WARREN, OHIO, JAN. 11—Nestled between the curvaceous fenders and wire wheels of the classic Packard motorcars that normally inhabit the National Packard Museum are 30 motorcycles along with 10 bicycles starring in the museum’s 14th annual motorcycle exhibit. “3 for 10” may seem like an odd title for the exhibit, but motorcycle curator Bruce Williams explains, “There are three motorcycles representing each of 10 decades.” Ahhhh!
A 1917 Harley model T takes its place alongside a 1916 Miami, 1915 Austro Omega, 1904 Columbia Single, 1909 Neckarsulm and a 1909 Thor to kick off the first two decades. These bikes range from beautifully restored to completely original condition. While some of the earlier models look a lot like bicycles, the Harley has the more robust look of a modern motorcycle. Each decade features specific signage that relates the world history, Packard history and motorcycle history of the times. Displays also thoughtfully include the average price of common consumer goods for their respective decades.
Notable bikes on display for those with “Made in the U.S.A.” tastes are: ’26 Harley JD; ’29 101 Indian Scout; ’34 Indian Four; ’37 H-D UL; ’43 741 Indian Military Scout; ’48 Whizzer Wasp; ’48 H-D Servi Car; ’55 H-D FL Panhead; ’57 KR750 flat tracker, ridden by George Roeder to victory in 1967 at the San Jose half-mile; ’66 H-D 250 Sprint; ’73 H-D Sportster, which was the first bike off the York plant assembly line, owned by Marc and Nita Duell of Greenville, Pennsylvania (see www.thunderpressed.wpengine.com for the “Sportster Number Zero” feature); ’76 Rokon; and a ’95 H-D Electra Glide. If you’re counting, that’s 13 American-made bikes on display!
The exhibit also includes 10 bicycles—one for each decade. While many may be worth a mint like the 1900 Columbia Hi-Wheeler, my favorite was the Schwinn Lemon Crate.
Motorcycles from other lands were also featured in the exhibit. There were AJS’s, Ducatis, Suzukis, Kawasakis and more than one Honda. But the red and white 1964 Honda 50 Super Cub is sure to get your attention. It’s the kind of bike you were supposed to “meet the nicest people on.” This particular “50” was donated by Richard and Nancy Bee and restored by various friends of the museum to benefit the museum as a raffle bike. Tickets are just $10 and the drawing will be held at the exhibit’s close on May 31.
If you’re going, you may want to time your visit with one of the museum’s Saturday morning lecture series. Each lecture runs from 11:00 a.m. to noon, and those scheduled include:
February 8—“Preserving Manuals and Memorabilia in the Digital Age”
Presenter: Rachel Sulyok, Bedford, Ohio
March 8—“Hands-On Motorcycle Restoration Tips”
April 12—“Riding (bicycles that is) in Northeast Ohio”
Presenter: John Brown, Warren, Ohio
May 10—“Group Riding Safety”
Presenter: Al Navecky, Warren, Ohio
The motorcycle exhibit is made possible each year through the dedication and support of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America Lake Erie Chapter, generous sponsors and lenders. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Adult admission is $8, seniors (65 and over) $5 and $5 for children ages 7–12. (Under 7 are free.) To learn more visit www.nationalpackardmuseum.org or call 330.394.1899.
Admission also includes access to a variety of priceless Packard automobiles on display and an assortment of Packard engines and memorabilia.