Quite A Night At The Museum

Tonight was quite a night at the museum.  Just got finished mocking up a new project for the museum that will be coming together over the next month or two.  I bought a VL frame at the AMCA swap meet in Davenport, IA last September, and since the meet, it had been sitting around the shop just waiting for attention.  Then last night, I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea for a new Real School project…a VL bobber.  You don’t see to many around, and with all of the great early 30’s parts around the museum, I started getting a few ideas.  About 30 years ago, I bought a torn down 1934 VD motor for 25 bucks.  The motor had, at one point or another, had all of tricks done to it to make it a real hot rod.  I rebuilt the motor without knowing what to put it in, and since, its been sitting on a table in the museum for quite some time.  After passing by it countless times, I figured it make a great motor for the VL bobber.  

So, after a bit of brainstorming, the parts started to come together.  We put on the right forks and a set of 19 inch wheels…just enough to have a “roller” so we could move it around the shop if need be.  I had a perfect set of dual-shifter tanks, which fit the frame like a glove.  We added a set of road racer bars, the correct transmission, and a few other odds and ends, and that’s where we currently sit.  I’ll be working on later tonight…so I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

Keep your eye out for several shows on the Time Machine on the build of this bike.  Its going to be a good one.  

Wheels Through Time Featured on National Radio and Television

On Saturday, January 12, 2008, Wheels Through Time Museum curator and founder, Dale Walksler, will be taping segments for two upcoming national media outlets at the 17th Annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Clear Channel Radio’s USA Biker Nation and Speed Television’s American Thunder called on Walksler to provide expert commentary during the world’s largest motorcycle auction in Las Vegas. 

 The first outlet that will work with Walksler over the weekend will be USA Biker Nation, a nationally syndicated radio show provided by Clear Channel Radio.  The show currently airs Saturdays in several major markets around the country including San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, Roanoke, Boise and Houston.  Hosted by Peter Boyles of Denver’s KHOW radio, USA Biker Nation is dedicated to providing a voice for members of the “biker nation”, bringing the most up-to-date motorcycle news, events, significant faces in the motorcycle world, and more to all of its listeners.  According to Boyles, the “biker nation” lacked a place they could call their own, which is exactly why USA Biker Nation is on the air.  Broadcast since April 2007, the show has already made its mark on the motorcycling world in a relatively short period of time. 

 “I heard about Wheels Through Time and Dale Walksler through a number of friends of mine, who said it’d be a great feature for the show.   I checked out their website, and I was truly amazed,” said Boyles.  “And with the auction coming up so soon, I couldn’t imagine a better person to provide a bit of commentary for our listeners,”

The second media outlet working with Walksler will be Speed Television’s hit series, American Thunder. For the second straight year, the show will call Walksler to provide commentary from the Las Vegas Auction.  Last year, Walksler and the show’s host, Michele Smith, highlighted several of the rare machines sold over the weekend.  With even more machines up for sale in 2008, look for American Thunder’s coverage in of the auction to be better than ever. 

 “The international flavor of the Las Vegas Auction gives Wheels Through Time an exemplary opportunity to shares its knowledge and contribution to the motorcycle industry with a very broad radio and television audience,” said Walksler.  “We are extremely proud to work with both American Thunder and USA Biker Nation, and hope that all of their viewers and listeners enjoy the broadcasts.”

 For information on USA Biker Nation, visit their website, located at www.usabikernation.com. And for information on SPEED TV’s American Thunder, visit www.americanthundertv.com.

 The Wheels Through Time Museum is America’s finest collection of vintage transporations, and is open to the public 360 days per year.  The museum is located right of Highway 19 in Maggie Valley. For more information, visit the museum’s new video website, located at www.WheelsThroughTime.com. 

Speed Channel Features Wheels Through Time

On Sunday 23, December, 2007, Speed Channel’s hit series My Classic Car brings the world to Maggie Valley, NC, showcasing the Wheels Through Time Museum. The hit show, hosted by automotive guru Dennis Gage, airs this Sunday at 10:00 a.m., and comes to Maggie Valley to get a glimpse at one of the World’s best antique automotive and motorcycle museums and take a ride in a few of America’s rarest vintage automobiles.

My Classic Car,

Talk show host and comedian Jay Leno, an avid collector of everything automotive, once commented on the "Tonight Show" that My Classic Car was his favorite television program.

The show’s host, Dennis Gage, is well-known for his seemingly boundless enthusiasm, his trademark "handlebar" mustache, and the catchphrase with which he ends every show, "Honor the timeless classics".

On his visit to Wheels Through Time, Gage holds true to his catchphrase, highlighting many of the rare and historic automobiles housed the museum. Gage and museum curator, Dale Walksler, also take a ride on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway in a rare 1930 Cadillac V-16 Coupe, one of the many vintage autos at the museum ready for everyday use. "After driving and riding in this car, it was clearly apparent why Cadillac set the benchmark for luxury and performance for American cars," said Gage.

Initially broadcast on TNN the show about classic automobiles now airs on SPEED channel, one of America’s fastest growing cable networks and the leader in televised Motorsports. My Classic Car has received numerous awards, including Industry Recognition Awards, International Automotive Media Awards, and the 2003 State Tourism Award in the Broadcast Travel Media category at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Biloxi, Mississippi.

For more information on My Classic Car and the Wheels Through Time Museum, check out the MCC website at www.myclassiccar.com or visit the museum’s new video website, located at www.wheelsthroughtime.com.

now in its 11th season, travels the country visiting some of the most prestigious car shows, events, and venues in North America. The series features major automobile shows and collections, with many episodes focusing on celebrities and prolific car collectors. According to the show, "When it comes to the universal passion for the automobile, neither gender nor age is excluded and with muscle cars, hot rods, local cruise-ins, museums, and more, My Classic Car has something for everyone.

Project Crustoration

1948 Panhead Gets a "Crustoration"

The last few day have been unbelievable. A few months ago, my good friend Buzz Kanter from American Iron and I had spoke about bringing his 1948 Panhead down to Wheels Through Time to get her all fixed up and running for a story in his magazine about the project. 

The bike hadn’t run in who knows how long, and at one time or another, had been improperly restored with lots of shiny chrome and a bad paint job. Since the bike was already together, we decided, instead of restoring the bike, we’d instead make it run like a top and look like it had been sitting for 60-some-odd years. And since there’s no technical name for this process, we decided to call it a “crustoration”.  

Well, Buzz and his pal Jim showed up on Monday morning ready to get to work. I had my son, Matt, and my friend Matt Olsen, from Aberdeen, SD jump in on the project with some much needed help. 

More than Motorcycle Restoration

When we unloaded the bike, it looked to be in operable condition, so my first thought was to put in some gas and fire it up. That we did, and as you can guess, we got it running in about 20 min.  It smoked like a chimney, so, after a bit of conversing, we diagnosed the problem….worn piston rings.  

We got the top-end torn down while the bike was still warm, which helped everything come a part a bit easier.  After a thorough top-end rebuild, we had the bike nearly reassembled completely.   At this point, we began swapping shiny parts for dull ones, and began working on the “incorrect” shiny blue paint, in an effort to “dirty it up a bit”.  All that dirt and grime on the far corners of the shop came in handy for this. 

Why we’re the "Museum that Runs"

After about a two days of parts swapping, repainting, and everything else 3 guys can do to a bike to make it a “runner”, we had it almost ready to go.  Matt, Matt, and myself had put in about 40 hours a piece in 2 and a half days, and the work was really beginning to pay off.  We had taken a 2-bit restoration and brought it to what looked like a barn-fresh, never touched, 1948 milestone motorcycle.  It just shows you, when you get a bunch of guys to put their minds to making a motorcycle run great and look better, it’ll happen.  

On the third day, we added a few finishing touches and prepped the bike for starting.  After some still unexplained timing mishaps, the bike fired up on the first kick.  What a machine!

Dale Walksler Tinkers in his Shop

So test rides were in order, and each of us jumped on and gave it go.  It didn’t take Matt Olsen long to get a little dirty, after what looked like a small mud puddle turned into a 10-inch deep mud pit.  So when you hear the name, Mudpit Matt, now you know where it came from. 

We pulled the half submerged bike out of the mud and jumped back on for some more burnouts in the parking lot, and then sent Buzz and Jim on their way back to Connecticut. They left with exactly what they were looking for….a perfect running, older looking, dirty, original 1948 piece of true American Iron.