The last two months have been incredibly busy for Dian and me.
Early March was a field trip for the restoration staff at Barbers to the Amelia Island Florida Concours. We took 6 bikes and a F1 1964 Ferrari Type 158 that John Surtees won the drivers` championship with. The theme for the bikes was the high banking at Daytona which is why we took Daytona winning race bikes, including the Britten, that drew a crowd every time it was fired up.
The following weekend found me in Las Vegas for the Mecums Cole Auction of early American bikes. Pretty amazing prices, would you ever imagine bidding half a million on a bike and being passed like you had the brakes on! The Barber Museum did take home two bikes, a 1907 Merkel light and a 1903 Apache; both single cylinder models and single speed
April was Kevin’s, our son, 30th birthday. Three weeks later he got married to a wonderful woman, Banu, in Jackson, Mississippi. The wedding was a good excuse to get all of our friends together to celebrate. Dian really wanted to see her hero, Valentino Rossi, at the MotoGP in Austin, Texas in April, but as we were unofficial wedding planners, it would have been a little tight. Even Rossi fans have their priorities!
May was just as busy. I was invited to Pinehurst Concourse in NC, about 90 miles from Charlotte. This was the first year for bikes, third for automobiles. Pinehurst Golf Resort is famous and the 1895 hotel was fabulous. I had to sing for my supper by being a judge with Somer Hooker. This is always a tough job, as there were some really beautiful bikes on show. The winner was a 1970 BMW, which I thought as too modern, until Somer reminded me that it was over 45 years old – reality check!
Just returned from Pinehurst and left for a State liquidation sale in Cuba, MO. Cuba is a small farming town 100 miles west of St. Louis on I-44 (Route 66 used to go through the center of town). This was a two-day sale, everything to be sold so the State could take care of the elderly owner. This guy collected everything, cars, bikes, farm engine, outboards and Aero motors. It took two weeks to move
bikes and cars to another location so you could get in the four buildings to look at the contents. This guy set light to his trailer and truck bodies and they contained two Porsche 356s and a 1950`s Manx Norton. Need I say more.
In May we had the first Barber’s Historic, a vintage car race based on the bike event, which will be the 11th year this October. I loved the old F1 cars, in particular a 1960’s Lotus with the driver sporting a open face helmet with a white scarf over his mouth, shades of Jimmy Clark. For a first time event it went really well and will continue to grow.
Dian and I have been invited to the Riding Through History Show in St. Augustine, FL. This will be the third time I’ve attended the show, with David Aldana being Grand Marshal, things should get lively! I did a live radio show for the event, at this rate I’ll need an agent!
Only downside is all this socializing has cut into my riding time, so that has to change. I actually sold the KLR 650, which had been in the family for at least 10 years. I tipped it over in the yard and Dian and I struggled to upright the KLR, she told me I needed a lighter bike, so I went all retro. Found a 1988 Honda NX250, 260 lbs. dry and about 25 horsepower. The latest Honda 250 street legal bike is
over 310 lbs. and only 23 hp and mine was cheaper and is rated at 70 mpg! Been checking it over and typical Honda from the 1988-89 era. Remember the Trans Alp, Pacific Coast and Hawk, all a little ahead of their time – nice details and quality. Honda is going to release a new Africa Twin here next year, where was that 25 years ago?
On the horizon is a BMW un-rally in Wisconsin and the Norton Rally in Asheville, NC. That rally will be a lot closer than 2 years ago when we rode to Buffalo, WY.
That’s it for now. Oh, the Museum has a new Kawasaki H2 and its powerful brother the H2R.