Photos courtesy National Packard Museum.
Since 2001, the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, has hosted an annual antique motorcycle exhibit, many of which have drawn top honors from the Antique Motorcycle Federation and the National Association of Automobile Museums. The 2016 exhibit, which opened on January 9 and runs through June 12, centers on “barn find” bikes, pulled from “corn cribs and cow sheds as far away as France.”
What’s in your barn? features something for everyone with a passion for two-wheeled transportation. The oldest bike on display, and one not familiar to many on these shores, is a 1939 Terrot, a 100cc ‘Velomoteur’ (what we’d call a moped) that could be operated by those without a motorcycle license. The newest bike on the list, a 1983 Honda CX-650 Turbo, represents the opposite end of the performance spectrum and recalls the very brief period in the early 1980s when all three major Japanese manufacturers toyed with turbocharged production motorcycles.
For those with a passion for American iron, the exhibit features a 1948 Harley-Davidson Servicar, a 1965 Harley-Davidson Panhead, a 1975 Harley-Davidson Sportster, and a 1946 Indian Chief. On the German bike side, there’s a 1955 Horex Imperator, a 1975 BMW ISDT replica, and a 1977 Maico 250 Cross; including all European-built bikes would add a 1964 Allstate 125cc, built by Austria’s Steyr Daimler Puch, and 1965 Vespa scooter, built in Italy. A single Russian bike, a 1956 Zid 125cc, is also featured in the exhibit.
As one would guess from their popularity in the U.S. market, What’s in your barn? is dominated by British and Japanese bikes from brands like BSA, Royal Enfield, Vincent, Ariel, Triumph, Norton, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. Some motorcycles are presented in restored condition, while others are, in the words of the museum, “barn fresh.”
The annual exhibit serves to educate museum goers about transportation history, while promoting the restoration or preservation of antique motorcycles. Of the latest exhibit, Mary Ann Porinchak, the museum’s Executive Director, said,
This year’s exhibit… is a celebration of motorcycle history and the passion of the enthusiasts whose vision of what the “barn find” had been and what it can be again, inspires them to bring these machines back to life.
As with previous exhibits, What’s in your barn? also features a Saturday “Coffee and Donuts” lecture series, beginning with Restoration vs Preservation: How to care for Motorcycles on February 20. A motorcycle movie night follows on March 22, and the series concludes with a rider safety discussion, followed by vintage group ride, on May 14.
For more information on the exhibit or other happenings at the museum, visit PackardMuseum.org.