There are those things that change, and those that stay the same. For Birmingham, change is welcomed, but staying true to our roots is in our blood.
This past weekend, Barber Motorsports presented the 12th annual Vintage MotorCycle Festival. To say the least, Barber did one heck of a job to represent Bham to those across the country.
George Barber, in 1988, started the Barber Motorsports Museum from his personal collection in hopes to preserve American motorcycle history.
1994 – the museum finally opened, and in 2003 – the location moved to its current area in Leeds. The museum is proclaimed as the largest collection of Vintage Motorcycles in the world.
Full of life and passion. Those I was surrounded by this past Saturday, simply put, love motorcycles and want to share it with those who are interested. I was a bit out of my element, but I learned a valuable lesson as I strolled around the park; do what you love, love what you do, and stick to your guns of what makes you happy.
Here is my Adventure:
Paddock Club/Race Control Building Area
Constant maintenance is required to keep these Vintage machines in running condition. The abundance of tents was astounding while each housed on average 4 motorcycles; these guys seriously love what they do!
The Paddock is the location of multiple parking spots, all reserved for the racers and their equipment, and of the race control center. The 3 story building looks over and gives a wonderful view of about half the track.
On the South West side of the property, a variety of vendors (obviously geared toward the Vintage Motorcycle culture) set up shop to showcase their personal relics.
The literal description, provided by Barber, of this massive Swap Meet:
- One of the only sports/racing car oriented swap meets in the country.
- Vendors will be highlighting everything from parts and memorabilia to services and complete cars.
- Turn your old parts, memorabilia and literature into cash!
- Get your club together and clean out everybody’s garage!
To really do justice for how much these people love their culture, campers showed up at least 2 days before the first day (Friday) and stayed on the park grounds!
The exclusive Ace Corner. For $10, viewers had the “best seat in the house (TURN 17). Grab a cold beer and relax in the most unique, hilltop setting at Barber Motorsport Park.”
On the Track
Tensions are high when trying to organize 5-6 races into one day. Props to the pit crew who kept things running smoothly, even with some difficulties among riders.
#21 broke down right as the 3rd race began. As mentioned, tensions were high to get this guy off the track (probably 75 years old btw, they truly love racing).
My favorite part of the day was walking around the center of the track. There is a massive iron spider that is an infamous symbol of Barber.
Some may wonder, “what is up with all of these iron statues placed around the track?” Due to prime passing opportunities (especially the one above), where the spider is located is called “Charlotte’s Web“.
These give Barber a unique personality!
All in all, the 12th annual Barber Motorsports Vintage Motorcycle Festival was one for the books! I was welcomed by all who attended and it was certainly a pleasure to learn about the passion these men and women have for vintage life.