Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
George Barber raced, modified, and maintained Porsches in the 1960's (63 first-place wins). He started collecting and restoring classic sports cars in 1989, but his interest soon turned to motorcycles. Mr. Barber recognized that there was not a museum which reflected the history of motorcycles around the world. He wanted to preserve motorcycle history in the United States in a way that represents an international aspect and to supply an example of motorcycles that until then could only have been seen in books and magazines. This was the theme used in the development of the Barber collection. An interesting aspect of the collection is that restorations are done in-house. Out of the same shop a vintage motorcycle race team operated with the challenge of maintaining and racing historically significant machinery. These bikes were routinely campaigned around the United States so that they could be enjoyed and appreciated in their original setting, rather than collecting dust in a garage. The Barber Vintage Motorcycle Team has won seven national championships. In 1994, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum became a 501c(3) non-profit foundation and on March 14, 1995, the museum was officially opened to the public in its original location on Birmingham's Southside. It was open from there until November 1, 2002. The Museum reopened at its new location at The Barber Motorsports Park on September 19, 2003. The collection now has over 900 vintage and modern motorcycles as well as a substantial collection of Lotus and other racecars. It is considered the largest in North American and possibly the world. There are approximately five hundred motorcycles on display at any given time. (There are over 900 in the collection.) These bikes range from 1904 to current-year production. There are bikes from 16 countries that represent 143 different marques. The common street bike is represented, as well as rare one-off Gran Prix race machinery. Bikes have been purchased from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden, but also as close as down the street.