Museum revs up for Vintage Rally

Event in Anamosa will be held June 8 and 9

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March 28, 2014 | 4:05 pm

ANAMOSA — Start your engines.

The National Motorcycle Museum’s Vintage Rally, which attracts about 5,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to Anamosa each year, will be held Saturday and Sunday.

As always, the event will include a swap meet and vintage bike show.

This year, though, the museum also will dedicate its newest new exhibit: Allstate Motorcycle Dirt Track Heroes.

The exhibit, which opened in mid-May and remains on display at the museum for a year, highlights the untold story of motorcycle drag racing.

“This is an All-American sport,” said Mark Maderski, the museum’s special projects director. “It’s been going on for 100 years, mostly at county and state fairgrounds.”

Museum staff worked with 45 collectors to put together the exhibit, highlighting drag racing’s history as well as some of its legends. Nearly 30 bikes are part of the exhibit, including race-winning Harleys, Triumphs, Hondas and even a Matchless.

“We stepped it up a little bit,” says Maderski.

Several dirt track racers will be at the museum during the Vintage Rally for pictures and autographs, including John Tibben, Bill Tuman and Bobby Hill. Leathers and helmets also are part of the exhibit, as well as a special display honoring Ken Maely.

Known as the “Shoe Man,” Maely once raced but found fame making steel shoes for nearly all of the top American Motorcyclist Association Grand National and World Championship speedway competitors. Maely, who died in 2003, also ran a flat-track training facility in southern California.

A special traveling exhibit featuring American legend Evel Knievel will be on display during the rally.

This two-day exhibit comes on the heels of the museum’s own traveling exhibit honoring the American icon.

“Evel Knievel is an American classic,” Maderski says. “A lot of people are hot to see his stuff.”

The collection includes jump bikes, leathers, six original helmets painted by George Sedlak — who will be at the rally — as well as Evel’s personal money bag and jump parachute.

For more information about the rally, visit the National Motorcycle Museum’s website at www.nationalmcmuseum.org.

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