On Tuesday, August 26th Wheels Through Time will be hosting the cast and crew of “MotorWeek” –television’s original automotive magazine– during shoot for one of their upcoming episodes on Velocity TV. The show heads to Maggie Valley to give viewers a glimpse inside the museum and talk history with curator and founder Dale Walksler.
MotorWeek is America’s longest running automotive television series, premiering on October 15, 1981. Hosted by Emmy Award winner and show creator John Davis, its one of the most reliable sources of automotive news on television on the web. Each year, MotorWeek tests over 150 cars and trucks, offering consumer oriented reviews on performance, technology, practicality, and dollar value. Presented in magazine-type format, episodes include vehicle reviews, comparisons, news, and also special features — which is why they cast and crew are headed to Wheels Through Time next week.
As the show’s host, Davis is among the most trusted names in automotive journalism, and has been featured on CNN, Weekend Today, and LIVE with Regis and Kelly. Over the past three decades, Davis has kept his foot on the accelerator, developing MotorWeek into the premier source for unbiased information what’s new in the automotive world. The show is now in its 30th season and is seen nationwide on PBS and Velocity.
While the show primarily focuses on what’s new in the automotive world, they couldn’t pass on an opportunity to share one of the world’s premier collections of rare and historic American motorcycles and automobiles. Wheels Through Time houses over 350 unique machines inside of its 38,000 square foot facility, including numerous experimental, racing, and one-of-a-kind examples. Although the machines they’ll be viewing aren’t new, they represent their era’s cutting edge of technology and performance on both road and track.
For more information on MotorWeek’s visit to Wheels Through Time, visit www.WheelsThroughTime.com or call (828) 926-6266.
Doug Wothke, known in the motorcycle industry as “Around-The-World Doug”, has been around the world on a motorcycle 4 times! The bikes he rode on the different journey’s include a 1948 Indian Chief a Harley-Davidson Panhead, a Sportster dirt-bike conversion and a rigid shovel-head.
Doug’s most recent adventure crossing was the Trans America Trail on a 1989 Harley-Davidson with sidecar- he was the first person to cross the trail on a Harley! The trail is 5,000 miles of mostly unpaved road. Doug completed the trail despite hitting some bumps along the way.
To follow Doug’s journeys or read about past trips, please visit: http://motosapiens.org/motocamp/
Affectionately known as “Slow Joe”, Joe Gardella is not only a Legend at Wheels Through Time, but also a good friend of the museums. Joe has ridden in the Motorcycle Cannonball Run twice- 2010 and 2012 on a 1914 Harley-Davidson Twin Single placing 12th in 2010 and 2nd in 2012!
In addition to crossing the country twice on a 100 year old motorcycle, Joe has participated in the Barber Motorsports Race of the Century 4 times. This race requires a 100-year or older motorcycle and Joe has ridden a 1907 Curtis, a 1909 Harley-Davidson, a 1911 Belt-Driven Harley and a 1912 HD Twin.
Joe has also road-raced Ducati’s and built numerous old bikes over the years.
Gerald “Chip” Sutinen, Jr. is a drag racer for Team Half-Fast who has raced AHDRA for 8 years and AMRA for 6 years, as well as being a friend of the museum. Chip’s wife Maus is his co-crew chief and manger. Chip and Maus run a “mom-and-pop” race team and participate in 5 different classes. The pair competes primarily on the east coast and Midwest over 8 times a year.
Next time you’re at an AMRA Drag Racing event, be sure to keep your eye out for Team Half-Fast!
For more information, please visit: www.TeamHalfFast.com
Dave Barr is a true legend, not just at Wheels Through Time, but in the motorcycle world in general. Despite losing both of his legs in an explosion in Angola in 1981, Dave rode around the world on a 1972 Harley-Davidson over the course of 6 years.
Dave started his journey in September of 1990 and completed it in May, 1994. He traveled across six continents and over 83,000 miles. He is the first person with a major disability to cross the world on a motorcycle from north to south and east to west!
More recently Dave set a Guinness World record by completing the “Southern Cross” in Australia- the first ever motorcycle trip between the far four corners of Australia! Keep your eyes out for a documentary of this incredible journey.
Dave made his first visit to Wheels Through Time in August of 2013 and we knew before he arrived that he was a perfect fit for our Legends gallery. We at the museum are extremely honored that Dave made a stop here and continues to visit us today.
For more information, or to purchase Dave’s books, please visit: http://www.davebarr.com/
Hit TV Series and New Member Program Bring Record Numbers in 2014
As the summer of 2014 winds to a close, and many area businesses and attractions being to prepare for another busy leaf season in Western NC, Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC is picking up steam like never before. Since opening for the year in late-March, the museum has hosted over 110,000 visitors making 2014 its busiest season to date. And it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon! With the busiest months just around the corner, the all-American transportation museum is poised to add to what has already been a record year.
Museum staff credits part of the museum’s success in 2014 to a very successful second season of Velocity’s hit television series “What’s In The Barn?”, which follows museum curator Dale Walksler and his son Matt across the country in search of motorcycle history in unusual places. Season one aired in June of 2013 and was met with rave reviews from viewers. Season two began in early June of 2014, and since, the museum has been getting busier by the week. The show can be seen in over 60 million homes in the U.S. and dozens of countries around the world.
The museum’s new Seasonal Member Program has also had great success in attracting repeat visitors. When visitors to Wheels Through Time purchase a Museum “Member-Chip” for only $20, they receive a special edition 2014 Wheels Through Time poker chip which designates them as a season ticket holder. With a “Member-Chip”, visitors receive free admission through the duration of the year. 2015 Museum “Member-Chips” will be available in October.
With visitors flocking in by the thousands, Wheels Through Time has continued to develop new exhibits and displays to keep things fresh inside the museum. This year alone, numerous rare and historic machines have been added to the collection, many of which have appeared on episodes of “What’s in the Barn?”. A central feature exhibit showcasing the finds from show is among the most viewed areas in the museum, displaying a range of extraordinary “barn finds” dating back to 1904.
Projections estimate that Wheels Through Time could see over 150,000 visitors total by the close of its 2014 season at the end of November, nearly doubling the museum’s attendance during previous years. And with season three of “What’s in the Barn?” already in the works, its clear that Maggie Valley’s motorcycle paradise is gaining momentum that will last for years to come.