It was day one, Wheels Through Time in Maggie Valley North Carolina. The collection had moved from its previous in MT. Vernon Illinois location where the Wheels Through Time Museum was founded in 1992 by Dale Walksler. Nearly 300 people visited on day 1. Over a million visitors in 13 years!
The collection, however, was started in 1970 in suburban Chicago. The first bike I bought was a tired out Chicago police bike for 25 bucks. I borrowed that from my dad Bernie…and paid him back. That bike remains in the collection and most recently pal Jay Leno visited, sat on the bike, and cranked it up! It is always about the story, and all the machines have a story to tell!
The story of how I got from there to here is a long one. One interesting aspect of the collection is called “bike building 101,” start early and stay late!! I truly believe that in the past 46 years of collecting/building a large percentage of that time has been spent in the workshop. Endless hours, year after year.
The collection currently consists of over 350 rare American machines, many in their original condition. Of these, nearly 150 machines I have built or restored. Naturally they are all in running condition. Nothing has changed, I continue to put in many hours each week in the workshop at WTT. Over 15 machines are now in process, and there are dozens of project in various locations around the museum.
What this means for our museum visitors is a new experience every time, guaranteed.
Thank You! It Has Been A Great 13 Years!