“A Day of Education With Museums and Colleges and Stuff”
It’s Day 5 and I’m running out of underwear, but the Tour waits for no man, and no undergarments either. Today we went 194.3 miles from Birmingham, Alabama to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our side trip was a visit to the Barber Motorsports Park located on the eastern edge of Birmingham. The multi-purpose racing facility sits on 740 acres that includes the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.
Barber opened in 2003 and it houses a 16-turn 2.38-mile road course designed by Alan Wilson. The track plays host to many events throughout each season including Grand-Am and AMA Superbike.
Before we went inside the museum I wanted to take a picture of our friend, Richard Troxell from Seymour, Indiana. He’s been coming on the Power Tour for more than ten years and he told me that Forrest and Ken have been posting pictures of his son since he was little boy. I don’t think anyone will call his son a little anything today and I was just happy to be able to continue the tradition.
This is just part of the Tour, even if it means making repairs in the parking lot of one of the world’s finest transportation museums.
George Barber, owner of the Barber Dairies wanted to build a museum to preserve the history of motorcycles in the U.S.
According to the museum’s Website, www.barbermuseum.org, “The collection now has over 1,200 vintage and modern motorcycles as well as a substantial collection of Lotus and other racecars. It is considered the largest collection of its type in North America and possibly the world. There are approximately 600 of the collection’s 1,200 motorcycles on display at any given time. These bikes range from 1902 to current-year production. Bikes from 20 countries represent 200 different manufacturers. The common street bike is represented, as well as rare, one-off Gran Prix race machinery. Bikes have been purchased from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden, but also as close as down the street.
While the focus is primarily motorcycles there are some cars in the museum and our own Shane overheard that the entire collection is worth nearly $500 million.
Not all of us may be bike people but hot rodders being hot rodders no one can resist the allure of the exposed mechanical symphony of a motorcycle.
Many of the bikes at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum do have a certain hot rod feel.
Details like this are hard to dismiss.
The collection includes some current flavor, such as this 2005 Ducati 999R with 139hp propelling only 425lbs to a top speed of 175mph.
Something like this 1885 Maybach Daimler Reitwagen can best be described as OG (old German?). Two German engineers, Daimler and Maybach built this vehicle to test their new engine. They called it a Reitwagen (riding car) and Maybach rode it for two miles reaching speeds of 7mph. They also constructed a device to mix gasoline with air and called it a carburetor. This is regarded as one of the first motorcycles.
We were treated to a guided tour of the museum. I’ve included a couple selections that caught my beady, bloodshot eyes.
1971 Morbidelli 50cc class Grand Prix race bike. It’s a water-cooled, single cylinder two-stroke with 49.8cc of displacement. It weighs 130lbs with a top speed of 105mph.
The 1956 Parilla Corsa is an Italian bike with an air-cooled, single cylinder, four-stroke that makes 26bhp at 7,200rpm. This Corsa model is fitted with a full “dustbin” that improved top speed but made the bike unstable in strong side wind conditions.
This 1961 Maserati 50/T2 SS is air-cooled, single cylinder two-stroke that made all of 3bhp at 6,700rpm. It's a moped with race bike styling in order to attract young buyers. It weighs 108lbs with a top speed of 45mph.
The 1930 Indian 101 Scout is air-cooled with a 42-degree V-twin, four-stroke and a three-speed, hand-actuated shifter. It makes 18bhp weighs 370lbs and has a top speed of 75mph.
Forrest tells me that the 1911 Flanders 4 is an air-cooled, single cylinder four-stroke that makes 5hp with a belt drive and a rear coaster brake. It cost $175 new. This reads much better than the original caption I wanted to run, which was simply, “Stupid, Flanders!”
The 1910 Pierce Four was called “The Vibrationless Motorcycle” because of it’s air-cooled, inline four cylinder engine.
Check out this beast. The 1925 Bohmerland is a Czechoslovakian bike designed to sit three people in tandem. The cast aluminum wheels were an innovation for their time. This bike weighs approximately 700lbs!
The 1913 Harley Davidson Model 9-B was known as the “5-35” because it produced five horsepower from its 35ci motor. It weighs 275lbs with a top speed of 55mph.
1905 Indian with a 260cc air-cooled, single cylinder four-stroke.
The bike on the bottom is a 1934 Harley Davidson C.A.C. Speedway bike, while the one on top is a 1912 Indian board track racer.
The 1924 Sunbeam Model 9 is from Great Britain.
The 1909 Shaw is called a motorized bicycle and the 1905 Marsh has a direct belt drive.
This little sweetheart is a 1965 Cushman Super Silver Eagle with an aluminum OHV 355cc fan-cooled, single cylinder four-stroke. Forrest says his father owned a Cushman. Why does that not surprise me?
The 1965 Honda CA77 Dream. According to Forrest this was the bike that put Honda on the map.
Forrest pointed out that old British motorcycles like this 1967 Triumph TR6R wore their shifters on the right side instead of the left. This was done until the D.O.T. passed rules to standardize the controls in the seventies.
There were also a few cars scattered within the collection, with some road versions but mostly classic motorsport offerings.
This is the 1978 Surtees F1 TS 20. John Surtees was a driver who became a constructor in the early Seventies. The car features a Ford DFV 3.0L V-8 with 480bhp and a Hewland six-speed transaxle slung onto an aluminum monocoque. It weighs 1,120lbs with a top speed of 185mph.
1963 Lotus 29/2 Indy Car ditched the typical tube frame for a radical sheet metal monocoque and was driven by Dan Gurney and Jim Clark. It uses a 255ci Ford aluminum V8 making 400hp. It weighs 1,130lbs with a top speed of 200-plus mph.
The 1969 Lotus Type 63 F1 is a very rare (one of two) AWD F1 car. The intent of the AWD system was to help put the power to the ground but most drivers found the car too difficult to drive and with the extra complexity and weight, the technology was shelved. This car featured a 3.0 liter Cosworth V8 with 430hp. It weighs 1,170lbs with a top speed of 190-plus mph.
This was another AWD Lotus, this one the 1969 Type 64 Indy. This car makes 800bhp at 9,000rpm from a 2605cc Ford four cam V8 and weighs 1,350lbs.
In the “basement” there was a shop that handled some aspects of the restoration process. Engine building and paint and bodywork are handled off-site.
The basement also contained many more pieces of the collection.
This is a Ford four cam Indy engine. It was developed for the 1964 Indy 500 and soon replaced the dominant Offy as the engine of choice at the Brickyard. With fuel injection, the 4.2-liter aluminum engine made up to 525hp on methanol.
The 1959 Fiat Abarth 750 SS “Double Bubble” Coupe with a 747cc engine and a curb weight of only 1,180lbs.
The red one is a 1990 ZR-1 and the gold number 12 is Bobby Allison’s 1988 NASCAR Miller Buick.
After an easy 194-mile jaunt (easy for me, I was sleeping) the Tour rolled into the Chattanooga State Community College.
I really appreciated the campus grounds. Almost makes me want to go back to college. Almost.
The campus sits on the banks of the Tennessee River. Ken went on a nature hike and came back with this picture. Great job, Ken! I’ll give you some trail mix for your troubles (FYI, my trail mix is made entirely with Skittles).
Jonathan and the Big Rig crew found this clean Camaro to display for the day.
Steve and Jay set to work on this Corvette.
What is it about a ’51 Merc that crosses the line between hot rod, low rider and classic car?
Our friends at Pilot Transport always have the most precious cargo on display at the Power Tour.
This is George Poteet’s Talladega Torino. Our friend, Troy Trepanier built the showstopper and he celebrated by driving it on the Power Tour. Check out those bugs. That’s what the Power Tour is all about.
I couldn’t stop looking at this Ford today. Clean, simple with a brush guard and a diamond-plated bed box. I don’t care how cool you think a Raptor is, it will never be as cool as this.
Dwight Burt’s 1935 Ford is boosted by a DT466 turbo.
Robert and Karen Ewing own this ’72 Mustang in Grabber Blue with a 427 stroker.
It just ain’t a proper Power Tour stop without one of these fired up in the parking lot.
I asked this guy what this is and he said, “It’s a Chevy Luv.” Uh, which part.
As I was leaving, Chevy Luv Tow Truck Guy asked me if I’d seen his nuts and before I could scream, “Stranger, danger!” he pointed to his bumper. The little ones represent his grandson.
Whether or not it’s the Power Tour, this is something you don’t see everyday – Datsun 2000 Roadster.
This 1970 Chevrolet Camaro looks like the one that came in 7th place overall at last year’s Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational. You know, the one that belongs to Kyle Tucker. Either that or it’s the daily for the Vice President of Student Affairs.
Lewis Tommaso of Cookeville, TN owns this 1966 AMC Rambler 3+3 fastback Marlin that still wears its factory Balboa Aqua and American Motors 327 cubic inch motor.
After we left the Tour stop we visited our friends at Coker Tire, who threw a massive party for the Power Tourists.
It was so packed inside we could barely get any pictures. Thanks for great time, Corky!
Our final leg will take place tomorrow when we’ll go 352.4 miles to the ZMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina. I hope we make it (I’m only saying that because Ken is driving).
Remember you can’t wax off without waxing on first.
for Mothers® Polishes•Waxes•Cleaners
2013 Cruise Night Schedule
Saturday, June 1
University of Texas at Arlington
Sunday, June 2
Four States Fairgrounds
Monday, June 3
Arkansas State Fairgrounds
Little Rock, AR
Tuesday, June 4
Memphis International Raceway
Wednesday, June 5
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
Hoover (Birmingham), AL
Thursday, June 6
Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, TN
Friday, June 7
zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, NC