AMA: Motorcycles of Fame

AMA Vintage News

A number of expertly restored motorcycles and original classics were on hand for the annual American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Ride ‘Em Don’t Hide ‘Em Bike Shows, Saturday, July 10, as part of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days.

Kathy Wood (AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Operations Manager) says: "Great weather, beautiful motorcycles and a diverse stable of entries made this one of our most memorable years. The motorcycles were stunning, and AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Grand Marshal Malcolm Smith was extremely gracious in his support. I want to personally thank all our judges and participants for supporting the Hall of Fame at this event."

Although several bikes won awards, participants Jim and Joan Vandergriff of Linwood, Kan., were two stars of the event, with three of their motorcycles winning individual categories and two finishing as category runners-up in the Hall of Fame Bike Show (full results below).

Among the Vandergriff’s honors was the coveted Grand Marshal’s Choice Award for their 1939 AJS. In presenting the award, Grand Marshal Smith said the bike reminded him of his early racing years, when he had a ’49 Matchless. Matchless and AJS had a common owner but were produced under their own marques for many years.

Grand Marshal Smith says: "[The Matchless] was my first motorcycle after a Lambretta scooter, and I remember the thrill of it, and I remember that primary case, the magneto and the rigid frame. I actually raced something like that in the desert with that seat and a rigid frame. I didn’t know any better. I thought that’s what you did. It’s just so meticulously done. I’m no expert on what’s original or not, but it’s the one that appealed to me the most."

Both Joan and Jim said the motorcycle symbolizes, for them, a special era in motorcycling’s history.

Joan Vandergriff says: "Especially these ’30s and ’40s bikes, they represent the golden age of motorcycles, and we just can’t live without them. We just love this event. We’ve been coming for about five years. We support the AMA. We’ve been Life Members for years, and we support the Hall of Fame."

Jim Vandergriff says: "When you get on it and ride it, you feel like a good, proper gentleman. The unique thing about the AJS, you’ll notice that it has two exhaust pipes, but only one piston. It’s called a dual port, and it’s got an incredibly unique sound."

AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is an annual three-day celebration of motorcycling’s past, present and future, with proceeds supporting the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio.

Held July 9-11 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, this year’s event featured vintage motorcycle racing in numerous disciplines, demo rides of new motorcycles, seminars by motorcycling legends, North America’s largest swap meet and Husqvarna as Marque of the Year.

More information about AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days can be found at

Hall of Fame Bike Show Results

Grand Marshal’s Choice
Jim & Joan Vandergriff’s 1939 AJS

Best of Show American
Gary E. McMahan’s 1947 Indian Chief Roadmaster

Best of Show British
Larry Barnes’ 1954 Velocette LE

Best of Show European
Peter Calles’s 1964 MV Agusta

Best of Show Japanese
Art Bensheimer’s 1970 Kawasaki H-1

American Motorcycle through 1939
1st Place – Peter, Beulah & Amie Knick’s 1915 Indian Board Tracker
2nd Place – Scott Picklesimer’s 1933 Indian Motoplane

American Motorcycle 1940-1949
1st Place – Larry Barnes’s 1949 Indian 249 "Super Scout"
2nd Place – Bill France’s 1948 Harley-Davidson EL

American Motorcycle 1950-1959
1st Place Marcie McManah’s 1956 Harley-Davidson 165
2nd Place Sam Arlia’s 1958 Harley-Davidson Panhead

American Motorcycle 1960-1969
1st Place – Tom Boron’s 1969 Harley-Davidson Sportster
2nd Place – Roy Poore, Jr.’s 1963 Allstate 125

American Motorcycle 1970-1979
2st Place – James Shea’s 1978 Harley-Davidson MX250

British Motorcycle through 1939
1st Place – Jim & Joan Vandergriff’s 1939 AJS

British Motorcycle 1940-1949
1st Place – Jim & Joan Vandergriff’s 1942 Triumph 3HW
2nd Place – Bob Lincoln’s 1946 Norton Model 18

British Motorcycle 1950-1959
1st Place – Steven M. Carter’s 1957 Ariel Square 4
2nd Place – Jim & Joan Vandergriff’s 1957 Triumph TR6

British Motorcycle 1960-1969
1st Place – Keith Kleman’s 1968 Triumph Bonneville
2nd Place – Jim & Joan Vandergriff’s 1965 Velocette Thurxton

British Motorcycle 1970-1979
1st Place – Sergei Traycoff’s 1972 Norton Commando Interstate
2nd Place – Gregg Brown’s 1975 Norton Commando

British Motorcycle Specials & Customs
1st Place – Hunter Garrison’s 1969 Norton Fastback
2nd Place – Willy Saulsberry, Jr.’s 1968 Triumph Bonneville

European Motorcycle 1950-1959
1st Place – Peter Calles’s 1955 Moto Morini
2nd Place – Steve Hatfield’s 1955 Ducati 98 Sport

European Motorcycle 1960-1969
1st Place – John Walsh’s 1966 Ducati Scrambler
2nd Place – Bob Peters’ 1962 Ducati 125 Bronco

European Motorcycle 1970-1979
1st Place – Steve Morris’s 1974 Laverda SF2 750
2nd Place – Mick Milakovic’s 1978 Husqvarna 390-OR

European Specials & Customs
1st Place – Peter Knick’s 1976 Bultaco Astro

Japanese Motorcycle 1960-1969
1st Place – John Walsh’s 1963 Bridgestone Surfrider 7
2nd Place – Art Bensheimer’s 1962 Honda CBM72

Japanese Motorcycle 1970-1979
1st Place – Andrew Menter’s 1974 Hodaka Wombat
2nd Place – Jim Bright’s 1979 Honda CBX

Japanese Motorcycle 1980-1989
1st Place – Big Paul & Little Paul Deitz’s 1980 Yamaha YZ50

Japanese Motorcycle Specials & Customs
1st Place – Billy Aldrich’s 1962 Honda Replica GP Racer RC-163
2nd Place – Joe Nadock’s 1976 Kawasaki KZ900

Ride ‘Em Don’t Hide ‘Em Bike Show Results

Grand Marshal’s Choice
Larry McKeown’s 1970 Triumph T100C

Oldest Bike
Tom Beasley’s 1937 Velocette KSS

Hard Luck Award
Jack Fiero’s 1973 Ducati 750 GT (almost ran out of gas)

American Motorcycles
1st Place – Mark Schmalbach’s 1970 Harley-Davidson XR

British Motorcycles
1st Place – Donald W. Beadle’s 1939 BSA B21 Std.
2nd Place – Jerry Ficklin’s 1957 Norton International

European Motorcycles
1st Place – Bill Crookston’s 1976 BMW R90S
2nd Place – William Sisco’s 1973 Ducati 750 GT

Japanese Motorcycles
1st Place – Glenn Rumburg’s 1964 Suzuki T10
2nd Place – Todd Whited’s 1976 Hodaka Road Toad

Specials & Customs
1st Place – Billy Aldrich’s 1977 Honda CJ360
2nd Place – Paul Walsh’s 1975 Honda CB500T