The Gilmore Car Museum, well known for its world class collection of nearly 400 historic automobiles, will shift its focus entirely to motorcycles on Sunday, June 14th. The date marks the 20th annual consecutive Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet held at the Museum and is considered one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest.
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. Those driven by spectators of the event, including new, old, and custom rides, receive the VIP treatment and take up a large portion of the Museum grounds in what Spezia describes as “a wonderful bike show itself.”
“You’ll see some of the best examples of original and restored vintage motorcycles at this event,” explains Museum Executive Director Michael Spezia. “And few extras this year.”
The Vintage Show will feature antique and vintage motorcycles, scooters, and customs, all 25 years and older arranged in two areas. Judged on a points system will be the Master Class, representing the very best-of-the-best restored bikes. Peer judging will also take place, making up in several classes where the cycles will be displayed under their country’s flag of origin.
In honor of the 20th Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet, the Museum will also showcase “Chopper@LARGE” – the functioning, 13 foot tall chopper that debuted at Art Prize in 2012, have a meet and greet with customizer Ron Finch, two time winner of Discovery Channel’s “Biker Build Off,” as well as offer seminars and demos by some of the top experts in the motorcycle field.
The show also includes a large “Bike Corral” full of vintage motorcycles for sale, a huge cycle parts and memorabilia swap meet, and a special exhibit area that will 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. Guests to this year’s event will experience an expanded museum featuring the all-new Cadillac-LaSalle and Lincoln Motor Car Museums—both stylized re-creations of vintage auto dealerships, and the new Special Exhibit “Mid-Century Performance” that showcases some of the rarest and most sought-after high performance cars of the 1960s and ’70s.
A permanent exhibit hall is dedicated to motorcycles and includes an ultra-rare 1898 Leon-Bollee, the actual motorcycle used by “The Fonz” on the Happy Days TV series, and iconic brands such as Vincent, Indian, Harley-Davidson and more.
“The Museum hosts more than a dozen car shows each year,” Spezia continues, “and for this one, we completely shift gears to all motorcycles.”
A free pre-show Vintage Motorcycle ride is also scheduled for Saturday, June 13th and is open to all bikes 25 years old or older. Using the often heard slogan, “Ride ‘em, Don’t Hide ‘em,” the Gilmore Car Museum, and the show’s co-hosts Antique Motor Cycle Club of America – Wolverine Chapter, and the Vintage Japanese Motor Cycle Club, are hoping to encourage more classic iron to come out for the weekend. Those that wish to enter a vintage motorcycle in the show pay for the first bike and all additional bikes they show are free.
Whether you’re exhibiting, riding, or admiring one of the thousands of motorcycles, the 20th annual Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet at the Gilmore Car Museum certainly be the “don’t miss” cycle event of the year!
Spectator admission to the Motorcycle Show is only $12.00 per person and includes all museum exhibits at no extra charge – those under 11 are FREE! Located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and Hickory Road.