Monday, June 25, 2012
Weekend at Barber's AMA Races Continued
Two days of racing in sunny, HOT Birmingham, Alabama. Wow. 94 and 95 HUMID degrees both days. We watched three races Saturday afternoon and four races Sunday afternoon while we sat in our folding chairs under the trees on "the hill" beside the back stretch of the race track. We shared the hill with over a thousand people. It was a good place because we could see most of the track from there and the shade trees made the heat bearable.
We visited the pits Saturday morning and the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum Sunday morning. The museum is the largest motorcycle museum in North America. Over 1300 motorcycles are in the collection. They displays 750 motorcycles and several racing cars at a time in main Museum and store the others in a large warehouse on the property.
Some of the old motorcycles from the collection are displayed at other locations in Birmingham. For example, a motorcycle from the collection was displayed in a glass case in the hotel lobby where we stayed. We were told that three "Barber Museum" motorcycles were on display in the large new Bass Pro Shop across the street from our hotel. Each motorcycle on display has a plate that describes the bike and the order of it's addition to the collection. BMS-956 would mean that the bike was the 956'th bike/racing car restored and added to Barber Motor Sports' collection. Good way to keep track of their inventory!
The museum was five floors, built with concrete, steel and glass and had a hydraulic elevator in the middle. A very interesting, beautiful building. Because it's right beside the race track, you can watch motorcycles or cars racing on the track from the upper floors of the museum. While we were looking at motorcycle displays in the museum, we would look through the glass walls of the museum and watch motorcycles running practice laps on the track below. How cool is that.
Motorcycles and old race cars were displayed on the floors, on the walls, hanging from the ceiling, and in other imaginative ways. There was a state of the art restoration area in the basement, a gift shop at the museum entrance and a nice sandwich shop on the second floor. It was a good place to spend Sunday morning and have lunch before the afternoon races as the museum was air conditioned!
I'll be home later today to get caught up on my email, blogging friends and sewing.