Wishing Everyone Happy Holidays And Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our wonderful friends, family, and supporters of The Wheels Through Time.  We would again like to Thank You for supporting the WTT and look forward to incredible year ahead of us.  Please be careful and considerate this Holiday and think twice before you drink and drive, or drink and ride.  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dale Walksler
Founder and Curator

 

And the winners are………

Congratulations to Bear King on winning the 1946 Knucklehead!  We know you will give this machine a great home!

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It was without a doubt a day worth waiting for.  Not only did we unveil the 2017 Raffle Bike, we also held the Raffle in a new part of the museum and a record 3 out of 4 of the winners were present at the time of the drawing.  The excitement and energy in the building was unmatched by any previous raffle event we’ve hosted in the past!

Our Grand prize winner was Bear King of Charlotte, North Carolina.  He’s been coming to museum since it opened in 2001 and it was his 13th time entering into the WTT Raffle and this year was finally his to claim.  Bear had purchased tickets a few times through out the year and also purchased another 7 tickets when he arrived that morning at 9:00am!  Upon his ticket being drawn, he was speechless and it was in fact another person who yelled out “He’s here!” before he spoke up or came forward. Frantically everyone turned and looked to their left and right.  Just moments later, Bear stepped forward from the side of the stage and raised his hand.  We had our winner! The look on the face of the life long motorcycle rider and enthusiast was priceless.  Moments later Bear was sitting on his new ’46 Knucklehead.  We knew he wouldn’t have any problems with the bike when he started it on the first kick!   His picture will be added to the Raffle Winner Wall and he is picking his Knucklehead up on Tuesday!  Congratulations Bear!
Our 2nd Prize Winner was John Sapienza of Hubbard, Ohio!  John was present for the raffle as well.  John rode is Sportster all the way from Ohio to attend the WTT Raffle.   He screamed down from the mezzanine and the crowd went wild!  He made his way down stairs and to the center stage.  He was so out of breath from excitement he could hardly talk!  When he finally caught his breath the one of the first thing he said is “All (Gasping) 10 Grand is going (gasping) towards a new bike!”.  We couldn’t be happier for you John! Congratulations Mr. Sapienza!

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Our 3rd Prize Winner was Frank Coy of Toledo, Ohio!  Frank wasn’t present for the raffle but we managed to get him on the telephone.  Rick visited the museum in July and and only bought 7 tickets – 1 of which was the one that earned him $5,000.  Congratulations Frank!

New to the WTT Raffle is The Angel Drawing.  It’s a $4,000 prize split 50/50 between the AngelMan Foundation and the Raffle Winner.  The winner of the the Angel Drawing was Linda Perkle from Toccoa Georgia!  who also happened to be present at the drawing!  Congratulations Linda!  Natalie Crump carefully pulled the ticket the year as her parents Ricky and Lisa Crump proudly watched.  It was a special moment to say the least!

11-angeldrawingWhat a day…

We would sincerely like to thank all of our supporters who attended the museum this year and all of the years that have past.  Thank You Jim Dohms for from Dohms Creative Photography for donating several pieces of incredible art to the Raffle as well!  In addition we would like to thank all our fans who have told friends about the Wheels Through Time and especially to the ones who have  made a special trip to see it every day!.  If you are one of the people who visit the Museum year after year and enter in to the Raffle Drawing, please consider supporting Wheels Through Time by purchasing a Lifetime Donorship. You can visit our website to find out more!

Thank You for supporting The Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum!

History In The Making…

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2016 Raffle Bike

Building a motorcycle in front of a world audience is a rare opportunity and winning a 1946 stunning Harley Davidson motorcycle is even more rare than that.  Saturday, November 12 at 2:00pm – that is what is going to happen. AND MORE, A lot more.

For instance,  A 10 Thousand Dollar Second Prize Drawing, A Five Thousand Dollar Third Prize Drawing, and lastly A Special “ANGEL” Surprise Drawing. Giveaway door prizes will take place on the hour.   For the first time at Wheels Through Time, there will also be a live panel discussion from 10:00am to 12:00pm with the American Restoration Team as well as Artist and Pin-striper Mark Peters and Painter John Dills from Dill Paintworks.wheel-through-time

In years past the Haywood County Toy Run has graced the grounds on the Raffle Day, but this year the run has changed its finish location. The event will be held inside The Wheels Through Time Museum.  Free refreshments will be available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on the Museum grounds for everyone, however admission may be limited for a short time during the raffle.

Here is the schedule of events for Raffle Day.

9:00am – Museum opens for general admission

10:00am – Free Refreshments Available

12:00pm – We are excited to announce a new museum membership opportunity with an artful twist. You don’t want to pass this one up!

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1:00pm – The 2017 Raffle Bike will be unveiled! This magnificent machine is the latest from the restoration shop at Wheels Through Time, and will surely make a BIG impression on everyone.  On site ticket sales will close at 1:00pm sharp! All subsequent ticket sales will be on the NEW CROWN JEWEL!

2:00pm – The series of prize drawings will take place in the following order:
1. A special prize will be drawn from a special drum- details on raffle day
2. Third Place Prize – $5,000
3. Second Place Prize – $10,000
4. The Grand Prize – A 1946 Harley Davidson FL Knucklehead OR $25,000

Each of the Events and Drawings will be Live on Facebook so tune in to see if you are a winner!  Upon each drawn ticket, we will attempt to call the winner.

It was a group effort to build the ’46 Harley and our group of Wheels Through Time friends reached out again and made this one our most successful yet!  We continue to strive to give our visitors the most for their investment and promise that each and every visit will be a memorable event.  Whether you visit us in person, browse the website, or learn it all from Dale’s Channel, we promise to bring you back to a mechanical time of wonder.

Thank You For Your Continued Support,
Dale and Wheels Through Time Staff

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American-Restoration-BannerAmerican History and Restoration have always been in the life’s blood of museum founder Dale Walksler. It’s no surprise to us that this combination would eventually find its way into your home. Coming your way January 1st, 2016 Dale Walksler and the Wheels Through Time Museum will be featured in the hit reality TV show “American Restoration” on the History Channel.

ARlogo1The new American Restoration will feature Dale Walksler  and his crew.  They bring two-wheeled American History back  to life. Dale and crew will share the screen with 4 other shops, each bringing their unique talent to the show.  Filming this adventure started in July of 2015 and continued through the year, keeping Dale busy behind the museum scene restoring and bringing back to like some of Americas rarest two-wheeled treasures.

Dale however in not the only “star” on the show.  Always eager  Asheville, N.C. resident, John Gustafson, is the McGuyver like mechanic that can fix anything. Bob White A.K.A “quail” currently serves on the museum board of directors and holds up many of the historical aspects of the restorations on the new show.

John, Dale & Bob on set in the museum for American Restoration.

John, Dale & Bob on set in the museum for American Restoration.

Of course television is nothing new at the museum . Discovery/ Velocity hit it off with Dale and crew in its 2 year run of “What’s In The Barn” and Mike and Frank of “American Pickers” have always trusted Dale for his knowledge and expertise.

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2016 will be an exciting world at Wheels Through Time in  Maggie Valley, NC. Be sure to drop in and share the excitement, fascination, and history.

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 COMING SOON TO A TV NEAR YOU

WINNER TAKES ALL!!!!

Exactly one week after Ralph Adams won the Grand Prize 1939 Knucklehead from the WTTM annual raffle he and his wife Denise claimed his prize, and rode it!

All the stars lined up. He bought his tickets in June, his new trailer in July, prayed in August, Sept, and Oct. Then on November 14th he got the call and picked up his beauty seven days later.

Dale and Ralph with the "Winning Ticket" on delivery day.

Dale and Ralph with the “Winning Ticket” on delivery day.

Ralph was instructed by museum founder Dale Walksler on the details of starting and riding the glorious 39 Knuck. Ralph took to it like a duck to water. Both hands on the bars, then one hand. Before you knew it he was shifting on the tank, clutching with the foot, and having the time of his life.
Ralph and Denise visit WTTM each year on their annual ride in the Smokies and each year Ralph gets a hand full of raffle tickets and his WTTM merchandise.

Ralph on his first ride. Please notice the smile as Ralph rides the 39 Knuck with ease.

Ralph on his first ride. Please notice the smile as Ralph rides the 39 Knuck with ease.

 

 

 

 

Just goes to show you that anyone can win- AND YOU CAN TOO!!!

STAY TUNED IN FOR DETAILS ON THE 2016 MACHINE. There are some great surprises soon to be seen on both Ralph’s win and the 2016 machine on the History channel… coming soon

2017? Well that one is also moving ahead. Stay tuned in for details and Time Machine Videos on this build.

‘Wheels’ Looking Forward to Record Breaking 2015

Wheels Through Time would like to send out a big “Thank You” to all of our visitors, friends, and family for helping make 2014 our best year yet!  Last year, we had the pleasure of hosting over 120,000 visitors through our doors — the action was non-stop, and each and every person that made us a destination lent a hand in our success.

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The “Bike House” was found during season 3 of “What’s In The Barn?” after Dale follows a lead to rural North Georgia.

While it might seem impossible to top such a great 2014 season, Wheels Through Time has already been working hard to bring its success in 2015 to a whole new level!!!

“What’s In The Barn?” is back for a 3rd on Velocity TV, chasing Dale and Matt across the country in search of rare and historic machines for display inside the museum.  This season, Dale heads south to Texas for one of the World’s biggest swapmeets then to Michigan for a high-class automotive show that brings him back to the previous home of one of the world’s rarest motorcycles.  They chase down uncertain lead in North Georgia to a “Bike House”, and are blown away at what they find!  Eight more episodes begin airing in late spring.  A new “What’s in the Barn?” Exhibit will also be opening in May of 2015, showcasing many of the finds from season 3!

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Dale and Elijah from Mulga, Alabama break ground on the 2016 WTT Raffle Bike in the rear shop inside the museum

The museum is always thinking of new ways to continue making experiences of our visitors better each year.  In 2015, we’ll be bringing involvement of our patrons to a whole new level.  This coming year, visitors will have a the opportunity to lend a hand in the rebuild and restoration a very special machine — the 2016 WTT Raffle Bike, to be raffled of in November 2016.  Construction has already begun, and we’ll be relying on you to get this one ready for the road.

WTT is also planning a gala fundraiser for The Home Depot Foundation, whose mission is to improve the homes and lives of our U.S. military veterans and their families.  The museum has long been a supporter of all of our veterans, and looks to expand that support this 2015.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the Foundation, who spends millions annually to for veterans in our communities.

Perhaps the biggest news for 2015 is the Wheels Through Time MEGA RAFFLE!  Wheels Through Time and the Amelia Island Charities will be offering a once-in-

Here it is!!! The 1936 Crocker Hemi #8 is the Grand Prize of the WTT Mega Raffle.  More information coming soon!

Here it is!!! The 1936 Crocker Hemi #8 is the Grand Prize of the WTT Mega Raffle. More information coming soon!

a-lifetime opportunity to own one of the rarest and most significant motorcycles in the world — the 1936 Crocker Hemi Twin.  This machine — the 8th Crocker of less than 70 produced — remains the earliest running production Crocker in existance, has been heralded by experts as one of the world’s most significant motorcycles. A full feature story and details of the raffle are coming soon. This is one drawing you don’t want to miss!

Wheels Through Time will be opening for the 2015 season on April 2nd.  Please stay tuned for a full list of events on the museum’s website coming soon.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled and ears open for historic machines in your neighborhood!  Dale and crew are on the hunt for history in unusual places, and are always looking for the next rusty relic for “What’s In The Barn?”

For more information about the 2015 season, “What’s In the Barn?”, WTT’s Home Depot Foundation Gala, or the WTT Crocker MEGA RAFFLE, visit www.WheelsThroughTime.com or contact us at 828 926-6266.

2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Memories

The 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball is almost in the books, and by all accounts it appears to have been the trip of a lifetime.  The coast-to-coast run stretched almost 4000 miles from Daytona Beach, FL to Tacoma, Washington.  With over 100 bikes competing to be the next vintage motorcycle endurance run champion, riders and their crews rode all day and wrenched all night.  For the past 16 days, they have given it their all and regardless of how they finish in the standings, their accomplishment in piloting these primitive machines from coast to coast stands on its own.  Congratulations Cannonballers on a job well done!!!

Take a look at some of our favorite photos from the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball!

Racing at Wauseon

Earlier this year, we headed out to the AMCA Summer National Meet at Wauseon, Ohio. This swapmeet has grown into one of the biggest in the country, and is a meeting place for old bike enthusiasts from around the world.

On Friday afternoon, Bike Days, LLC puts on some great flat track racing on Wauseon’s half-mile track.  There are various classes that compete throughout the day, but one of the highlights is the Board Track Class.  This year, the track was perfect, and so was the weather.  Cool air kept the bikes running great, and Scotty Brown’s team did a great job preparing the cushion track.

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My 1926 Harley-Davidson FHAC ran great in practice and the heat race. When it was time for the final, a few adjustments were made, loose nuts and bolts tightened, and oil level topped off.

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It was one of the closest races of the day, and literally came down to the finish line straightaway.  Check out the video below to see how it turned out!

 

International Harley-Davidson Dealer Ride Heads to WTT!!!

Some of the Harley-Davidson Dealer Ride attendees pose for a picture by the 1930 Harley-Davidson DAH Hillclimber at Wheels Through Time.This past Labor Day weekend, Wheels Through Time had the immense pleasure of hosting a special group of riders with a particular interest in Harley-Davidson history!  On Friday, August 29th, dealers and executives from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company rode into Maggie Valley for unique experience at “The Museum That Runs”.

Earlier in the week, thousands gathered at the Annual Harley-Davidson Summer Dealer Meeting held this year in Nashville, TN to get a glimpse at what the company had in store for the 2015 model year.  At the conclusion of the meeting, dealers from around the world embarked on the Harley-Davidson International Dealer Ride, which this year headed from Franklin, TN to Charlotte, by way of Chattanooga, TN and Asheville, NC. During the three day run through the Smokies and Blue Ridge, riders logged nearly 700 miles on brand new 2015 models debuted to the public just days before.

During Friday’s ride between Chattanooga and Asheville, Wheels Through Time was slated as the main stop along the route.  After a six hour ride through some of the best riding the area has to offer, over 150 riders poured into the museum to experience American motorcycle history at its best. Without even the first sign of fatigue from the long days ride, dealers and executives alike explored the museum for hours, and were treated to a special guided tour by museum curator, Dale Walksler. (Some riders were so eager to visit, they bypassed the previous day’s scheduled overnight stop, just so they had more time to absorb the history inside WTT!)

HD's Scott Miller and Matt Levatich hop on WTT's 2014 Raffle Bikes during their visit to Wheels Through Time.

HD’s Scott Miller and Matt Levatich hop on WTT’s 2014 Raffle Bikes during their visit to Wheels Through Time. (Photo: Scott Miller)

Matt Levatich, President and Chief Operating Officer of Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and Scott Miller, the company’s Vice President of Styling were also on hand for the visit, having ridden every single mile with the group!  Of the 110+ years of Harley-Davidson history housed inside the museum, what Matt and Scott were most impressed with was the amount of letters, literature and other correspondence dating back to the beginnings of their company’s history — many of which were signed by the founders themselves.

Levatich also noted the numerous examples of 1915 Harley-Davidsons — a milestone machine that helped shape the company’s history — displayed in the museum collection, and wished them all a Happy Birthday.

“To host such a group of true enthusiasts from around the world has been truly memorable,” said museum curator, Dale Walksler. “Having the opportunity to share Wheels Through Time with so many industry leaders is an honor. We hope they return again, with friends and family.”

As the group departed, Dale hopped on his 1915 Harley-Davidson to guide them out of town and see them on their way. When they turned left out of the parking lot, Dale give the 100 year-old Harley all he had.  As you can imagine, they left him in the dust, with only a smile.

My Born Free 6 Indian Chopper

Over the last several months, my friends and I have been working on something special.  After receiving an invite from Mike and Grant at the Born Free Show, we got right to work building this 1942 Indian Chief Chopper.  The bike was a ton of fun to build, and it came right down to the wire.  We finished it the day before we left.

compressed1Lots of unique features on this bike, from the custom one-off frame, to the narrowed and extended Indian girder front end, to the fully polished engine and more.  One of my favorite features of the bike is the exhaust, which come from inside the molded fender.

Red Rock Reliability Tour visits WTT

On Wednesday, June 4th, we had the wonderful opportunity to host an amazing group of people participating in the Red Rock Reliability Tour.  Most of you have probably never heard of the tour as there is no club, or website, or formal event sign-up.  This small event began as a group of friends gathering together to share their mutual passion for antique automobiles.

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Every 2 years since 1991, these friends set aside time to tour different parts of the country in their vintage autos — all of which were produced before 1914.  The runs typically cover 2500-3000 miles, with a route designed to put the cars to the test.  Years past have seen runs through various parts of the Rocky’s, California Coast, and Sierra Nevadas.  But 2014 was the first year the run went EAST of the Mississippi.  The eastern route was designed around the steep and winding hills of the Appalachian Mountains, with some of the toughest terrain right around Maggie Valley and Wheels Through Time.

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20 cars participated in this year’s run, including makes such as Locomobile, Peerless, Ford, Packard, Stevens-Duryea, and Rolls-Royce to name a few.  A total of four Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts attended the run, including the 1914 Silver Ghost Special that won the Austrian Alpine Trials in 1914 — truly a historic car of epic proportions.

Dale takes a ride in Steve Litten's 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Special -- winner of the 1914 Austrian Alpine Hill Climb Trials

Dale takes a ride in Steve Litten’s 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Special — winner of the 1914 Austrian Alpine Hill Climb Trials

We were more than honored that the group set aside time to stop at Wheels Through Time, and hope that everyone enjoyed their visit. Check out some of the machines in the pics below.

1920s Harley-Davidson J & JD Replacement Cylinders are almost here!

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Replacement cylinder castings for Harley J-models right out of the sand.

Finding good used parts for your Harley restoration can be difficult, and sometimes even impossible.  The combination of low production numbers and primitive design has lead to a shortage of many parts that were once plentiful.  Now-a-days, restorers search high and low for rare and hard to find pieces, often for months or years before finding them.  This has made restorations of particular makes and models nearly impossible, or at the least, very costly to undertake.

The Harley-Davidson J & JD models have long been one of those “hard to restore” models, as sources for good original parts have been exhuasted.  While there have been individuals who specialize in reproduction parts such as sheet-metal,

Cross Section of a JD intake and exhaust port.  Stuart's got these perfect!

Cross Section of an original JD intake and exhaust port. Stuart has replicated these perfectly!

handlebars, and small components, there hasn’t been a good source offer replacements for some of the larger, higher-wear (and harder to find) parts.  Until NOW!

My friend Stuart Ritchie has spent the last several years developing quality cast replacement cylinders for Harley-Davidson J and JD models.  Stuart is from Australia, and  quickly noticed the lack of availability of good usable cylinders for both 61″ and 74″ displacements.  And with the introduction of a third Motorcycle Cannonball this 2014, the last several years also have seen a decline in original cylinder availability here in the United States. It seems like a case of “They’ve simply all been used up!”, and other than those in the hands of a few collectors and hoarders, these old Harley jugs just can’t be found.

But with Stuarts vision, these cylinders will soon be available both in the U.S. and abroad.  Using nearly the same casting process, Stuart first project was to develop perfect reproduction cylinders for 61″ pocket-valve Harleys.  Careful attention was directed towards accuracy of both look and performance, and after testing several prototype sets, the finished product is perfect.  Dyno results indicated slightly better than identical performance, matching the horsepower numbers published in original sales literature.

61 cubic inch replacement cylinders installed and ready to run!

61 cubic inch replacement cylinders installed and ready to run!

Now, Stuart is honing in on finishing replacement cylinders for Harley-Davidson JD models that were offered by HD in 1929.  This cylinder was the most developed version of the pocket-valve cylinder, with larger cooling fins and better breathing capabilities.  For decades, J-model enthusiasts have considered these the holy-grail of pocket-valve cylinders because of their better performance.

After a generous offer from Stuart, we’ll be running a prototype pair of his 74″ replacement cylinders on my 1924 Harley-Davidson JDCA during the half-mile races at Wauseon and Davenport Antique Motorcycle meets.  I’m anxious to feel the performance for myself, and to report the results back to Stuart.  Stay tuned for a full write-up on how they performed and information on when they’ll be on the market.

For more information about Stuart Ritchie and his replacement Harley-Davidson J & JD cylinders, visit his JD Jugs Facebook Page or email him at jdjugs@outlook.com

Stuarts 1926 Harley-Davidson J-model Cutdown, with his 61" cubic inch replacement cylinders.

Stuarts 1925 Harley-Davidson J-Model Cutdown, with his 61″ cubic inch replacement cylinders.

Last of the Rigids

Here at Wheels Through Time, the collection contains over 100 original paint machines, dating back to 1903.  The bike vary in condition. Some are weathered survivors, showing the extent of their heavy use throughout the decades.  Others are pristine examples appearing as if they only have a few short hours of use.

Swims Shop

Dale has owned this 1957 Harley-Davidson FLH Panhead for over 30 years.  The machine is remarkably preserved in original blue and white paint, with high-performance FLH engine.  1957 was the last year that H-D built their Big Twin machines on a rigid frame, opting for the swing-arm “Duo-Glide” frame for the 1958 model year.

This machine bears less than 15000 miles on the odometer, and is one of the prized pieces in the museum’s collection of post-WWII machines.

 

Judging at the Amelia Island Concours

This year was my first visit to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and what a show it was.  Over 325 of the rarest, most luxurious, and most exotic vehicle were on hand for the invite only show, including 10 rare early American motorcycles.

This year’s theme for the motorcycle class was “Orphan American Motorcycles”, which gave the opportunity for owners to show some of the country’s lesser known machines.  No Harleys or Indians were part of the show.

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The field included Buzz Kanter’s 1901 Steffey, Paul Ousey’s 1905 Erie, a 1905 Yale California, WTT’s 1908 Apache, 1910 Yale, Wayne Carini’s 1910 Reading Standard, a 1912 Thor Board Track Racer, and a 1913 Dixie Flyer.  The 1913 Elk and 1914 Flescher Flyer from WTT were also on display.

I was fortunate to be able to share the unique history of the Thor Boardtrack Racer with the judges, and like all of us at WTT, they were very impressed with the originality and provenance of the machine.  The bike was original raced out of Lima, Ohio by D.L. Tullis.  It is still accompanied by its original shipping crate, which bares the motor specifications, F.A.M. (Federation of American Motorcyclists) registration number, and riders original F.A.M. Membership card.

When the awards were given, the award for most historically significant machine went to the 1912 Thor.  Paul Ousey’s 1905 Erie won best in class, and honorable mentions were given to the 1910 Reading Standard and ’13 Dixie Flyer.

Fall Flatty

From 1937-41, Harley-Davidson produced the Model ULH — an 80 cubic inch flathead with four-speed transmission and the styling of the newly debuted Model EL.  While the “Big Flatty” didn’t produce the horsepower that the Knucklehead offered, it was known as the workhorse in H-D’s line-up.  It provided plenty torque, and was among the most reliable machines the company had ever offered.

MattsFlatty

This 1941 ULH was rebuilt by Dale and myself in the Wheels Through Time restoration shop in 2008.  From the beginning, we chose to take the “period-modified” approach.  Starting with a stock frame and front end, we went with the standard 16″ wheel in the rear, and an 18″ up front.  Bobbed rear fender by John Dills, and a shortened military fender up front.  Flander’s risers and bars, and a Hanson Sportshield windshield by Gary Gardener provide for a nicely accessorized look, while giving as much comfort as any brand new machine on the road.

My lady and I have put many a miles on this machine, including countless day trips in the mountains, a few Kickstart Classic rides, and various road runs and swap meets.

Feature Bike Friday #31 — 1942 Harley-Davidson XA

The 1942 Harley-Davidson Model XA was built in limited numbers for use in North Africa during World War II. The machine features 750 c.c. “flat-opposed” side-valve engine and four speed transmission.  It is the first “hand-clutch” Harley ever produced, and precedes HD’s next rear suspension design (the Duo-Glide) by 16 years.

This example was restored in 1997, and is one of less than 100 that left the factory with disc wheels.  In total, approximately 1000 machines were produced in 1942 only

 

 

 

Feature Bike Friday #30 — Yellow Jacket Panhead

This stunning machine was built by Brent Mayfield of Dayton, Ohio, and wow does it have “the look”.  Brent squeezed a 1959 FLH Panhead engine into a ’51 frame and created an awe-inspiring machine that’s ready for the road. This past summer, the bike took top honors at the EasyRider’s Show in Indianapolis.

The bike is owned by friend of the museum Mike Carson.  During the summer, Mike son Buck put several hundred miles on this beauty while volunteering at Wheels Through Time.

Vote for Brittney Olsen in the “Search for a Champion” Contest.

Aberdeen, SD, January 7, 2014– Brittney Olsen, 24 year old antique motorcycle racer is among hundreds of motorsport athletes from North America competing for $125,000 in racing sponsorships being awarded by Champion Spark Plugs through their “Search for a Champion” contest held online.

We were fortunate to catch up with Brittney in 2013 during her first year on the track at both the Wauseon and Davenport antique 1/2-mile flat track races.  Brittney pilots a 1923 Harley-Davidson Board Track Racer built from the ground up by her and her husband, Matt Olsen.   While she was competitive from her very first time out on the machine, the couple went right to work this winter improving both the engine and chassis for upcoming 2014 races.

 Capture2As part of the contest, entrants filmed and uploaded two minute videos showcasing their rides and demonstrating why they should be a Champion sponsored racer.

brittolsenhalfmileBrittney’s cheerful, upbeat video brings you back to the 1920s as she informs you of the history of Champion Spark Plug and motorcycle racing. You can hear the passion in her voice and appreciate the enthusiasm Brittney has as she introduces you the experience of racing a 91 year old Harley-Davidson with no brakes, clutch or transmission on half mile dirt tracks across America.

Winners of the “Search for a Champion” contest are determined by online votes from January 6th through March 23rd. Every vote counts! The grand prize finalist will be announced March 31st.

With the opportunity to receive a sponsorship from Champion, 20th Century Racing would be able be able to take their racing program to another level by sponsoring and supporting more upcoming young vintage motorcycle racers. You can watch and vote for Brittney Olsen’s Champion Video on the following website: http://alwaysachampion.com/search-for-a-champion/entry/1568950

20th Century Racing sets their sights high and aim to preserve the magnificent history of early motorcycle racing by generating excitement, gaining interest and educating current and future motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world, through their antique motorcycle racing adventures!  For more information on Brittney and 20th Century Racing, visit 20thcwnturyracing.wordpress.com.

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Feature Bike Friday #29 — Herm’s Bumble Bee Chief

For all you Picker’s fans, you may remember the name Herm Levine.  Herm was an Indian Dealer in Easton, PA and for many years owned this1935 Indian Chief Bonneville.  The bike features hot-rod 74 cubic inch Indian Chief engine and three speed transmission, and runs with the wind.  The custom “Bumble-Bee” paint scheme was done by Herm in the 1940s, and gives the bike a personality all its own.

After Indian went out of business, Herm opened a leather shop called “Herm’s Leathertogs”.  Shortly after opening his new business, he moved to Daytona, Florida and never looked back.

This machine was acquired in 2009 at a swap meet in Oley, PA.  It runs perfectly, and still bears the “Herm’s Leathertogs” sticker on the windshield.

Feature Bike Friday #28 — The Original California Cutdown

A few weeks back, my friend Jim Dohms sent me this really cool photo of the 1925 Harley-Davidson Cutdown on display here at the museum.  The bike is a prime example of early motorcycle customization.

californiacutdown

So what is a cutdown?  Cutdowns were motorcycles modified by their owners to be lower, lighter, faster, more agile and more maneuverable — a major deviation from the long-wheelbase, high-center of gravity machines being produced by the days two-wheel manufactuerers.

This 1925 Cutdown was found in a garage in the mid 1990s in Southern California — the birthplace of the cutdown motorcycle.  It features hot-rod 1925 JD engine, three speed transmission, and is capable of speeds in excess of 90 mph.

Feature Bike Friday #27 — Original, One-of-a-Kind Racer!

One of my favorites……the 1921 Harley-Davidson SCA “Banked-Off” Twin Racer

The ’21 SCA Factory Boardtrack racer rests in original condition, and is the only known example of its type.  The bike is Serial #1, and features “banked-off” twin racing engine, keystone racing frame, special “slipper” rear sprocket, no brakes, and no clutch.

This machine is among the rarest bikes in the Wheels Through Time Collection.  The above photo shows the bike “as found” in Michigan on a cold snowy winter day.  How about that for a barn find!!!

lasvegasauction2014 Las Vegas Antique Motorcycle Auction

Coming up this January 9-11, 2014, Wheels Through Time Museum is headed to back to the annual Las Vegas Antique Motorcycle Auction.  Over the past 23 years, the Las Vegas Auction has seen millions worth of the world’s most historic vintage motorcycles bought and sold.  Put on by MidAmerica Auctions, the sale is held at the South Point Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, and annually includes over 500 bikes ranging from rare and primitive early relics to newer, more conventional road-ready classics.

Museum Curator Dale Walksler heads to the sale looking for rare finds, but also makes the trip each year to help find new homes for a few select motorcycles.  Last year, on an episode of “What’s In the Barn?”, Dale assisted in the sale of 3 spectacular original bikes — a 1905 Reading Standard, a 1912 Pierce Single, and a 1913 Harley Single — each of which had been owned by the same family for 100 years.  Each of the machines brought record prices, and both buyer and seller walked away happy.

 

This year, Dale has upped the ante, with six slots to fill for the auction.  See what Dale is bringing to Vegas this year…..

Feature Bike #26 — 1941 Harley-Davidson WLD

The Harley-Davidson 45 cubic inch flathead engine was one of the longest tenured engines in the history of internal combustion.  It was in continuous production from 1929-1973, and was often considered the most reliable engine in HD’s line-up over those years.

The “Forty-Five” started as a semi-lightweight machine intended for smaller and younger riders.  As the model gained its footing in the American motorcycle market, Harley-Davidson began to offer it in different packages and configurations.

The Model WLD debuted in 1937, and was based on the standard W-model.  It featured high compression heads, larger intake ports, different carburetor and bigger cooling fins on the cylinders.  This 1941 example — one of only a few hundred produced — was restored in 2010 by Dale in the WTT Restoration Shop.

2013 Raffle Winner

RandyhornWTT’s 2013 Annual Raffle Giveaway Bike was a beauty — a 1939 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Bobber restored from the ground up in the WTT restoration shop. Thousands bought tickets, helping to keep the museum up and running and building new exhibits. When the lucky ticket was drawn on November 16th, the winner was Randy Horn of Chester, South Carolina. Randy is a member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, and is the president of the clubs Catawba Chapter. Randy has been riding his 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead for over 30 years, and now has another beauty to add to his collection. He bought the winning ticket when he visited during the museum’s “What’s in the Barn?” Season Premier Party in late June.

Congratulations Randy! Enjoy your new motorcycle!

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