George Barber’s zeal for speed ignited his vision for today’s museum. Having raced Porsches in the 1960s, Barber held an impressive track record—63 first place wins. A thriving business executive, Barber rediscovered his motorsports passion in 1988 and began collecting and restoring classic cars. Since the world’s best and largest car collections had already been established, Barber heeded some wise advice. His longtime friend Dave Hooper—a motorcycle enthusiast as well as the person who ran Barber's delivery fleet for 27 years—suggested that Barber shift his focus from cars to motorcycles. Being a man of big dreams, Barber seized the opportunity to accomplish what no one else had done... build the world’s “best and largest” motorcycle collection.
That superb gift—the Bergmeister—inspired Barber. Marveling at the Bergmeister’s beauty, he appreciated motorcycles for much more than just fast machines. They were also works of art. He established the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum as a non-profit foundation. The museum opened to the public at its original Southside Birmingham location in 1995. The Barber Museum collection showcased the engineering, balance, and unique design of each piece.
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