Article By: Roadside Marty
Photos By: Kustom Jeff Daily
Originally Published In The February 2013 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
I’m lucky to live close to the Barber Museum and Motorsports Park in Leeds, AL, just outside of Birmingham. It’s only a short ride away from my home, but even if I didn’t live this close, I’m sure I would do whatever I could to make their annual event. This year marked the 8th annual Barber Vintage Festival weekend and they pretty much had anything on site a gear-head could ask for. Though work obligations forced me to spend only a short day there hanging out and walking around with a few close brothers, I tried to see as much as I could. Even from the outside, the museum is a sight to behold with its landscaping and statues, but on the inside it’s sensory I overload. As you look around it seems that every brand ever made is represented in some way, shape or form. It’s all brought together in a tasteful way and as Kustom Jeff told me, even though the museum moved from its humble roots in downtown Birmingham, the staff hasn’t lost any of their Southern charm.
The park has a trolley system that is pretty efficient for getting around the grounds and parking areas as traffic is very heavy. One positive thing I noticed about this was that you had the opportunity to get off and set up a chair or blanket on the grass and watch the races anywhere you wanted. This gave you the chance to see a different view for each race or meet up with other friends. The best part of the races had to be seeing Dale and Matt Walksler both competing in “The Race of the Century.” As you may have read in Matt’s Fire and the Wheel column last month, this is a race that happens only once a year and is only open to machines one-hundred years old or older. Congrats to Dale on another win this year!
Another great addition to the races this year was Warren Heir Jr. on his 45 that he had been building specifically for this event. Charlie Ransom and the Wall of Death crew were set up again this year doing free shows all day for their longtime fans, me included, as well as the new ones they made all weekend. There is just something about that show that makes me smile every time I get to see it! One super cool setup I saw this year was the Triumph booth. On display were new models as well as custom Triumphs built by individuals that covered all years. I think it was inspiring to see a company embrace its history as well its future. There was plenty more to see and check out like Ben Boyle from Benderwerks who was set up in the vendor area. Make sure to check him out if you get the chance.
He is really doing some great custom work in Atlanta. The swap meet area had more vendors this year than ever before and it was a mix of American, British, European, and Japanese parts. Chances are, if you were looking for something specific, it was there. Some of the usual suspects that I spotted in the rows were The Haints, Tim and the guy’s from Show Class, all my brothers and sisters from the Hate City Customs’ crew, Ronzo from Atlanta, Endless Phil, Dan Kramer, and Matt McMannus was there selling a bunch of old junk. If that wasn’t enough, and your feet weren’t too tired and your wallet too empty, you could walk over into the auction building and try to give a winning bid or just look and wish like I usually have to do! One more highlight of the weekend was Saturday night when the Ace Cafe booth had a show featuring the rockabilly band, Cigar Store Indians, that was being filmed for Cafe Racer TV. It was another great year! Trust me and do yourself a favor and check this event out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!