Barber's Motorsports Park
Date: Sunday, November 28 @ 20:24:28 EST
Well if you were down South in Alabama and running across I-20 heading East of Birmingham and didn't stop at his museum, then you really missed out on a super complex ,and a look at one of the best bike museums in the world. When you turn off of the interstate you wonder what is back here in the woods, all I can say is follow the road back in, thru the trimmed lawn and pruned tree lines. Just one mile into the 740 acres that will hold you suspense for hours, and remember to have your camera or you will kick yourself all the way home.
Once you arrive on the 740 acres you will find parking for anything from the biggest motor homes to private parking just for motorcycles. The Track one of the newest was designed to accommodate FIA and FIM-sanctioned races. The track is 2.38 miles in length, and can be divided into two short courses as well. Now for racing, being that it is 45 wide with 16 turns and changes 80 feet in elevation you know there could be, and has some great superbike racing that goes on there, along with cars as well. The motorsports complex hold events starting in mid March and runs through the end of November. There event calendar features such races as the Great American Rolex Sports Car Series, as for the motorcycles it holds the Honda Superbike Classic. When the big racers are not in town there are events almost every week, you can take a class and take a few laps in a Porsche from the Porsche Driving Experience, or The California Superbike School, having one of there licenses you can get on the track just about anytime it is open.
Ok here is what you want to here about the Vintage Motorsports Museum, well it has 5 floors 4 which are open to the public to come in and enjoy. There is where you are going to shoot off some film, as you are going to see at any given day a minimum of 440 bikes from his collection of 900, that represents 15 different countries, and that means some 138 different manufactures as well. The bikes are on display where you can get as close as you would like just don't touch. Now if you are a collector and needed a part for one of your bikes. Yes they can pull the drawings from the manufacture plug the numbers into there CNC machine and out will come your part. Yes for everyone of his bikes, they have the drawings or have made them. His library is one of the best as well, it is such a collection of material that if there is something you would like to look up on a bike you can, but first you have to make an appointment as there is no walk-ins for that. Back to the floors of the museum, the first floor the one I said is not open where you can see work in progress as that is the restoration shop, machine shop, race shop, buffing and polishing shop and the staging area for the vehicles and bikes that will be moved in or out.
The rest of the floors are holding some of the best Master Pieces you will ever lay your eyes on, the bikes you will take in are some you have never seen before. They start from when bicycles were used before the turn of the century and motors were mounted to them. To some of the Indians and Harley Davidson that were raced on the wood tracks, as one of the displays shows that these bikes were built for racing and only racing as they did not have brakes and dripped oil and grease onto the tracks as they raced. Then you will move on thru each decade 1800's, 1900's thru 2004, you will see 6 large photos that cover the walls and are from pre-1935 showing the businesses from Birmingham using them for deliveries, pleasure, police work and racing in local settings. As you move around the building you will see several people wearing red jackets, stop them and ask away, as they can tell you the same as Mr. Barber, about each and every bike that is on display.
I could go on and on about this Museum but I will stop and you can check out some of the pictures I have posted in the gallery, there you will find some that I know will be worth looking at as there is a sand cast CB450 (4) for Dave to peek at and then yes, there is a triple for Mark, for all of the turbo guys, there is one shot of each of the factory turbo bikes, and for EMS there are Duc's all over the place. So I hope you all enjoy as you will also see 1 of 4 ever produced V8's and it isn't a 350 cid either. Yes I will say that I enjoyed his museum twice in one week as I had to take a couple of friends I had to take there, so they could enjoy too. OK so did you guess what the make of the V8 was? well here is a picture to help. as I have said just a few shots of what you can take in if you get the chance to make it down there. Well worth the $10 bucks.