The Gilmore Car Museum, well known for its world class collection of nearly 400 historic automobiles and being North America’s largest auto museum, will shift its focus entirely to motorcycles on Sunday, June 11th as thousands of motorcycles, from rare and iconic rides of the past 100 years, to the newest models driven by spectators, rumble in.
The date marks the 22nd 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.
“You’ll see some incredible examples of vintage motorcycles, both original and restored, at this event,” explains Museum Executive Director Chris Shires. “The Museum hosts more than a dozen car shows each year and for this one, we completely shift gears to all motorcycles.”
Motorcycles driven to the event by spectators, including new, old, and custom rides, receive the VIP treatment and take up a large portion of the Museum grounds in what Shires describes as “a huge bike show by itself.”
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. Those that take part by showing their motorcycles during the show will also have a chance to win a brand new Klinger cycle trailer.
New motorcycle demos will also be offered throughout the day by BMW of Grand Rapids.
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, including the all-new year-long special exhibit “Designed for Delivery” showcasing some of the rarest and most sought-after vintage trucks.
Guests will also find an exhibit building dedicated to vintage motorcycles that includes the actual 1952 Triumph used by “The Fonz” on the Happy Days TV series, and iconic brand names such as Vincent, Indian, Harley-Davidson and more. Last year’s exhibitor-voted Best of Show – a one-family owned 1954 Zundapp with sidecar – will be displayed in this year’s Master Class and then be added to the Museum’s Vintage Motorcycle Gallery for display.
A free pre-show Vintage Motorcycle ride is also scheduled for Saturday, June 10th 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, BMW Club of Battle Creek, and the Vintage Japanese Motor Cycle Club are hoping to encourage more classic iron to come out for the weekend.
Those that wish to exhibit their vintage motorcycles in the show only 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 22nd annual Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet on Sunday June 11th at the Gilmore Car Museum will 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 you can learn more about the museum and its events at www.GilmoreCarMuseum.org or call 269-671-5089 for more information.