Dale Walksler, founder of the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, N.C., passed away on Feb. 3, 2021, at the age of 68 after a four-year fight with cancer.
Walksler opened the 38,000 square foot facility in 2002 after relocating the collection from Mt. Vernon, Ill. I had the chance to tour the facility and meet Dale Walksler back in 2006. The collection of vehicles is one of the best and most unique in the world and Walksler was friendly, informative, and fun to talk motorcycles with.
Walksler said that Wheels Through Time is “The museum that runs” because every vehicle on display, no matter how old or rare runs!
During our visit, Walksler was as good as his word, when he came out of the shop aboard his 1917 Henderson Four kitted out in an antique pudding bucket helmet and leather riding jacket to go for a ride with Gold Wing-mounted Dave Despain of the Speed Channel.
Walksler was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame in 2019. His bio there relates the story of an amazing career in the motorcycle world that started out when he was young.
In 1970, at age 18, he went into business in motorcycle sales, opening Dale’s Hogs and in 1974, he became one of the youngest people ever to attain a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle franchise opening his dealership in Mt. Vernon, Ill., at age 22.
He sold the dealership in 1999, but kept his collection, moving it into the new facility in Maggie Valley in 2002. He continued to add antique and unique motorcycles and cars to the collection, to include such rarities as the 1916 Traub, which is literally a one-of-its-kind machine.
Walksler’s experience with classic and rare motorcycles of all brands made him a sought-after expert judge for motorcycle shows. He was an honorary member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America.
All of us at Ultimate Motorcycling extend our condolences to Dale’s family.
For more information, see: