Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

8th Annual Barber Vintage Festival - Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  November 1, 2012

In Alabama, October signals the change of seasons. Changing leaves, Halloween, and the Vintage Festival at Barber Motorsports Park converge on Alabama. October 12 kicked off the 8th annual Vintage Festival, presented by Triumph, and ran through the 14th.

The Festival has a wide range of “stuff” going on, from racing, to shopping at the swap meet, or drooling through the museum, home to over 1300 motorcycles and 85 cars with 750 of the bikes on display all year round. This is also one of the times they open the restoration level to the public. 

Friday night, the museum held their 5th annual Motorcycles by Moonlight Gala to benefit the museum with special guest Gene Romero, Paul Smart, Dave Aldana and host Alan Cathcart. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday had seminars with John Healey, Don Hutchinson, Leo Goff, Steve Hall and Max Nightingale.

On up the road from the museum was the America’s First Federal Credit Union Fan Zone, where you could find the Wall of Death, the Globe of Death, and displays from the Southern Vintage Fire Apparatus Association and Triumph Dealers of North America. The vendors on hand were American National Property & Casualty, Art of the Bike, Atlanta Motorcycle Works, BMW of Pensacola, BMW Ducati Motorcycles of Atlanta Motus Motorcycles, Speigler Performance Parts, Southern Honda Powersports, Terry’s Two Wheel, Cone Engineering, Hagerty Insurance, Road Gear, Silver Eagle Outfitters, Ohlins USA, Held USA, Fuller Hot Rods, Dixie Home Crafters, Truck Worx and SBK Factory.

Also in the Fan Zone were the bike shows from the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, Motorcycle Classics Magazine and the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club. The Antique Motorcycle Club had parade laps around the park on Friday and Sunday. The Century Race, where everything is at least 100 years old, featured bikes like a 1906 Griffon V-Twin, a 1911 Indian single, a 1909 Excelsior, a 1912 Abington King Dick and a 1912 Indian Twin. The race took place Saturday during the lunch break. The race along with the parade laps are always a lot of fun to watch.

Up the road from the Fan Zone was the enormous Swap Meet area, with over 250 vendors, and Jerry Wood’s Cyclemarket & Auction, where they helped market people’s vintage motorcycles. You can find most anything in this area; it’s really cool just wandering in and around all of the “stuff.”

As you go on into the park you find, among the many iron art pieces, the MotoCross race area nestled into the woods, where the “dirt rats” were having a blast kicking up dust.

This year, in partnership with Ace Café London and Dime City Cycles, they brought in the “Ace Corner” experience where guests had the opportunity to chill-lax at the legendary Ace Café and enjoy some hot food like fish and chips and burgers, cold drinks, which included beer and wine, and the chance to load up on all things café racer oriented. Saturday morning they had a “Ride with the Rockers” and a ride-in bike show. Later that night, the band “The Cigar Store Indians” entertained everyone.

The air show and the motorcycle stunt show with Ernie Vigil and Nick Brocha were back to thrill everyone during the lunch breaks on Saturday and Sunday. The Aerostars air show is really something to see. The FAA stopped them from flying over the track this year and doing the mock air fight, which is awesome, but they still had the cool rolls, breakaways and loops. They just didn’t get as close to the people as they do with the air fight, and there was no “BOOM.” Those guys on the bikes are nuts! All you could hear around you was, “Oh!” and “WOW.” It was pretty cool.

I don’t know if it was a record crowd or not, but Saturday morning on the way in we encountered a traffic jam like we hadn’t remembered seeing inside the park. The parking around the museum had spilled out and lined the edge of the road. The trams were running non-stop; there were just that many people there.

A really great weekend. We look forward to this every year, and apparently so do thousands of others around the country.

Ride-On! Write-On! & Roll Tide!

Ride-On! Write-On! & Roll Tide!

By Lynn Reynolds and

Leigh Lilly