Since I began collecting vintage motorcycles years ago, I have been attending
vintage motorcycle swap meets across the country. Last week, April 23rd to
25th, the Perkiomen National Meet was held at Oley, Pennsylvania and, as
always, this meet proved to be a great success for both vendors and collectors.
I usually don't come home empty handed and this year's meet netted me a very
nice original 1907 Indian Camelback single. I got interested in this beautiful
early piece after seeing it at Davenport, Iowa last year and decided to
purchase it this year at Oley.
It was also nice to see so many of the old motorcycle "pickers" who scour the
countryside all year and find the scarce parts that are needed for all the
restorations we are involved with. At last years meet, I was successful in
purchasing a 1912 Yale Twin and a 1912 Emblem Twin along with a 1911 Flying
Merkel. You can follow the restoration progress of the Yale in the PROJECTS section of this
I was also successful in finding several "open" mags for early Merkel twins,
two "soup can" type carburetors for early Thor, and several early carbide
headlights and taillights. My assessment, however, regarding the pickings is
that, while the number of hard to find parts is still somewhat available, the
prices have increased considerably. For example, an early Merkel Twin magneto
will bring as much as twenty five hundred dollars and "soup can" style
carburetors have asking prices as high as thirty five hundred dollars.
It was nice seeing Ziggy, Lonnie Isom Jr, Dave Lightner, Andy, Billy Campbell,
Mike Terry, John Szalay, Herb Singe, Steve Frizzell, Vince Martinico, Dale
Axelrod, Dave Minerva, Dick Ollhoff, and another hundred or so sickies like
Much of the talk at this year's meet concerned the motorcycle cannonball which
is scheduled to take place in September. There are many concerns about
obtaining parts in time to be able to compete and, although it may be too early
to panic, it is not too early to be very concerned. I will be updating
information about our entry and rider in a few weeks.
Upcoming meets that we are planning on attending are: Rhinebeck, New York,
Wasseon Ohio, and Davenport Iowa. See you there!