For my second activity in Birmingham, I decided to go to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. I don’t really know anything about motorcycles, so I don’t really have too much commentary on these photos—I just took a ton of pictures of everything that looked shiny and fancy, then picked out the most unique ones to feature here.
The museum also had an outdoor area that I was able to access through a rear door on the first floor. I was lucky enough that, on the date of my visit, there were a few cars practicing on the track. I was able to watch them do a few rounds from the pedestrian bridges, then I managed to find my way down to the main racetrack so I could watch from just meters away.
This museum was overwhelmingly rated as the top tourist attraction in the city, so I decided to go, even though I don’t really have that much of an interest in motorcycles. This is the general system I’ve been using for other cities as well—rather than seeking out things that I already know I enjoy, I’m just trusting other tourists and going to see things that they say were great. I figured this is also an efficient way to expand my breadth of knowledge and experiences.
I’m very glad that I used this system and came across Barber Vintage, because this museum was amazing.
I usually rate museums based on the variety of different kinds of exhibits they have. For example, I thought that the Kentucky Derby Museum was one of the best museums because it had a little bit of everything—a walking tour, a 360° theater, regular videos, displays, text, interactive experiences, and more. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum basically had none of that—it was almost entirely just displays. However, if you take just one thing and do it exceptionally well, that’s sometimes enough, and this museum was an example of that.
I would’ve never expected myself to do this, but I spent right around four hours just looking at motorcycles, and that was just with the self-guided general admission ticket, which didn’t even include access to the entire basement floor. The way that this museum organized the motorcycles, set them up on racks and displays, and sorted them by type, region, and era was extremely satisfying. Even the aesthetics of the architecture of the building was nice.
If you’re ever in the Birmingham area, I agree with all the tourists and highly recommend that you check out this museum. It’s an amazing museum for people who aren’t motorcycle enthusiasts, and it’s probably going to feel like heaven for people who are.