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19th annual vintage motorcycle exhibit opens Saturday

Packard exhibit "Designed to Ride"
Published: 06:19 PM, Wed January, 2 2019

Staff report


The National Packard Museum’s 19th annual Vintage Motorcycle Exhibit “Designed to Ride” opens Saturday and runs through May 18.

It is a retrospective of motorcycle design from the 1910s through the 2000s, and features 30 machines that demonstrate a specific purpose or a significant advancement or achievement in motorcycling. Vintage accessories, gear and riding apparel are also part of the exhibition.

“This year, we focus on the stories and legacies of the machines and the riders who propelled the machines into the annals of motorcycle history,” said Mary Ann Porinchak, executive director of the museum.

The exhibit includes early motorcycles designed for basic transportation (1915 Smith Motor Wheel and 1947 Royal Enfield Flying Flea), along with powerful motorcycles designed for the street (1951 Vincent Black Shadow, 1972 Triumph Daytona 500) and for touring (1975 Harley Davidson Electra Glide).

From rugged machines designed for off-road performance (John Penton’s 1962 BMW R-27) and motocross (1974 Honda Elsinore), to minibikes designed for children (Penton Junior Cross, Honda ATC90 3-wheeler and JC Penney Golden Pinto), the exhibit has something for everyone.

It includes motorcycles designed for special purposes, including a 1948 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car built for auto-repair shops, and three award-winning bikes (1967 Triumph 200 Tiger Cub, 1991 Aprilia Climber 300, and 2012 Sherco 300) designed for observed trial competitions.

Also on display will be a number of unique machines, including a motorcycle designed and built by its owner, Al Navecky of Warren, and a special 1968 Harley-Davidson XLH designed for the 1969 movie “Then Came Bronson.”

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s finest motorcycle exhibits, the National Packard Museum’s show has received a number of awards and attracts visitors from around the world.

“The purpose of the exhibit is to educate people about the role motorcycles played within the broader story of transportation history,” said Porinchak.” It also promotes the preservation, restoration and collection of antique and vintage motorcyeles.”

The museum’s popular Saturday lecture series, “Coffee & Donuts,” will resume during the exhibit’s run. These one-hour educational programs begin at noon and are free with paid admission to the museum. This year’s lecture series includes a panel discussion on Feb. 23, titled “Motorcycle Competition Champions – Meet the Masters.”

Also on display at the museum is “Corvettes of the Valley,” which runs through April 14. This exhibit features one car from each of the seven generations of Corvettes produced since 1953, along with a rare 1963 split-window coupe.

The National Packard Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 ($5 for 65 and older, and children age 7 to 12; free for children under 7). Cameras and flash photography are welcome. For group rates or information, go to or call 330-394-1899.