began in 1988 as the private collection of George W.
Barber, owner of Barber Dairies. Barber, always an automobile enthusiast, raced,
modified and maintained Porsches in the 1970s and has 63 first place wins. He
started collecting and restoring classic sports cars in 1989. Then, Restoration
Shop Manager, Dave Hooper, suggested looking at motorcycles.
motorcycles, you can see the engineering, the balance, and to me, they are much
more exciting," says Barber. "I think we have the best motorcycle collection in
the United States."
Bikes as old as
for the eyes.
The museum opened its downtown location in 1995. The
museum was one of Birmingham's best-kept secrets for many years. By 1999, the
Barber Museum had outgrown its facilities and announced plans for a new museum
and road racing track in Leeds, Al. The new Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
opened in 2003 and added to its museum by showing the vehicles running.
Visiting the museum today, the lucky RVer may experience the sights and
sounds of a vintage Grand Prix bike or car being "run in" at the track adjoining
the museum. The building is designed to showcase a large portion of the 960+
motorcycles in the museum collection, as well as selected automobiles. There are
approximately 550 motorcycles on display at any given time.
The Museum is
located on 740 acres of lush Alabama countryside at 6030 Barber Motorsports
Parkway in Leeds, 15 minutes from downtown Birmingham. Exit off I-20 East at the
Leeds Exit 140 and take an immediate right onto Rex Lake Road. The museum
entrance is about a one-half mile on the right. For more information, call
205-699-7275 or www.barbermuseum.org.