I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Wheels Thru Time Museum in Maggie Valley, NC. I had heard recently that it will be closing down and moving away this fall, and that is confirmed on its web site: http://wheelsthroughtime.com/
So I was down that way last weekend for an ADVrider Rondezvoos at Hot Springs Campground not too far from Maggie Valley. Myself and a couple other riders took advantage of being in the area and rode down to Wheels Thru Time. It was well worth our time, and I would encouage all to try to get there before it closes. We arrived on a Friday morning, and the first person to greet us was the owner himself, Dale. Really friendly guy. I had heard that he is known to start up some of the old bikes in his museum, and we found that to be true, and more. The museum is heavy on Harley Davidson content, but there are a lot of other brands represented, plus a few other forms of transportation.
A couple of bikes were particularly interesting to my brother and myself. They were a couple of civilianized 1941 Harley Davidson XAs.
Something look familiar about those bikes? They are genuine Harley Davidson. While we were looking them over, Dale (owner) came over and began telling us the history of the XA. It seems the Army contracted with HD to build some prototypes for consideration in the upcoming battle with Rommell in Africa. HD made 1000 of them. These two are in running condition. Dale offered to start one up. Familiar left side kicker, one kick and it was purring. The pipes were a little loud, but it had a smooth idle. Then Dale asked a question I would never expect. He said: " you guys want to ride it?" WHAT!!?? He rode the XA outside and gave me a brief moment to go over the controls, and off I went:
He even let my brother ride it:
Do you think there is any other museum in the world that would role a rare and very valuable piece out and let a patron take it for a ride? I still have the grin on my face from that ride. Even without the ride on the Boxer Harley, I would still rave about the museum. All the bikes, cars and one airplane are really interesting. Almost everything is in running condition. Most pieces are not restored. So get there if at all possible this year. I can't guarantee that you'll get a ride on one of the old bikes, but you never know!