LEEDS, Ala. (WIAT) — Did you know the world’s largest motorcycle and sports car museum is located right here in the Birmingham area? The Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum contains a collection of 1,500 motorcycle and lotus sports cars. The State Tourism Department awarded the park the 2011 Alabama Attraction of the Year.
This weekend the museum and sports park will welcome about 73,000 visitors attending three races taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday – The World Challenge, Indy Lights and Indy Car. The sports park and museum, which opened its doors in 2003, is sure to be the attraction of the weekend.
“It also is an economic tool for the city of Birmingham, and this weekend is a great example of that,” said Jeff Ray, executive director of the Barber Sports Museum. “Mr. Barber decided to donate the funds and materials for this facility to preserve motor sports, but also the city of Birmingham.”
Barber wanted people who wouldn’t have come to Birmingham before to now have a reason to do so.
Just recently, construction to add 84,000 square feet to the museum began. The construction plans only surfaced two years ago, and now the expansion is beginning. The current facility only holds about 750 out of the 1,500 motorcycles and sports cars that Mr. Barber personally owns, so the added space will showcase more of his possessions.
“This is just something he wanted to do to help Birmingham, and he had the resources to so, and he could see how this could pay back in dividends,” Ray said.
Click here to purchase tickets for this weekend.
Be sure to watch CBS 42’s special on the Barber Motorsports Park tonight at 6:30 p.m.