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HomeNews and EventsMotorcycles, Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at museums

Motorcycles, Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at museums

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The National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, opens its 22nd annual motorcycle exhibit on January 8. The exhibit, this year featuring Buell motorcycles and the work of artist Guy Shively, runs through May 21.

Overall, the exhibit includes more than 30 machines representing the veteran (pre-1915), sport, on/off road, racing, military and scooters/service bikes categories. Accessories, gear and riding apparel are presented along with the vehicles.

“We are excited to display such a broad variety of motorcycles.” said the museum’s executive director Mary Ann Porinchak. “Presenting six different categories enable us to display something special or unusual for everyone to appreciate, from long-time collectors and riders to casual admirers of motorcycles.”

, Motorcycles, Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at museums, ClassicCars.com Journal
1987 Buell RR1000
, Motorcycles, Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at museums, ClassicCars.com Journal
Art by Guy Shively

The featured bike is a 1987 Buell RR1000 that represents Erik Buell’s first entry into the sport-bike market. Buell’s innovative design incorporated the engine as a fully stressed part of the frame and mounting beneath the engine a shock absorber that operated in reverse of the conventional compression-rebound design, the museum notes.

The bike on display is on loan from New Castle Harley-Davidson and is one of only 50 produced in 1987-88.

Among the other vehicles being displayed are a 1909 Thor V-twin and 1910 1/2 Yale Single Cylinder (veteran), 1955 Harley-Davidson KHK and 1961 Husqvarna 31 Sport (sport), 1957 BMW R-50 ISDT and 1967 Triumph TR6C (on/off road), 1950 Horex 350 Rennmachine and 2001 Honda RC (race), 1943 Indian Military 741 and 1961 Matchless G3 (military), and a Cushman scooter and 1958 Cushman Eagle (scooters and service bikes).

The museum’s annual motorcycle showcase has won numerous awards and is designed “to educate our visitors about the important and unique role motorcycles have played within the broader story of transportation history,” Porinchak added.

“Our annual exhibit also promotes the preservation, restoration and collection of antique and vintage motorcycles, so that audiences young and old may have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate motorcycle history’s unique story.”

The museum also is showing a special exhibition of motorcycle and automotive art by Guy Shively, whose Guy’s Graphics specializes in hand lettering, pinstriping, airbrush and artwork. 

The museum also will host several motorcycle-themed events during the motorcycle exhibit, including the Pirate Motorcycle Club’s “Movie Night at the Museum” on February 9.

AACA remembers Betty White

, Motorcycles, Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at museums, ClassicCars.com Journal
Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at the AACA Museum

What the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, had planned as a celebration of the actress’s 100th birthday will become a remembrance of the career of Betty White following her death on New Year’s Eve. The event is planned for January 16 and will feature her “Parakeet,” the 1977 Cadillac Seville given to her by her late husband and TV host Allen Ludden and later gifted to the museum by the car’s subsequent owner, Nick Farrintino.

The museum staged another celebration on January 5 when it held a ceremonial burning of the mortgage, marking the final payment on its loan for the building.

“We had the vision to create a world-class transportation museum,” said former museum president Jonathan Griggs. “The vision became a reality through the dedication and support of those who shared our vision, hard work, and tenacity. I’m thrilled to see this incredible accomplishment.”  

Illinois museum plans 2026 Route 66 exhibit

, Motorcycles, Betty White’s ‘Parakeet’ featured at museums, ClassicCars.com Journal
Pages from Bob Wildfire’s notebook

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield plans a Route 66 exhibition in conjunction with the Mother Road’s centennial celebration in 2026 and has launched a “collecting initiative” for artifacts to include in the exhibit. 

The initiative was announced as the museum received a donation of art and other items from the family of Bob Waldmire.

“Perhaps there is no person more iconic to Route 66 than itinerant artist and peace-activist nomad Bob Waldmire,” the museum said. “Throughout the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s, Waldmire traveled from town to town along Route 66, creating and selling art and postcards. Then, in 1985, he bought a 1972 Volkswagen camper van that he lived out of in Arizona; this van was later the inspiration for the character Fillmore in the Disney-Pixar movie Cars.

“The objects given to the Museum speak to Bob’s prolific output as an artist and his free-spirited, nomadic lifestyle. This gift includes original drawings, paintings, prints, postcards, and a manual typewriter on which Bob composed his newsletters and correspondence. 

“Additionally, the donation includes a pair of patched, cutoff shorts he wore when traveling Route 66, a roadside display stand for selling postcards, and the hood of his 1965 Mustang, hand-painted with a map of Route 66.”

Gilmore launches winter lectures

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, launches its winter lecture series January 9 with historian Mark Tomlonson presenting “The Transportation Kings of Kalamazoo.”

Other upcoming subjects include “The Rise & Fall of Mercury” on January 16, “Aircraft Restoration” on January 23, and a presentation on early automotive advertising on January 30.

Subjects in February include the Hydra-matic transmission, Black American automotive pioneers, and the mystery of the 1948 Tucker legend. The series continues through April 24.

Special events this weekend

It’s a Hoods-Up Weekend on January 8-9 at the Newport Car Museum in Rhode Island, where three cars — a 2019 Ford GT, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS/RS 396 and a 1968 Volvo P1800S — have just been added to the collection.

Due to pandemic regulations in Canada, the Canadian Automotive Museum remains closed to visitors until at least January 26. However, a museum intern has created a Winter Break Activity Book for youngsters that includes creating their own car-shaped cookie cutters and other activities. The book can be downloaded for free from the museum website.

The LeMay Collection at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, will offer tours of its private garage on January 8, and again on February 12.

Mark your calendar

The National Corvette Museum will host a food distribution January 15 in conjunction with Feed America First to help those affected by tornados in the Bowling Green, Kentucky, area. Plans call for each family to receive 60 to 80 pounds of food during the morning distribution.

Docent training classes begin January 19 at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento.

The Canadian Automobile Museum in Oshawa, Ontario, has announced its Third Thursday lecture topics for January and February. “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights” will be presented January 20 at 7 p.m. on Zoom by Gretchen Sorin of the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and “The Death and Legacy of Sam McLaughlin – Looking Back After 50 Years” will be offered by Samantha George of the Parkwood National Historic Site on February 17.

“The Tucker Movie: What’s Real, What’s Not” is the subject of a program to be presented via Zoom by the AACA Museum on January 21, 2021. The presentation will include Preston Tucker’s grandchildren.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, stages its inaugural Winter Motoring Meet featuring vintage snowmobiles on February 5.

The British Motor Museum stages its Quiz Night on February 8 at Gaydon, UK, and during the British schools’ “half-term” break, the museum will host a series of family oriented programs about Formula 1 racing.

The LeMay Collection at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, will offer Driver’s Ed: Model T Experience events May 14, June 11, July 9, August 14 and September 11.

A second wave of vehicles arrives September 22, 2022, and run through May 14, 2023, in “The Allure of the Extreme” supercar showcase at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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