Knievel, Dirt Trackers Star at Vintage Rally ’13

June 25, 2013
Courtesy of The National Motorcycle Museum
Fantastic American antique bikes and European cafe racers were featured in the outdoor bike show and swap meet while the biggest Evel Knievel exhibit ever was displayed inside the Museum. To sweeten the pot, nearly a dozen famous racers and tuners gathered for the opening

The 2013 Vintage Rally featured the largest-ever collection of Evel Knievel memorabilia  including helmets painted by George Sedlak.
The 2013 Vintage Rally featured a huge collection of Evel Knievel memorabilia, including helmets painted by George Sedlak.

of the Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes exhibit. Altogether, there was a lot to experience in one weekend at the third annual Vintage Rally held at the National Motorcycle Museum, in Anamosa, Iowa.

The Vintage Rally showcases the wonderful National Motorcycle Museum each year. It’s an opportunity to bring together notable members of the motorcycle community, offer up special and fun things for visitors to enjoy, and 2013 was the best Vintage Rally yet.

Topping the bill for the event was a traveling Evel Knievel exhibit. Lathan McKay, an Evel Knievel aficionado based in Texas has been digging up leathers, bikes, posters, shirts, jackets, photos and more out of garages and attics around the North American continent. The 2013 Vintage Rally featured his biggest memorabilia show yet, with two jump bikes, a dozen sets of leathers and five original George Sedlak-painted Knievel helmets, plus a replica X2 jump rocket bike. The Wembley Stadium helmet was part of the grouping, showing chips, scrapes and a little yellowing from this historic jump and crash by America’s favorite daredevil.

Next up visitors were treated to two new features in the changing exhibition areas of the National Motorcycle Museum. The new Scooters! exhibit showcased about 15 European, Japanese and American scooters, scooter art, even a scooter video to put these special compact two-wheelers into historical perspective. Primarily a phenomenon of post-war economies in Europe and America, the exhibit provides a great setting to compare and contrast designs from several decades.

But Vintage Rally 2013 also included the opening of a new special exhibition, the Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J&P Cycles. During this year’s Vintage Rally, dirt track greats like Chris Carr, Jay Springsteen, Bubba

Famous dirt track racers sign autographs and chat with fans.  The Museums new exhibit  Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J P Cycles features motorcycles raced by these riders and more; Jay Springsteen  Rich King  Bubba Shobert and Chris Carr. Photo by Don Miller  Metro Racing.
Famous dirt track racers signed autographs and chatted with fans at the 2013 Vintage Rally. The Museum’s new exhibit, Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes presented by J&P Cycles, features motorcycles raced by these riders and more; Jay Springsteen, Rich King, Bubba Shobert and Chris Carr.
A great turnout made the 2013 Vintage Rally in Iowa the best yet.
A great turnout made the 2013 Vintage Rally in Iowa the best yet.

Shobert and Rich King talked with the crowd and signed autographs as did famous tuners John Kite and Bill Werner. Racers from an earlier era were on hand as well. Iowa racer John Tibben, Bill Tuman, Bobby Hill and Dick Klamfoth, even enduro champ Bill Baird chatted and signed autographs for their fans and enjoyed sharing a few stories. Dirt track authors/historians Greg Pearson, Gerald Foster and Bob Herrick were also part of the activity.

One panel discussion seated six established motorcycle collectors. While fielding questions, these experts shared decades of experience and helped visitors learn trends in motorcycle collecting. A second panel discussion featured six dirt track racers and two tuners; the audience received some very personal insight into the careers of men involved in dirt track racing who gave everything to become #1.

The new dirt track and scooter exhibits will be in place through April 2014, but the days when famous racers visited and told their stories is past, along with a great Vintage Rally 2013. We hope you join us next year when we create Vintage Rally 2014 and bring you more stories from American motorcycling history.

There are over 400 motorcycles and several thousand pieces of artwork, photos and memorabilia on display at the National Motorcycle Museum. Everything from the history of board track racing to how gasoline stations played a role in transportation are featured. Bikes from Von Dutch, Steve McQueen, the Easy Riders Captain America chopper plus a brace of Broughs and Vincents are featured. The Museum is open every day 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., year around. The website will help you plan a trip; Or call for more information, (319) 462-3925.