After a full year of anticipation, the Annual Wheels Through Time Museum Motorcycle Raffle Giveaway is in the books, and another lucky winner has been chosen to take home a piece of genuine motorcycle history.
On Saturday, November 18th, over 2500 visitors from near and far descended on Wheels Through Time to witness the museum’s 11th Annual Raffle in as many years. Dry weather and warm November temperatures made for a perfect day for the event, which draws one of the biggest museum crowds of the year. A TV production crew at Wheels Through Time was also on hand to film the event for an upcoming episode of “What’s in the Barn?”, Velocity’s new hit series, which stars museum curator, Dale Walksler.
The raffle is WTT’s largest fundraiser, and helps keep the museum up and running. Each year, proceeds go directly to creating new exhibits, enhancing current displays, expanding interpretation, and improving general operations. This year’s Grand Prize was a stunner — a beautiful 1939 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Bobber brought back to life in the Wheels Through Time Restoration Shop.
Many of the visitors took part in the Annual Haywood County Toy Run, which began in Canton, NC and made its way to WTT in Maggie Valley. Now in its 22nd year, the Haywood County Toy Run brings thousands of motorcyclists together to raise funds for underprivileged youth in Haywood County. Put on by Blue Ridge Thunder Motorcycle Club, the run has raised approximately $150,000 since it began in 1992. This year, almost 1000 bikes signed up from the run, from as far away as New York and Texas. When it came time for the drawing, one little girl from the crowd was chosen to pick the winning ticket.
The Grand Prize winner was Mr. Randy Horn from Chester, South Carolina. Randy visited the museum with friends in June 2013, during the museum’s “What’s In the Barn?” Season Premier Party. While touring the museum, Randy took a chance on the ’39 Knucklehead Bobber and purchased 14 tickets for the drawing. Little did he know, that less than six month later, he would be chosen as the lucky winner of a WTT-built classic.
It didn’t take long for Randy to decide that he’s taking the bike instead of the cash prize. “I was working…having one of the worst ay’s I’d had in a while,” he said. “Ther couldn’t have been a better thing to brighten my day!” It’ll make a great addition to the garage.
Luckily, Randy has a bit of experience when it comes to old motorcycles. He owns a few himself, including a 1947 Knucklehead that he’s been riding for over 30 years! He has been a member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America for 12 years, and is the current president of the club’s Catawba Chapter, which is based near his home in South Carolina. He has visited the museum on several occasions since it relocated to Maggie Valley, the first time being in 2002 before the museum was officially open. He’s been buying tickets for the annual motorcycle raffle since his first few visits, each time assuring himself that “This year, this bike is gonna be mine!”
This makes the second year in a row that a member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America has won the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Raffle Grand Prize. Last year’s winner was James Eldridge from High Ridge, Missouri. James has been spotted at various AMCA meets and ride-ins on the museum’s previous raffle machine — a 1932 Harley-Davidson VL Hot Rod Bobber.
And in case you were wondering how Wheels Through Time is going to up the ante for the 2014 Motorcycle Giveaway, Dale and crew have decided to offer not one, but two Grand Prize machines for next years raffle — a pair of hot-rod Harley-Davidson VL Flathead Bobbers. The pair will be raffled off next November to two lucky winners. For more information on the 2014 Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Raffle, visit www.WheelsThroughTime.com/2014raffle.