2018 Vintage Motorcycle Show Winners Announced

While the threat of rain attempted to put a damper on the Gilmore Car Museum’s 23rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Weekend, die hard spectators and vintage motorcycle owners made the most of the museum’s first two-day motorcycle event. 

Special thanks to our 23rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Weekend sponsors:
Zeigler Motorsports
Battle Creek Harley Davidson
BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids
NAPA of Delton
Dirty Boyz Motorcycles
Custom Connection
Discover Kalamazoo
Crown Advertising
and Klinger Trailers

On Saturday, the Vintage Motorcycle Swap Meet area open a day early than years previous, giving vendors and spectators alike the opportunity to shop leathers, products, and bike parts all weekend. Nearly two dozen dedicated riders braved the torrential bouts of rain on Saturday to participate in the 10th annual Vintage Motorcycle Ride through scenic Barry County for a chance to add an additional 5 points to their exhibitor-judged scores for Sunday’s show. 

Congratulations to the 2018 Master’s Class winners, Joe Blaha (R) and Graham Cousens (L). (not pictured, Randall Stroup)

Sunday’s 23rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Show brought exhibitors from as far as Minnesota, Ohio, and Illinois to the show field. Over 160 bikes 25 years and older – and nearly two dozen 35 years and older – participated in the exhibitor-judge show and Master’s Class show respectively.

The Master’s Class featured the best of the best in both all-original and historically accurate restored examples of some of the finest iron on the road. The professional judging for the Master’s Class came down to nearly 5 top scoring examples, with the top three placing only .5 points apart. 

Exhibitors peer-judged their fellow presenters at the show, voting on their favorites in 13 different classes. The winners of the 2018 Vintage Motorcycle Show at the Gilmore Car Museum are: 

Steve Otto (L) takes Best of Show with his 1945 Harley Davidson WL while Joe Blaha (R) walks home with the Director’s Choice Award for his 1941 Harley Davidson FL Knucklehead.

Presented by Zeigler Motorsports
1945 Harley Davidson WL (#112: Steve Otto – Bangor, MI)

Presented by Harley Davidson of Battle Creek
1941 Harley Davidson FL Knucklehead (#2: Joe Blaha – Rock Creek, OH) 

Presented by BMW of Grand Rapids
1912 Indian Twin Cylinder 1000 (#7: John Errera – Chicago, IL)

Presented by NAPA of Delton
1st: 1918 Indian PowerPlus with Side Car (#3: Joe Blaha – Rock Creek, OH)
2nd: 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor (#32: Randall Stroup – Hamilton, MI)
3rd: 1963 Triumph TR6SS (#75: Graham Cousens – Sylvan Lake, MI)

USA 1001cc and UP
1st: 1953 Indian Chief (#95: Jeff Wing – Byron City, MI)
2nd: 1974 Harley Davidson FLU Shriner (#84: Steve Otto – Bangor, MI)
3rd: 1947 Indian Chief (#120: Mike Crane – Hopkins, MI)

USA 1000cc and UNDER
1st: 1945 Harley Davidson WL (#112: Steve Otto – Bangor, MI)
2nd: 1958 Simplex Automatic (#102: Nelson Hurt – Berrien Springs, MI)
3rd: 1923 Neracar (#66: Ron Mitchell – East Leroy, MI)

ENGLAND 501cc and UP
1st: 1973 Norton Production Racer (#61: Walt Branham – Jackson, MI)
2nd: 1967 BSA Hornet (#42: Randall Stroup – Hamilton, MI)
3rd: 1967 BSA Hornet (#145: Ward Clarkson – Corunnu, MI)

1st: 1954 BSA Alloy Clipper (#126: Walt Branham – Jackson, MI)
2nd: 1968 Vellocette Venom Thruxton (#9: Keith Hogland – Pinckney, MI)
3rd: 1954 Matchless G80S (#71: Brandon Cooper – Wayland, MI)

JAPAN 600cc and UP
1st: 1972 Honda CB750 (#152: Brett McCoy – St. John’s, MI)
2nd: 1975 Kawasaki H2 (#38: David Zinkie – Lagrange, IN)
3rd: 1975 Honda CB750 (#15: Ray LeZotte – Lawton, MI)

JAPAN 300cc – 599cc
1st: 1971 Honda CL350 (#171: Eric Cronin – Parchment, MI)
2nd: 1975 Honda CB400F (#141: Jaci Dryer – Grand Rapids, MI)
3rd: 1965 Honda CA77/305 Dream (#147: Ken Ellis)

JAPAN 299cc and UNDER
1st: 1971 Honda CB175 (#14: Ray LeZotte – Lawton, MI)
2nd: 1967 Yamaha YCS-1 (#79: Robert Thomas – Hudsonville, MI)
3rd: 1966 Honda Benly C95 (#26: Thomas Pearson – Toledo, OH)

1st: 1980 BMW R100CS (#148: Bob Jenkins – Saline, MI)
2nd: 1975 BMW R905 (#83: Jeff Wing – Byron Center, MI)
3rd: 1966 BMW R69S (#151: Colin Sandbach – Wolverine Lake, MI)

1st: 1967 Benelli (#122: Tom Tytar – Grand Rapids, MI)
2nd: 1927 Terrot FT (#132: Mike Crane – Hopkins, MN)
3rd: Condor Swiss Military (#36: Gregory Weiers – Tustin, MI)

1st: 1944 Cushman Airborn (#129: Nelson Hurt – Berrien Springs, MI)
2nd: 1980 Puch Magnum (#90: Rex Sheler – Grand Rapids, MI)
3rd: 1971 Honda Z50 (#41: Jerry Hassevoort – Zeeland, MI)

1st: 1953 Vincent Shadow Raptide (#133: Pat Bradley – Farmington Hills, MI)
2nd: 1958 Russian Sidecar M72H (#70: Michael Powers – Roscommon, MI)

1st: 1979 Yamaha XS (#78: Greg Karbowski – Holland, MI)
2nd: 1967 Triumph Bonneville (#67: Joe Keene – Midland, MI)
3rd: Homemade Parts Bike (#119: Craig Wykoff – Jackson, MI)

1st: 1939 Indian Scout Factory Hill Climber (#8: Vince Gargagliano – Sparta, MI)
2nd: Honda Sportster (#123: Brett McCoy – St. John’s, MI)
3rd: 1973 Kawasaki F11M (#124: Ed Erdos – Holly, MI)

Congratulations to Josh Saxbee, winner of the 2018 exhibitor’s give-away motorcycle trailer from Klinger Trailers!

And, a round of applause and congratulations to Josh Saxbee, the winner of our exhibitor-give-way Klinger motorcycle trailer! Josh truly made the most of the weekend by participating in the vintage ride on Saturday and showing his 1975 Suzuki GT750 in the show on Sunday. Well done, Josh!

Photo by Tim Kimerling, Facebook

SAVE THE DATE and join us for the 24th annual Vintage Motorcycle Weekend at the Gilmore Car Museum on June 8 – 9, 2019!

Motorcycles Overtake Gilmore Car Museum June 9-10th

Hickory Corners, MI – Written by Jay Follis, Director of Marketing

The Gilmore Car Museum, well known for its world class collection of nearly 400 historic automobiles and as North America’s largest auto museum, will shift its focus entirely to motorcycles on Saturday June 9th and Sunday, June 10th.

What makes this year stand out is that it marks the very first time the popular annual event has grown to encompass two days by extending the Swap Meet into Saturday. The Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet held at the Museum has been considered one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest for several years.

“Over the last several years this event has just been busting at the seams,” stated Chris Shires, Museum Executive Director.

Hobbyists have indicated they wished they had more time to search out that elusive restoration part in the swap meet and take in the ever-growing show field of vintage cycles.

The Saturday Vintage Motorcycle ride originated a few years previous with just a handful of owners wanting to explore the back-country roads near the Museum on their vintage bikes.  Last year, however, they saw nearly 150 cycles join in.

“We knew it was simply time to expand the swap meet to both Saturday and Sunday and invite more to take part in the ride on Saturday,” Shires continued.

Thousands of motorcycles, from rare and iconic rides of the past 100 years to the newest models driven by spectators, will rumble into the Gilmore Car Museum campus in Hickory Corners, MI on Sunday for the show. Those driven by spectators to the event—including new, old, and custom rides—receive the VIP treatment and take up a large portion of the Museum grounds in what Shires described as “a wonderful bike show itself.”

“You’ll see some of the best examples of original and restored vintage motorcycles at this event,” explained Museum spokesperson Jay Follis. “And a few extras this year.”

The Vintage Show will take place on Sunday and features antique and vintage motorcycles, scooters, customs and more, all 25 years and older, arranged in two areas. Peer judging, where several the classes of cycles will be displayed under their country’s flag of origin.  A special Master Class display will be made up of historically accurate motorcycles that are 35 years old or older. Those that take part by displaying their motorcycles during the show will also have a chance to win a brand-new Klinger cycle trailer.

The event also includes a large “Bike Corral” full of vintage motorcycles for sale, the huge two-day motorcycle parts and memorabilia swap meet, and a special exhibit area to showcase new motorcycles and offer demo rides.

Included with admission to the show is the entire Gilmore Car Museum campus and exhibits of nearly 400 vehicles, including a permanent exhibit hall dedicated to vintage motorcycles. That newly updated display presents a custom 9-11 tribute bike, a rare barn-find 1914 Harley-Davidson, one of the Triumphs actually used by “The Fonz” on the Happy Days TV series, and many examples of iconic brand names such as Vincent, Indian, BMW, Honda and more.

Other special Museum exhibits include the limited engagement “A.J. Foyt – A Legendary Exhibition” which covers the racing career of the first 4-time winner of the famed Indy 500 and features each of those four winning cars. Guests will also find “Born to Perform – The Era of the Muscle” showcasing some of the rarest and most sought-after high-performance cars of the 1960s and ’70s.

The FREE Vintage Motorcycle Tour on Saturday, June 9th is open to all bikes 25 years old or older and follows the mantra of “Ride ‘em, Don’t Hide ‘em!”

The Gilmore Car Museum, along with the weekend’s co-hosts—the Antique Motor Cycle Club of America – Wolverine Chapter, the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, and the BMW Club of Battle Creek—encourages more classic iron to come out for this very special Vintage Motorcycle Weekend. 

Those who wish to enter one or more vintage motorcycles in the show field only pay $15.00 for the first bike, with all additional bikes they show are free.

“The Museum hosts more than a dozen car shows each year,” Spokesperson Follis continues, “and for this one, we completely shift gears to all motorcycles.”

Whether you’re exhibiting, riding, or admiring one of the thousands of motorcycles in attendance, the Vintage Motorcycle Weekend on Saturday and Sunday June 9 – 10 at the Gilmore Car Museum will certainly be the “don’t miss” cycle event of the year.

Daily spectator admission to the Motorcycle Weekend is only $14.00 per person, those 11 and under FREE! A discounted two-day pass is $23.00, and either ticket includes all museum exhibits at no extra charge and FREE Parking. The Museum is located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and Hickory Road. Visit GilmoreCarMuseum.org to learn more about the museum and this very special weekend.

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Best-selling novelist Clive Cussler Grand Marshal at Museum Event


Hickory Corners, MI – Written by Jay Follis, Director of Marketing

Best-selling novelist Clive Cussler will be at the Gilmore Car Museum this weekend as Grand Marshal of the Classic Car Club of America Museum’s Experience Concours car show.

The Classic Car Club of America, dedicated to fine or unusual motor cars which were built between 1925 to 1948, established their museum on the Gilmore campus in 1985.

The annual Experience Concours takes place this Sunday June 3, 2018 and draws some of the nation’s highest award-winning automobiles, including such makes as Auburn, Bentley, and Packard. Also featured at this year’s event will be Cadillac and LaSalle autos built between 1915 – 1965.

Carol Vogt, Director of the CCCA Museum at the Gilmore pointed out that one of the cars on display will be a very impressive 1931 Cadillac V-16 auto owned by Grand Marshal Clive Cussler.

“We are thrilled to have this incredible author and fellow car collector joining us as our Grand Marshal this weekend” she continued.

Cussler is the author of more than 70 books and has reached the New York Times Best Sellers List over 20 times and is known for works including Raise the Titanic! and his non-fiction Sea Hunters series. His most famous character is hero Dirk Pitt, who Cussler often features having interactions with rare classic cars in his novels. As one reviewer put it, his stories are “a combination of James Bond and Jacques Cousteau.”

Cussler is also an underwater explorer, founder of the non-profit National Underwater and Marine Agency, and has partnered in several Lake Michigan searches. He and his team are credited with finding 60 shipwrecks including the Carpathia – famed for rescuing Titanic survivors and the H. L. Hunley – a remarkable Civil War submarine.

Vogt indicated while there is no planned book signing during the event, “Mr. Cussler— like all of our guests—will be enjoying the Experience Concours and discovering the over 400 incredible automobiles within the Gilmore Car Museum’s historic campus.”

The public is invited to this family friendly event, with gates opening at 9am on Sunday morning.  General admission, which includes access to the entire Gilmore Car Museum plus the Experience Concours is $14.00 for adults, with children 11 and under and Museum Members admitted for free.

The Gilmore Car Museum—North America’s Largest Auto Museum—and home to the Classic Car Club of America Museum is located midway between and just minutes from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek, MI.  Open year-round, the museum presents several special events and cars shows, and offers ever-changing special exhibits throughout the year. Visit GilmoreCarMuseum.org to learn more and plan your visit. 

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