Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: A must visit for every motorcycle enthusiast
Words by Mitalee Deshpande
Are you an automobile historian? Do you fancy motorcycles more than anything else in life? The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum would be your ultimate shrine in that case.
Barber’s is a contemporary, glass-enclosed setup for 1,200+ motorcycles & race cars with an adjacent road course. Located at the 880-acre Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham (USA) the museum, which is home to over 1,500 motorcycles, is dedicated to restoring, preserving, and exhibiting automotive history.
A thriving business executive, George Barber having raced Porsche’s in 1960s and having an impressive record of 63 first place wins, rediscovered his motorsports passion in 1988 and began collecting and restoring classic cars. He shifted his focus to motorcycles to build the world’s largest and best motorcycle collection. Dave Hooper, a long-time friend and a motorcycle enthusiast helped jumpstart the dream by gifting Barber a rare, exquisitely detailed 1952 Victoria Bergmeister.
The museum first opened in 1995 showcasing the engineering, balance, and unique design of each piece. In April 2014, Barber was officially recognized by Guinness World Records as being the world’s largest motorcycle collection.
The first motorcycles were acquired in 1988. Astonishingly, almost 99 per cent of the motorcycles can be run within one hour. The bikes have been acquired from around the world. There are a few motorcycle highlights of the museum:
Each October, the museum hosts the Barber Vintage Festival, which is the largest vintage motorcycle event in the country and in May, the museum hosts Barber Historics, which is a three-day weekend celebrating vintage cars and racing. Barber Motorsports Park has hosted hundreds of major races since it opened in 2003, including eight weekends of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of AL and 14 weekends of Superbike Racing. In addition to motorcycles and cars, there are art exhibits throughout the museum and park.
During April to September, the museum is open from 10am to 6pm (Monday- Saturday), and from 12pm to 6pm on Sundays. From October to March, the museum is open from 10am to 5pm (Monday- Saturday), and 12pm to 5pm on Sundays. The museum remains shut on New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Days.
The museum is located on the 6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway in Birmingham, Alabama. The fastest way to get to the museum is a flight to Birmingham. The museum is situated at a 32 km drive from the airport.