“˜Tis the season for creating special memories with loved ones”¦and your favorite vintage vehicles! December is a wonderful time to visit ACM and this guide will help you to take advantage of all the Museum has to offer.
On Saturday, July 30, hundreds of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts will converge on America’s Car Museum’s Haub Family Field for the Vintage Motorcycle Festival: The MEET at ACM. The event will feature vintage motorcycles and scooters from all over the west coast, the Pacific Northwest and even Canada! Of the hundreds of beautiful examples of history on 2 wheels, here are 4 notable bikes you won’t want to miss on the field.
1941 Indian Chief
Not quite in the same conundrum category as chickens and eggs, the question of which came first between Indian and Harley-Davidson is no less interesting. The belief that both got their start in 1901 is true only to a point. True, William S. Harley did draw up plans for a small engine to be mounted to a bicycle in that year, however actual production units did not hit the streets until 1903. Indian, on the other hand, had a motorcycle for sale in 1901. The two companies duked it out well into the 1940s and 50s when Harley finally won the longevity war. If you want to know more about this fascinating rivalry, check out Allan Girdler’s book, The Harley-Davidson and Indian Wars.
1948 Harley Davidson Servi-Car
This interesting little trike helped Harley-Davidson survive lean times following the Clutch Plague. Built from 1932 to 1974, the Servi-Car was originally targeted at the automotive service industry. Initially designed to be towed behind a car being delivered to a customer, the mechanic would then unhook it, hop on and ride it back to the service garage. Also popular for use as a small business utility and mobile vendor vehicle, the Servi-Car is probably best known for its police duty, generally for traffic and parking law enforcement.
1950 Moto Guzzi
Established in 1921, Moto Guzzi holds the record as Europe’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer in terms of continuous production. Moto Guzzis earned their reputation both on the racing circuit and test track with many pioneering technical innovations. And let’s face it they have the coolest name! I may have to get one just so I can say it with an affected Italian accent.
1977 Kawasaki kZ1000
In addition to being a heck of a ride, the Kawasaki kZ1000 is something of a film & TV star and several examples will be on the field during the VMF. CHIP TV series patrolmen Ponch and Jon cruised the roads of California on kZ1000s. One source has it that fourteen of the bikes used in the filming of Mad Max were modified kZ1000s. And of course, if you ever find yourself needing to outrun the blast wave from a low-yield nuclear explosion, this is your bike. Just ask motorcycle mega-nut Keanu Reeves. He did just that astride a kZ1000 in the movie Chain Reaction.
Don’t miss the Vintage Motorcycle Festival: The MEET at ACM
More than 2,500 classic motorcycle enthusiasts will gather on America’s Car Museum’s Haub Family Field for this unique event featuring hundreds of vintage motorcycles and scooters ranging from 1910 to 1990, including rare Triumphs, Ducatis, BMWs and more. Virtually every brand in the history of motorcycling will be represented from owners across the U.S. and Canada.
A used bike corral, food trucks, free seminars, and vendor booths, plus restoration and touring services make this any motorcycle enthusiast’s dream come true. Tickets also include admission to ACM.
Don’t be misled by the “Car” in America’s Car Museum. The guiding spirit behind ACM is one of inclusion rather than exclusion. And that includes all vehicular transport whether they sport two, three or four contact patches. And if a powered unicycle ever shows up, it’ll get waved in as well. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the object of your passion is a car, truck, trike, motorcycle or scooter”¦ consider yourself more than welcome at America’s Car Museum.
Recently voted the best museum in Western Washington by KING5’s Evening Magazine viewers, ACM celebrates motorcycles and scooters the same way it treats cars. Everything gets its due respect from brass era classics to muscle cars, café racers to baggers, Vespas to Morgan three wheelers. They’re all “sweet rides” in the eyes America’s Car Museum. As a concrete demonstration of its commitment to two-wheels, the Museum hosts an annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival: The MEET at ACM.
Every summer for the past four years the grass of the Haub Family Field on the ACM campus in Tacoma, Washington, has seen assembled a veritable living catalog of the world’s most beautiful, brutal, rare and exquisitely engineered motorcycles. The makes and models on display represent a cross-section of the best and most legendary bikes to have ever touched tire to track””or road, rock and dirt. One need only scan down the list of judged categories to gain an appreciation of the scope of the event. They include, among others, Classic Powered Bike/Scooter, Custom Bobber/Chopper, Vintage Competition, Best Café Racer, Pre & Post 1974 Motocross as well as individual makes of Japanese, Italian, German, English and American origin.
If, like me, your taste and rides have run to 60s and 70s vintage Japanese dual sports and dirt bikes (I loved but could never afford the Brits), you’ll wax nostalgic at what you’ll see. The mere sight of the sun reflecting off the polished “˜cheese grater’ exhaust pipe shield on a Honda CL Scrambler last summer stopped me in my tracks. I owned three of varying CCs during my high school and college years. I came across other “I had one of those once” bikes”¦ a Yamaha DT250 Enduro and Honda Elsinore complete with optional mud.
I saw lots of other people that day beginning sentences with those same six words while pointing at Harleys, Indians, Nortons, Ducatis and the occasional Velocette Thruxton and Hodaka Super Rat. By the way, that cheese grater I mentioned was attached to ACM CEO and avid motorcycle enthusiast David Madeira’s Honda CL. Unlike I experienced, he gets to park it next to his Norton Commando. It’s not surprising why bikes are held in such high esteem at ACM when the CEO rides along on two as well as four wheels.
True to the term “Festival,” The MEET at ACM is an all ages family-friendly affair. In addition to the approximately 400 bikes and scooters on view, visitors will also enjoy demonstration rides, vendor booths, free seminars and a thrilling show put on by the famous Seattle Cossacks Motorcycle Stunt and Drill Team. It all takes place on Saturday, July 30 on the campus of America’s Car Museum. And if you ride, don’t miss the Sunday Ride through the Mt. Rainier Valley followed by lunch on the Haub Family Field. For more information visit www.vintagemotorcyclefestival.com.
See you this weekend at the fifth annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival: The MEET at ACM.
Until then, “ride on!”
From the very beginning, America’s Car Museum was envisioned as being a center of car culture, a gathering place for enthusiasts and a community resource… a place that would enrich the educational and social life of the region. To that end, ACM is purpose built to be sociable.
A perfect example of the social side of ACM is our “Wine & Wheels Annual Gala.” The themes may change from year to year, what doesn’t change is the excitement level. Guests at ACM galas can expect cocktails, a gourmet dinner, dancing and an auction loaded with enticing items and unique experiences. Thus far ACM’s gala evenings have raised a total of $1.2 million to support our menu of ever expanding programs and exhibits.
We hosted our first gala back in September, 2011. “Hard Hat & High Heels” provided an evening of elegant whimsy as guests were encouraged to come decked out in a blend of formal attire and construction crew gear. Not fully completed, the “˜work in progress’ Museum provided a preview of things to come… the Grand Opening in spring 2012.
The first gala to apply the “Wheels & Heels” label took place on June 1, 2013. Subtitled “Jazz!,” the event celebrated post-war style in cars, fashion and music. Once again, period dress was encouraged. June 7, 2014 saw the Showcase Gallery morph into a “CARnivale” Rio-style as Samba rhythms drifted through the interior of the Museum while outside the night sky exploded with a stunning fireworks display.
On June 26, 2015, we’ll be hosting “Kentucky Derby, A Celebration of Horsepower.” Enjoy live Bluegrass music and mint juleps while placing bets on the best Derby hat. In addition to gourmet cuisine and an extraordinary silent and live auction, you can purchase a raffle rose and experience another fabulous fireworks display. Get your tickets now, it’s almost post-time.