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Between its vast collection of motorcycles, vintage signs, artwork, collectibles, and memorabilia, a trip to the National Motorcycle Museum was sensory overload.
Between its vast collection of motorcycles, vintage signs, artwork, collectibles, and memorabilia, a trip to the National Motorcycle Museum was sensory overload. (The National Motorcycle Museum/)

After a stoic 34-year run, the National Motorcycle Museum is closing down for good September 5, 2023. Once one of the preeminent motorcycle museums in the country, its board of directors finally decided to shut its doors after years of financial struggles. Founded by J&P Cycles’ dynamic husband-wife duo John and Jill Parham in 1989, the museum first opened in Sturgis, South Dakota, with a modest 40 motorcycles on display. In 2001, it moved to Anamosa, Iowa, and at one point housed more than 500 rare and collectible motorcycles and memorabilia.

Among the nostalgic motorcycles in the museum’s collection was John Parham’s beloved yellow 1955 FL Hydra-Glide.
Among the nostalgic motorcycles in the museum’s collection was John Parham’s beloved yellow 1955 FL Hydra-Glide. (The National Motorcycle Museum/)

“It was a very hard decision and it was an emotional decision because my husband and I started this together,” Jill Parham said. “We have struggled for years to cover wages and utilities, partly due to low visitation.”

The National Motorcycle Museum housed many iconic motorcycles over the years, including Rollie Free’s 1948 Vincent HRD.
The National Motorcycle Museum housed many iconic motorcycles over the years, including Rollie Free’s 1948 Vincent HRD. (The National Motorcycle Museum/)

The pandemic also hit the nonprofit museum hard as it had to close its doors for several months. Harsh Iowa winters didn’t help attendance either. Losing founder and driving force John Parham to pulmonary fibrosis in 2017 dealt the museum another cruel blow.

The museum featured many trinkets from “Kustom Kulture” king, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.
The museum featured many trinkets from “Kustom Kulture” king, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. (The National Motorcycle Museum/)

Over the years, the museum has showcased some of the most iconic motorcycles around.

It was the first to display Rollie Free’s 1948 Vincent HRD, aka the “Bathing Suit Bike.” The picture of Free stretched out like Superman on the Vincent’s tank wearing only swimming trunks while he’s setting a land speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats is easily one of the most instantly recognizable motorcycle photos. The 1911 Flying Merkel boardtrack racer it had on display, a prized possession from the E.J. Cole collection, is said to be the most original 1911 Merkel in existence.

It honored legends like the “King of Cool” Steve McQueen with his own exhibit, including McQueen’s 1947 Indian Chief chopper, one of his favorite bikes to ride when he wanted to escape from the world. The museum paid homage to Southern California’s “Kustom Kulture” with work by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch. It even constructed its own 50-foot-long boardtrack exhibit inside the museum itself, a dozen vintage boardtrackers adorning its banked turn.

Frank Fritz and Dave Ohrt of American Pickers were known to pop into the museum every now and again.
Frank Fritz and Dave Ohrt of American Pickers were known to pop into the museum every now and again. (The National Motorcycle Museum/)

In its heyday, the museum attracted plenty of celebrities and was frequented by a veritable who’s who of the motorcycle industry. American Picker Frank Fritz, a good friend of museum director Jill Parham, was known to pop in anytime. The museum even built a “Barn Find” exhibit complete with a hodgepodge of rusty relics as one of its star attractions.

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By: Bryan Harley
Title: One of America’s Biggest Motorcycle Museums Closes
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/news/national-motorcycle-museum-anamosa-iowa-closing-down/
Published Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2023 16:53:31 +0000

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RACING PEDIGREE: This 1963 Corvette Split-Window Packs a Z06 Punch

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RACING PEDIGREE: This 1963 Corvette Split-Window Packs a Z06 Punch

Written by independent automotive journalist David Neyens

2024 SCOTTSDALE AUCTION – 1963 CHEVROLET CORVETTE 327/360 Z06 SPLIT-WINDOW COUPE – NO RESERVE

Out of the past seven decades of Corvette production, the model year 1963 is particularly important to collectors and enthusiasts with the debut of the redesigned second-generation Corvette Sting Ray. Featuring otherworldly body styling – now in Split-Window coupe and convertible forms, the new Corvette Sting Ray design was rooted in sketches penned by a young Peter Brock in 1957, with further development through GM design chief Bill Mitchell’s self-funded, SCCA champion Stingray race car and refinements to production reality by Larry Shinoda.

As the first Corvette to be equipped with fully independent suspension as standard equipment, the advanced new 1963 Sting Ray was also available with a comprehensive racing option that gained immediate fame as the RPO Z06 Special Equipment Package. Including most everything necessary to obtain a virtually race-ready Corvette straight from the dealer floor, RPO Z06 brought an array of upgrades, including a thicker front stabilizer bar, larger-diameter shock absorbers, higher-rate springs and uprated brakes, including fade-resistant sintered metallic brake linings, plus a dual-circuit master cylinder and vacuum booster. Initially priced at $1,818.45, adding the RPO Z06 package cost nearly half as much as the basic Corvette Sting Ray.

Early in the 1963 model year, the Z06 package was a coupe-only option, but later made available for Corvette convertibles at reduced cost. While attractive cast-aluminum “knock-off” wheels were initially available, they were somewhat porous and leaked air, resulting in the majority of Z06 cars being fitted with tried-and-true steel wheels. Corvettes equipped with RPO Z06 were only available with Chevrolet’s RPO L84 327ci V8 rated at 360 horsepower with Rochester “Ramjet” mechanical fuel-injection, 11.0:1 compression, free-breathing cylinder heads, low-restriction exhaust and a hot solid-lifter cam. A 4-speed manual transmission and posi-traction limited-slip rear end were mandatory options. Reducing unnecessary weight, some Z06 Corvettes left the St. Louis factory with radios deleted. Except for roll bars and fire extinguishers, Z06 Corvettes could virtually be driven to the track, raced and driven home.

Californian racing legend Mickey Thompson was one of a select few offered the opportunity to preview the new Corvette Sting Ray in 1962, along with star driver Dan Gurney and Gulf Oil executive Grady Davis. Thompson, who forged a relationship with “Bunkie” Knudsen, who headed Chevrolet, saw the new Corvette as an American rival to Ferrari’s then-dominant GT cars and a true Le Mans contender. Accordingly, Knudsen tasked Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov to develop the Z06 Corvette as an FIA-compliant, GT-class race car with an eye to American SCCA and FIA-sanctioned international competition.

By summer 1962, Z06-equipped 1963 Corvettes were available for racing, with fast-rising West Coast drivers Bob Bondurant, Dave Macdonald and Jerry Grant flown to St. Louis to pick up their newly assigned Sting Ray coupes, which they drove home to break in their engines during the trip. Another four cars were air-freighted to Los Angeles, where they were picked up by Mickey Thompson and his crew. One was entered into the October 1962 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside, driven to victory by Doug Hooper over an early Shelby Cobra. Areas for improvement were identified, analyzed and corrected in preparation for Thompson’s four-car assaults on Daytona and Sebring during early 1963. The obvious threat posed by Carroll Shelby’s lightweight V8 Cobras spurred Arkus-Duntov to activate the radical and highly promising Grand Sport Corvette program that would never reach fruition after GM unilaterally withdrew from factory-backed racing in 1963.

In all, 2,610 Corvettes were powered by the top-shelf RPO L84 “Fuelie” engine, and just 199 of them were equipped with the all-out RPO Z06 package. The 1963 Split-Window Corvette showcased here is one of those precious few, and it benefits from a professional body-off restoration with virtually no expense spared to factory specifications by renowned D&M Corvette Specialists of Downers Grove, Illinois. Retaining its original matching-numbers engine and 4-speed manual transmission, this rare and potent Z06 Corvette features its originally specified Sebring Silver exterior color over a purposeful black interior. Impressive documentation includes the original Bill of Sale, Window Sticker and dealer order form, plus early service records. Other vital documents include an NCRS Shipping Data

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: RACING PEDIGREE: This 1963 Corvette Split-Window Packs a Z06 Punch
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/racing-pedigree-this-1963-corvette-split-window-packs-a-z06-punch-no-reserve-2024-scottsdale/
Published Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2023 21:03:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/flower-power-the-humble-vw-bus-became-the-icon-of-an-era-and-a-collector-favorite/

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FLOWER POWER: The Humble VW Bus Became the Icon of an Era and a Collector Favorite

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FLOWER POWER: The Humble VW Bus Became the Icon of an Era and a Collector Favorite
2024 SCOTTSDALE AUCTION – 1964 VOLKSWAGEN 21-WINDOW DELUXE MICROBUS – NO RESERVE

When Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon, inspired by the popular VW Beetle, doodled a sketch of a van in a notebook in 1947, little did he know his invention would turn out to be the face of Woodstock, be featured on album covers and in films, and would become the first “home on wheels” for many a laid-back traveler (well before #VanLife became a thing).

Volkswagen approved the van for production in May 1949 and the first production model rolled off the assembly line that November. Two models were offered: the Kombi (known as an 11-window among American enthusiasts) and the Commercial. The Microbus was added in May 1950, joined by the Deluxe Microbus in June 1951. The DeLuxe model became known as the 15-window, while the sunroof DeLuxe – with its additional eight small skylight windows – is, accordingly, the 23-window. From the 1964 model year, the rear corner windows were discontinued, making it a 21-window.

The VW Bus was an enormous success in America, becoming a symbol of the American counterculture movement in the 1960s and often referred to as the “hippie van” and painted in bright colors. It was affordable, easy to fix and large enough to live in, suiting itself for life on the road – the dream of many a young person at that time. With the engine located in the back of the bus, road trips were even more memorable when taking in the magical views through the big front window, which made occupants feel like they were part of the scenery.

Be on the lookout for some decidedly groovy examples of early Volkswagen buses at the 2024 Scottsdale Auction, including the examples featured here.

1964 VOLKSWAGEN 21-WINDOW DELUXE MICROBUS – NO RESERVE

Pictured above, this 1964 Volkswagen 21-Window Deluxe Microbus is powered by a 1776cc 4-cylinder engine paired with a 4-speed manual transmission. This frame-off restoration has new sheet metal in places where it was necessary. It is finished in Sealing Wax Red over brown. The interior features upgraded Wolfsburg material. This bus sits on AirKewld air-ride suspension and has front disc brakes.

1965 VOLKSWAGEN 21-WINDOW CUSTOM MICROBUS – NO RESERVE

This Microbus Resto-Mod is a fresh 2-year high-quality restoration. It is powered by a new 2,027cc 4-cylinder engine with dual carburetors mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. It is equipped with a tuned narrow-beam suspension and Porsche Turbo disc brakes. This bus features seating for nine passengers, with a sliding ragtop and a safari pop-out windshield. It also has a roof rack, remote-controlled front and rear hatch power locking doors, and dual rear batteries. The custom interior features a 10-speaker stereo system with an iPad touchscreen, new gauges, a 356 Porsche steering wheel and a custom steering column.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: FLOWER POWER: The Humble VW Bus Became the Icon of an Era and a Collector Favorite
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/flower-power-the-humble-vw-bus-became-the-icon-of-an-era-and-a-collector-favorite/
Published Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2023 21:09:27 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/memorable-sales-in-the-sunshine-state-highlights-from-barrett-jacksons-past-palm-beach-auctions/

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MEMORABLE SALES IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: Highlights from Barrett-Jackson’s Past Palm Beach Auctions

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MEMORABLE SALES IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: Highlights from Barrett-Jackson’s Past Palm Beach Auctions
2006 PALM BEACH – 1947 BENTLEY MARK VI COACHWORKS BY FRANAY – $1.728 MILLION

Taking place in Florida since 2003, the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction is a notable East Coast automotive lifestyle event, featuring extraordinary sales on the auction block year after year. With its uniquely casual yet high-energy atmosphere, it draws enthusiasts and serious collectors alike to take part in The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions. This annual gathering has evolved into more than just an auction; it is a celebration of car culture amidst the luxurious backdrop of Palm Beach.

As we gear up for the April 18-20, 2024 Palm Beach Auction, we’re taking a look back at some memorable moments from previous years. From classic beauties to modern marvels, the event has showcased an impressive array of desirable collectibles. Here are just a few of the many standout sales that celebrate the legacy of Barrett-Jackson’s presence in Palm Beach.

2006 PALM BEACH – 1947 BENTLEY MARK VI COACHWORKS BY FRANAY – $1.728 MILLION
Picutred above, this 1947 Bentley is powered by a 4.5-liter inline-6 engine with a 4-speed transmission. Featuring Coachworks by Franay and magnificently restored to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winning standards.

2005 PALM BEACH – 1953 BUICK ROADMASTER – $1.62 MILLION
Personally customized for Howard Hughes and the last car he drove. In 100% original condition and powered by a 322/122hp V8 engine with an automatic transmission.

2022 PALM BEACH – 2020 FORD GT CARBON SERIES – $1.54 MILLION
Chassis #40, a limited-edition Carbon Series with $55,100 in options, including the Dark Energy interior. Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 242 actual miles.

2023 PALM BEACH – 2020 FORD GT HERITAGE EDITION – $1,457,500

Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine coupled with a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Can do 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds with a 216-mph top speed. Includes the Heritage Roundel Graphics package and Alcantara interior trim. 2018 PALM BEACH – 2012 LEXUS LFA NÜRBURGRING EDITION – $770,000
One of just 50 Nürburgring Edition Lexus LFAs built. One owner from new, with 1,600 actual miles. Powered by a 4.8-liter 562hp V10 engine backed by a 6-speed sequential transmission.

2016 PALM BEACH – 1969 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 429 – $550,000
One of just 859 built in 1969; KK #1371 was the 170th unit produced. Previously awarded 504 points at a major Mustang meet in Charlotte, NC. Has a 4-speed manual transmission.

2019 PALM BEACH – 1947 BUICK SUPER 8 CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE – $421,500
Complete nut-and-bolt restoration with an Art Morrison chassis. Powered by a brand-new LSA-supercharged 6.2-liter GM crate engine putting out 580hp with a 4L85E automatic transmission. Has Wilwood 6-piston brakes and Vintage Air.

2017 PALM BEACH – 1961 VOLKSWAGEN 23-WINDOW DELUXE MICROBUS – $291,500
Rare, early factory walk-through bus powered by a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine with 36hp and a 4-speed manual transmission. Detailed to a very high level and beautifully restored.

Mark your calendar for April 18-20 and consign your collector vehicle now to secure your spot in the 2024 Palm Beach Auction at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Start your consignment online today at Barrett-Jackson.com or call 480-421-6694 to speak with a specialist.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: MEMORABLE SALES IN THE SUNSHINE STATE: Highlights from Barrett-Jackson’s Past Palm Beach Auctions
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/memorable-sales-in-the-sunshine-state-highlights-from-barrett-jacksons-past-palm-beach-auctions/
Published Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2024 21:18:18 +0000

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