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!)
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.