The Wheels Through Time Museum features one of the world’s greatest collections of rare American motorcycles, unique prototype American automobiles, and an array of motorcycle memorabilia. Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Maggie Valley, the Wheels Through Time Museum houses a collection of more than 350 rare and unique road machines made up of 25 different models and makes from every decade dating back to 1900, including Excelsior, Harley-Davidson, Henderson, Indian, Excelsior, Flying Merkel, and Thor, to name but a few. The collection also features rare board track racers, hill climbers, and one-of-a-kind machines.
Although only opened to the public in 2002, the Wheels Through Time Museum began in 1969 as a collection started by Museum founder Dale Walksler, when he began gathering together rare and valuable automobiles. The ever-growing collection was moved to Mt. Vernon in Illinois in 1977 and housed at the Harley Davidson dealership, and as it grew in leaps and bounds, it was realized that a museum needed to be opened to share the treasures with the public. In 2002 the collection moved to Maggie Valley, North Carolina where it is housed today in a 38,000 square foot facility and stands as one of the most valued automobile collections American history.
Featuring one of the world’s top collections of Vintage American Transportation, the Museum is laid out in a timeline format where visitors are guided through the evolution of American motorcycling and automotive history in a simple and easy-to-follow way. Boasting the ambiance of an old garage, the Museum showcases displays and exhibits with relevant artwork from the era in the show, along with hundreds of items, objects, and memorabilia.
The museum features two main collections – an automobile and four-wheel vehicle collection and one of the two-wheel marvels. Exhibits include the Board Track era of America, which showcases the first two-wheel bikes that were used for racing from 1908 to late 1929; and The Swim Shop represents the glory days of George Swim’s Harley Davidson dealership in Energy, Illinois in the late 1940s and 50s.
Military Might focuses on the contribution to the war effort that both Harley-Davidson and Indian made beginning in 1941. Working together, both companies produced more than 80,000 motorcycles in Milwaukee Wisconsin and Springfield Massachusetts and played a significant role in the war.
The Chopper Graveyard features some of the most classic motorbikes of all time – the Chopper. Brought to the fore by the cult movie, Easy Rider, the Chopper became famous, and this exhibit presents over a dozen classic traditional choppers from the Coca-Cola Special known as ‘the Coke Machine’ to Moe Saunders’ ‘Purple Haze,' and more.
America’s Rarest features a rare Indian Motor Company bike thought to be built and owned by the inventor and creator of the Indian Motor Company, Oscar Hedstrom himself. The unique machine remains in its original condition and stands a testament to the genius of Hedstrom. Another classic exhibit is that of the American Racer, built for the ‘Class C Race Era’ and intended to encourage amateur racing without factory involvement. Featured bikes in this exhibit include the 1941 WR Harley Davidson Daytona Special.
1936 Function and Style features a unique pair of 1936 Harley Davidson motorbikes – the 1936 Knucklehead and Flathead Eighty Prototype UX6, while the 45’s Forever exhibit features the one-of-a-kind Wooley Bullet and centerpiece of the Harley-Davidson display.
American Restoration features a cornucopia of rare, unusual, exquisite, bizarre American iron items gathered and collected by Dale, including two foreign cars, while the Fabulous Fours exhibit showcases the 1913 Long tank Henderson and other great American motorbikes.
The Wheels Through Time Museum is located at 62 Vintage Lane in Maggie Valley, North Caroline and is open to the public Thursday through Monday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
62 Vintage Lane, Maggie Valley, North Carolina 28751, Phone: 828-926-6266
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