Last month, my wife and I traveled to Alabama to play golf along the Robert Trent Jones trail (www.rtjgolf.com), something we have looking forward to for many years. The golf courses are beautiful, accommodations are better than most and the cost for such a high quality golfing experience is quite reasonable. We played seven courses in eight days.
We started our trip in Birmingham and after spending our first day playing golf at Ross Bridge, we reserved the next day to tour what is reputed to be the best motorcycle museum in the world … Barber Motorsports Museum close by in Leeds, Alabama (www.barbermuseum.org/).
This was my second time at Barber, having toured there about ten years ago while visiting Garry Chitwood who was just starting on a few restorations for us. Here is the blog we wrote on Garry back then …. http://triumphmotorcycles.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/05/i_visited_garry.html
I was happy to see that most aspects of the Barber museum hadn’t changed over the past ten years. There were still about 600 motorcycles on display with a sizeable number of Triumphs still represented.
What had changed was that Barber collections of both motorcycles and cars has grown so large that they have now embarked on a huge expansion program to house all cars in a new addition. This will allow them to put more of the additional 800 motorcycles they have in storage on display in the existing facility.
Background … When George Barber sold his dairy to Dean’s Foods back in the last 90’s, he decided to take much of his money and build the world’s largest motorcycle museum as well as a F1 sanctioned race track.
Here is information on the facility he built … en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barber Motorsports_Park. Porsche has their sport driving school at Barber (www.porschedriving.com/home).
Here is the full information on George Barber …. http://www.barbermuseum.org/the-museum/barber-story/
George has a passion for Lotus race cars as well as motorcycles and his collection of Lotus has expended greatly in both number and quality. http://www.barbermuseum.org/the-collection/lotus-collection/
George Barber was giving a luncheon speech to a group while we were on our tour. We couldn’t really hear much of what he was saying, but from his demeanor it was obvious he still has passion for what he does.
Here is a link to pictures of the cars and other non-Triumph pictures we took … https://cayman.smugmug.com/Barber-Motorsports-Museum/Barber-Motorsports-Museum/
In our next blog, we will highlight some of the best new displays at Barber.
In our third and final Barber blog, we will show and describe the Triumph motorcycles on display at Barber.