Welcome Invasion: British Motorcycles in America, 1940-1980

Hershey, PA (February 27, 2013) The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum is proud to announce the exhibit, “Welcome Invasion: British Motorcycles in America, 1940-1980.” The exhibit will open Friday, March 15th and run through Thursday, October 17th, 2013.

North American motorcyclists, many having learned to ride on Harley-Davidsons and Indians, eagerly took to and purchased the comparatively light-weight, fine handling and powerful English brands. Racers in particular valued the compact size, technical innovations, and excellent power output of now-classic competition motorcycles by AJS, Triumph, BSA, Matchless, Norton, and Royal Enfield. The British marques were accepted as “real” motorcycles by American riders, and even today are respected by even the most ardent proponents of American motorcycles.

The exhibit, informally called “British Invasion,” will present the British motorcycle as both aesthetic object (art) and as material culture (possessing meaning and a story). British Invasion will also interpret British motorcycles through an investigation of: 1) Technical innovations (such as Edward Turner’s parallel twin design); 2) The positive response by American buyers (why they were popular); and, 3) The eventual implosion of the British motorcycle industry in the 1970s. To assist in placing the British motorcycle within its context, period dealer signs, movie and popular music posters, and quotes by motorcycle commentators will be displayed. Additionally, visitors can examine “The Literature” table, holding examples of some of the primary literary texts addressing motorcycle studies.

A selection of the show-winning motorcycles on display in the British Invasion are: 1948 Triumph Speed Twin with sidecar; 1956 Ariel Square Four; a hand-built 1970 Cheyney-BSA off-road racer; a very rare 1955 T100R factory racer; a bevy of pristine 1960s Triumph twins; and the signature British performance bikes of the 1970s, to include a 1971 BSA B50MX, 1974 Norton Commando, 1974 Triumph Trident, and a custom 1974 Triumph/BSA Hurricane street-drag creation. Supporting the exhibit will be period motorcycle gear and collectables.

Please join the AACA Museum in enjoying an exhibit of some of the most beautiful motorcycles in America, in one of America’s premier motor museums! Museum patrons can also enjoy the museum’s newest display Porsche Style & Design which showcases more than 20 air and water cooled models as well as prototypes. There are also other household and personal items also designed Porsche that are in display as part of this Porsche Style & Design exhibit.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, a member of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1900′s – 1980′s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. The AACA Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is celebrating 10 years as one of the nation’s largest automotive museums. Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles. The AACA Museum is located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $10, seniors age 61 and older $9, juniors age 4-12 $7, children age 3 and under are FREE. To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, Admission will be just $10 for two guests every Tuesday through 2013. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and select evening hours during the summer months. For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.

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