Welcome one and all to the first entry of the Pistons and Paint blog series for Carson Classic Motors.
The most common question that people ask us is “What’s the latest project up on the lift?” and “Is CCM going to be at —————- event?” This blog will now answer both of those questions; it provides a way for you folks to follow what we’re building, restoring or repairing, and should help you to add some cool vintage motorcycle events into your calendar. Mike and I always welcome our fans and followers to come say hello at the many motorcycle-related events throughout the year—after all, friendships both new and old are essential the sport of old motorcycles.
As many of you all (especially those in the Northern portions of the globe) can agree, we’ve been itching for the cold winter weather to dissipate—old motorcycles are begging to be ridden! The first official event of the year that Carson Classic Motors participated in was in conjunction with the Cherokee Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Our main reason for attending the Oklahoma City bike show was to promote the Cannonball Team for this year. Of the 16 riders and support crew on team CCM, seven of us were able to attend the event in an attempt to help accent an already amazing selection of vintage machines from Cherokee Chapter members. Over the course of two days, Mike and I had a wonderful time getting to meet new folks and friends of the museum.
Back at the museum, the forthcoming spring weather is giving extra initiative to finish up the winter projects on the lift. In addition to my own 1929 BSA “Evelyn” that I’m building for the 2014 Cannonball in September, currently up on the bench is a 1947 Harley Davidson FL “Knucklehead” project that I’ll be talking more about in the next post. With the conclusion of a successful weekend in Oklahoma City, things shifted into high gear for promoting the CCM Cannonball team and putting together team merchandise (which, coincidentally, is for sale here at carsonclassicmotors.com).
As most any motorcycle enthusiast can tell you, one of the first major events of any biking season is centered around Daytona Beach, Florida in the first couple weeks of March. Bike Week draws in hundreds of thousands of motorcycle riders and gearheads from all over the world. In addition to the opportunity to check out the different motorcycle races, take in the constant parade of late model bikes on Main Street, test ride the newest machines from the biggest manufacturers, and buy all the coolest doo-dads and bling for your bike, there are a few antique motorcycle-related events to attend as well. First and foremost is the Antique Motorcycle Club of America’s Sunshine Chapter Meet in New Smyrna Beach. On the same weekend, the Vintage Motorcycle Alliance hosts a similar show in Eustis, Florida, which our rig was based out of in conjunction with the AMCA Cherokee Chapter.
With several pieces from the collection loaded up in to the CCM rig, Mike and I headed east to soak in some warmer temperatures and see some old friends in the Sunshine State. Our first day in Florida was a bit shocking, as the promise of warm weather and blue skies faded to 40 degree temperatures and clouds threatening to rain. The day was spent huddled up in warm buildings trying to shake the shivers as we caught up with friends new and old. That evening I headed 60 miles up the road to attend my first National Board Meeting as the National Youth Director for the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, where my number one priority was to lay out a comprehensive plan to engage younger folks in the sport of antique motorcycling.
It seems that Florida finally got its weather act together the next day, and with fellow Cannonballer Steve Simpson, Mike and I hit the warm, deserted back roads on the way up to New Smyrna Beach. Plenty of great motorcycles and parts for sale at both meets, and the deals were plentiful. The 1959 Harley Panhead custom that I rode to the meet even got sucked into the judging and won First Place in the Custom Class! Our return trip to the Eustis fairgrounds was delayed by a dead battery in the 59′ Panhead I was on; just another day on old bikes. With a quick jumpstart, we were soon back home before sunset.
All in all, it was a very successful weekend in Florida, with our first merchandise sales taking off both online and in person. Several of our pieces even walked away with awards at Saturday’s VJMC show in Eustis. Special thanks to Vintage Motorcycle Alliance, LLC, the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, and all the people who welcomed CCM in with open arms. Great to see so many folks interested in old motorcycles and especially great to have so much support for our Cannonball Team.
Stay tuned for our next upcoming event, the AMCA National Road Run sponsored by our own Texas-based Cherokee Chapter. Until then, keep the rubber on the road.