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.

brittracin

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…..

WTT Headed to 2014 Las Vegas Auction!

lasvegasauctionfbComing 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.

DSC_0647For 2014, Dale has upped the ante.  This year, he’s got six auction slots to fill and will be bringing several rare early American motorcycles from the barn to the bidder.  Bikes include a rare 1914 Jefferson Racer, an original 1912 Pope, one of only a handful of 1913 Arrows, a 1926 Super X, and a hot-rod 1928 Harley-Davidson 2-cam Cutdown! That leaves one spot out of six left, and Dale’s promised to keep this one a surprise.

Each of these bikes has a great story to tell.  The 1914 Jefferson, ’12 Pope, and 1914 Jefferson are from the Dave Leitner Collection, with all work performed by 2-time Motorcycle Cannonball Winner, Brad Wilmarth. The 1926 Super X was featured on a 1st season episode of “Whats In the Barn?”, and was once owned by Jim Gallager, who played a part in keeping the rare Crocker marque of motorcycle on the road.  And lastly, the 1928 Harley-Davidson Cutdown, which was built by 90-year-old antique motorcycle guru, Glenn Harding.  Glenn built the bike from the ground up, and will be donating all of the proceeds from the sale to his church!

Its going to be quite a weekend, with over 600 bikes in the sale and the world of old motorcycles waiting to bid.

For more information on the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction, visit MidAmericaAuctions.com.