The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and Barber Motorsports Park at Birmingham, Alabama, has made major facility improvements.
An additional 85,000 sq ft of space has been added to the Barber Museum, making it more than a quarter of a million sq ft in total – said to be the largest motorcycle museum in the world, housing the largest collection of motorcycles in the world (over 1,400 and counting), the museum drew 270,000 visitors last year.
|The 880-acre Barber Motorsports Park, housing the 2,300 sq ft Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum|
Two new pedestrian bridges give access to the infield areas within the 16-turn, 2.38 mile, 45-foot wide race track, and a newly constructed Barber Proving Grounds complex includes a multi-configurable track, classrooms, wet/dry skid pad, obstacle course and 50-acre off-road course.
With its creative architecture and great attention to detail, the museum showcases over 100 years of motorcycle production. More than 650 bikes can be seen on any given day, and 200 different manufacturers from 20 countries are represented in the collection—from Harley-Davidson, Honda and Indian to Showa, DSK and Cagiva.
|Facilities include 25,000 sq ft of meeting space and a 74-seat multimedia theatre|
The motorcycle collection started with the first acquisitions in 1988 and includes around 100 Harleys, with 99 percent of all the bikes in the collection said to be able to run within an hour of prep; the only machines that do not run are the wood and unattainable replicas.
Efforts are made to restore each machine to its original specifications. Some machines bear period modifications – “with the diversity of the collection, some inconsistencies are inevitable, yet we continuously add to our research library and discover and correct inconsistencies.
|The 2.38 mile, 45-foot wide road racing track|
At any one time, more than 600 motorcycles are on display in the museum – “we have many bikes in storage, and museum guests can view this area of the collection during large events and when purchasing a Premium Museum Tour, which includes the Restoration Level.
“There have been over 2,500 bike manufacturers around the world since 1900. We have purchased from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, and we have 216 different manufacturers represented from 20 different countries.
|Proving Grounds track with wet skid pad and classroom overlooking the track|
“The vision for the museum began as a car collection and then took on the role of motorcycle collection. But cars were never forgotten. The museum has focused primarily on Lotus race cars, although other cars are exhibited.”
The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit, with proceeds going to local and national charities, to generate positive publicity for the region and to attract visitors to Birmingham, Alabama, from across the country and around the world.