The Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley is celebrating its 8th Anniversary in Maggie Valley this July 4th weekend. The anniversary festivities will run from Thursday through Monday, July 1-5, from 9a.m.-5p.m.. Regarded as the country’s premier collection of American motorcycles, the museum officially opened its doors Independence Day weekend of 2002, and has since hosted over 500,000 visitors to the new Western NC location.
During the anniversary weekend, the museum will be giving away 500 American Flags to visitors throughout the weekend in celebration of our nations birthday. Veterans, active-duty, and retired military will receive complimentary admission to the museum, and will be awarded with an honorary 2-year museum membership for their service to our country. During the Wheels Through Time’s last Veteran’s Salute, held over Memorial Day weekend, the museum gave away almost 300 memberships to past and present service members.
"Its our way of thanking all those who have served our country past and present," says Walksler. "On our nations birthday, its important to recognize all those who have help make our country what it is today"
As part of the museum’s 8th anniversary celebration, the staff will be firing up eight of the rarest machines in the museum collection dating back to 1903. "The line-up of machines we have prepared for this weekend reads like a ‘who’s who’ of America’s rarest motorcycles," said museum curator, Dale Walksler. "Many of these machines are so rare that they can only be seen by the public eye in one place — at Wheels Through Time."
Of the rare machines slated for regular demonstration over the weekend, few have been run for visitors over the museum’s eight year operations in Maggie Valley. Among these machines are a rare 1909 Pierce four-cylinder motorcycle formerly owned by Steve McQueen; a very rare 1912 belt-driven Excelsior in original condition; and the museum’s 1903 Indian, which is both the museum’s oldest machine and the world’s oldest running Indian motorcycle. However, the highlights of the weekend demonstrations will include the firing several "one-of-a-kind" motorcycles that are considered to be some of the rarest motorcycles in existance. The world’s only existing 1909 Reading Standard racer, what is regarded as the world’s most intricate early American racing motorcycle, will be run for the first time since the museum’s relocation, as will the museum’s 1921 serial number #1 Harley-Davidson SCA boardtrack racer.
But perhaps the most intriguing machine to be demonstrated over 4th of July weekend will be the museum’s 1917 Traub. Regarded as the rarest motorcycle in the world, the Traub has a story that’s puzzled historians and enthusiasts since it was discovered over 40 years ago. Found behind a brick wall during the renovation of a Chicago apartment building in 1967, the Traub is a marvel of engineering unrivaled by even the largest motorcycle manufacturers of the era. Thought to be the only Traub motorcycle ever produced, the machine is decades ahead of its time, yet no clue to its origin exists. It has been on display at Wheels Through Time since 1995 and continues to baffle even the most seasoned of vintage motorcycle experts, with its unique styling, intricate design, and incomparable power for its era.
Founded in 1992 by museum curator, Dale Walksler, Wheels Through Time houses over 320 all-American made machines dating back to 1903, and over 25,000 pieces of memorabilia telling the story of America’s 100-plus year love of transportation. Nearly all of the hundreds of machines within the museum’s walls are kept in running and operating condition, and are run regularly to give visitors a deeper glimpse into their usefulness, purpose, and capability.
The museum’s 8th Anniversary Celebration will run from Thursday-Monday, July 1-5, from 9a.m.-5p.m. Demonstrations and exhibitions of many of America’s rarest two- and four-wheeled machines will be held throughout the weekend.
For more information about the Wheels Through Time Museum, visit their video website, located at www.WheelsThroughTime.com, or call (828) 926-6266.