By Bob and Naomi Lonergan
Wandering the vast Columbia Hall, Rally goers will happen upon a mini-museum of historic BMWs. Collectors and riders alike will be amazed at the sight of antique and classic models ranging from the 1920s through the mid-1970s. Included will be early singles, twins, post-war and U.S. models such as R50s and R60s. There will be bikes with special and unique sidecars reflecting the evolution of BMW engineering, style and technology. Many bikes on display have been restored to original while others have been preserved as original, each representing an important part of BMW motorcycle history. As this year is the 40th anniversary of the /5 model we expect to have many examples of these bikes, including elegant toaster tanks.
Vintage owners and restorers Bob Lonergan, Jack Wells, Darryl Richman and others will lead a seminar on Friday morning entitled “Restoration and Preservation of Vintage BMWs.” The speakers have personally restored and ridden many antique and classic BMWs and are experts in their fields. They will discuss mechanics, electrics, paint, storage, insurance and the history of these machines. How-to and resources will highlight the seminar, along with discussion and a Q&A session. This will be a great opportunity for vintage enthusiasts, and for those contemplating restoring a vintage bike, to meet, network and share information.
The exhibited bikes will be judged Saturday morning. Judging is based on factory originality (with some exceptions such as racers and sidecar rigs) and the AMCA philosophy where each bike is assessed on its own merits beginning at 100 points. The awards ceremony will take place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the display site. Bikes rated 95 points or over will receive an Award of Excellence. Two special memorial awards will be presented: the Vern Mitchell Trophy to the enthusiast who accurately and beautifully restored a pre-1976 bike on his or her own, and the Jim Falk Award to the visionary who actively promotes the restoration and preservation of vintage BMWs. BMW memorabilia will be raffled at the end of the ceremony. Last year, items were donated by Benchmark Works, Blue Moon, Bob’s BMWs and others. Owners who enter their bikes in the display are eligible to participate in the raffle.
The Vintage Display defines the historic importance of BMWs as motorcycles to be valued, treasured, studied and enjoyed. Collectors, restorers and enthusiasts are invited and encouraged to exhibit their vintage machines. All Rally participants are welcome to visit the exhibit for a journey through BMW tradition and motorcycle history.
Schedule for Vintage Events at the Vintage Display Site, Columbia Hall:
Vintage Seminar – Friday, July 19, 10:00–11:30 a.m.
Vintage Bike Judging – Saturday, July 20, 9:00–12 noon
Vintage Awards Ceremony – Saturday, July 20, 1:30 p.m.