Promising Start To Yankee Chapter’s National Meet

GREENFIELD, MA – Moving to a new venue always brings uncertainty and presents kinks that need to be worked out, but load-in day on Friday at the Yankee Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America’s National Meet appeared to go smoothly.

The new location at the Franklin County Fairgrounds here, a shift north from the show’s previous home at the Terryville Fairgrounds in Connecticut, had vendors and visitors praising the openness of the show ground and the ease of access because its close proximity to I-91.

“People think the fairgrounds are really nice; well-maintained,” said Yankee Chapter board member Ken Herschfield, who is the guiding hand behind this year’s meet.

Herschfield noted that the location near the Massachusetts-Vermont border has resulted in more members coming from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, while the show is still managing to draw from as far south as Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The meet is a mixture of motorcycle show for vintage models and swap meet/bazaar with motorcycle and car parts. Where else can you buy a 1932 Harley-Davidson VL for $40,000 and old gas tanks as well as badges to a Plymouth Volaré.

In years past, the show opened on Friday, but this year Friday afternoon was designated for set-up with Saturday and Sunday being show days. Motorcycle judging begins at 9 a.m. Sunday.

For spectators, those not shopping for an old bike or for parts, the National Meet provides an opportunity to see old bygone brands and models that are often tucked away. Even as vendors were setting up, it was possible to see such makes as Nimbus, Excelsior and Henderson.

There were also loads of Harley-Davidsons and even antique Royal Enfield and Ducati models.

Herschfield said the number of vendors who pre-registered for the meet equaled the total number who attended last year, so day-of registrants should enable this year’s to easily top last year’s. “I’d say we’re approaching 125 vendors. Some of them have more than one space,” he said.

One model on early display that stood out was a four-wheeled, one-cylinder 1920 Auto-Red-Bug. It was brought by Lawrence Pendergast of Ledyard, CT. It will be featured in a separate story within the next few days.

1920 Auto-Red-Bug

About Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" classic car feature in the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. A graduate of Vermont Academy, he received a B.A. degree journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1975. He is the recipient of a Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 1992 and a 1991-92 regional Emmy Award for commentary. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville and drives a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.