Vintage Motorcycles Take the Track
The Barber Motorsports Park hosts the sixth annual Barber Vintage Festival the weekend of October 8–10 at the world-class racing and museum facility near Leeds. The festival includes vintage motorcycle races staged by the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA), the largest organization in the nation devoted to restoring and racing classic motorcycles from eras past. The Barber event is the final event on the AHRMA’s 2010 schedule.
The festival also offers auctions of motorcycle parts, memorabilia, mechanic tools, and customized motorcycles known as “project bikes” built by enthusiasts from around the world. A swap meet will take place, including 400 vendor booths offering motorcycle-related items. Vintage motorcycles will be exhibited, in addition to the more than 1,000 bikes (500 are on display at any given time) in the Barber Motorsports Museum, showcasing the evolution of motorcycles from the early 1900s to the present. The museum also features an impressive collection of Porsche, Lotus, and Ferrari race cars.
The Third Annual “Motorcycles by Moonlight Dinner” will include legendary motorsports champion John Surtees as the featured speaker. Surtees won several world championships racing motorcycles in the 1950s. In 1960 at age 26, he switched to automobiles, finishing a stunning second in the British Grand Prix in his second auto race at the top level of racing. A native of Britain, Surtees is the only person to win world championships on motorcycles and in automobiles, including the Formula 1 World Championship in 1964, driving a Ferrari. After retiring from racing, Surtees became renowned for designing and building racing machines when not managing racing teams.
There will also be some unique motorcycle races at this event, including the Century Race, which involves bikes that are a minimum of 100 years old (some look more like bicycles than motorcycles). On the track there will be competitions for all classes of road racing machines, from 1920s-era hand shifter V-twins to booming Grand Prix single-cylinder machines. Off-road fans can enjoy vintage motocross, trials competitions, and cross-country—an hour-long race through the woods. Other highlights are a Wall of Death (in which motorcyclists ride in a circle, horizontally), vintage fire trucks, and an air show by the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, flying four North American T-6 Texans. &
Barber Vintage Festival, Barber Motorsports Park, 6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Birmingham. Tickets: $15–$35, children 12 and under free with ticketholder; additional cost to camp on site. Details: 699-7275, www.barbervintagefestival.org.