Motorcycle history taking over Washington Street Park Saturday

Published 4:29 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

The history of the motorcycle will be on display Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Washington Street Park at the corner of Washington and Grove streets.

The Vicksburg Vintage Motorcycle Show returns to the park for its fourth show, featuring motorcycles from as early as 1924. The show is free and open to the public.

“This show has grown each time, and for the fourth event we hope to see upwards of 120 antique motorcycles in attendance,” show organizer Roger Harris said.

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Harris said his passion for the hobby of vintage motorcycle collection and restoration was the inspiration for the show.

“Also, the fact that there’s not anything else (like the show) close within a couple of hundred miles near Vicksburg. There’s a lot of collectors, there’s a lot of people with the same interests in restoration hobbies fairly close by and there’s nowhere to show their bikes,” he said.

“This is an every-other-year event that draws entrants and spectators from all over the country,” he said, adding that promised entries this year are expected from Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Illinois and Colorado. “With the good weather we’re going to be having, I think this is going to be a big deal.”

“The last event’s Best of Show was a 1952 Vincent Black Lightning from Denver, Colo., belonging to Gene Brown, who also brought an exceptional 1972 Norton Commando,” Harris said. “While most of the entrants are from outside of Vicksburg, there will be many locals with bikes on display.

“We encourage anyone with a vintage bike to bring it out Saturday morning, no matter the condition. It doesn’t have to be a restored or concours motorcycle to fit right in,” he added.

The show is open to any motorcycle manufactured before 1990. More than 21 awards ranging from Best of Show, Mayor’s Choice, People’s Choice and many class favorites will be given out at 3 p.m.

“There will be plenty of Hondas, Yamahas and other Japanese motorcycles from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s,” Harris said. “Triumphs and British bikes are always popular at the show, along with a twin-engine legendary drag racer ‘Dubble Trubble’ belonging to Glen Kurr from Monroe La.”

He said the racer started life in central Arkansas and was a terror on the national drag race scene in the late 1950s.

“It was painted by the iconic Von Dutch,” he said. “Mr. Kurr is returning this year with Dubble Trubble and other period racers.”

Besides the vintage Japanese and British bikes, the show will have many pre-World War II antiques including Indians and Harleys, Harris said, with a 1924 Henderson Four making its show debut.

“Another notable entrant will be a 1924 Ner-a-Car belonging to Buddy Muirhead, who once lived in Vicksburg and now lives in central Arkansas,” he said.

He said the motorcycle is supposed to be a crossover between a motorcycle and a car, “but it’s closer to a motorcycle.” The Ner-a-Car, he said, is unique and was purchased new in Vicksburg in 1924 by Murihead’s uncle.

“The Muirheads will have several motorcycles on display,” he said. “Motorcycles usually bring back memories of fun for a lot of us and this show gives us a feel-good chance to see motorcycles from our youth, maybe some that we owned or dreamed of owning.”

He said the vintage motorcycle hobby does not have to be expensive to get involved.

“Finding a vintage motorcycle can be fun and if restoration interests you, the cost will not break the bank,” he said. “There are a lot of 1970s Hondas and other Japanese bikes that are very reasonable for an entry-level enthusiast. Honda Mini Trails and small bikes are always represented well. But if someone has fancier tastes, investment grade collector bikes can go deep in the six-figure range.”

  1. The show is sponsored by the City of Vicksburg, Visit Vicksburg and Ergon. Live entertainment will be provided by the rock ’n’ roll band Moto 167.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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