The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has started construction on an 84,650-square-foot expansion, which will allow even more of George Barber’s world-record motorcycle and car collection to be on display.
“This expansion will help keep us as the benchmark for motorcycle collections worldwide,” said Barber, founder of the Barber museum and park. “People visit Birmingham from all over the world to see this museum and its collection, and we want to continue to ‘wow’ them with what they see. With programs and events like the Porsche Sport Driving School, the Mercedes‐Benz Brand Immersion Program, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama and the Triumph Superbike Challenge, it’s important that we always present an impeccable image for our sponsors and fans.”
The existing 144,000-square-foot, five-story museum has been a major attraction at the Barber Motorsports Park since it opened in October 2003.
But as large as it is, the existing museum has been able to display only about half of the 1,398 motorcycles Barber owns, which Guinness World Records certified as the world’s largest collection in March 2014.
“We won’t have trouble filling the expansion,” said Jeff Ray, the museum’s executive director. “We have many motorcycles in storage, and we are constantly adding to the collection.”
Barber and Ray talked about the expansion plans during an Alabama NewsCenter profile on the park earlier this year. Last week, Confederate Motors founder and CEO Matt Chambers said Barber Motorsports Park was one of the reasons he moved the company to Birmingham after Katrina.
The Barber Museum will remain open during construction. Museum visitors, along with those who attend the Barber Vintage Festival Oct. 9‐11 and the Honda Indy Grand Prix next April, can watch the progress. The expansion is expected to be complete by fall of next year.
Barber, a former milk magnate turned real estate developer and philanthropist, has made constant improvements at Barber Motorsports Park. The Barber Proving Grounds were added nearly a year ago and a 440‐foot‐long pedestrian bridge from the museum to the infield opened in April. A classroom building overlooking the proving grounds is under construction along with new garages for Mercedes‐Benz and other customers.