The Tribute To The Life And Legacy of Dale Walksler
STORY AND PHOTOS BY JIM DOLMS
The tribute to the life and legacy of the founder and curator of the Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina took place on April 2nd. Family and friends traveled from around the country to honor the late Dale Walksler who passed away last February. He was a man with boundless energy who dedicated his life to the preservation of motorcycles and automobiles.
The museum is filled with rare one-of a-kind motorcycles and motorcycles with provenance. Board and flat track racers, hill climbers, military bikes, early Harley Davidson and Indians and the not so well known machines like, Henderson, Excelsior, Ace, Cyclone, Pope, Dayton, Elk and Crocker.
It was Dale’s personal mission to make every motorcycle operational, a unique goal and an accomplishment that led to the museum becoming known as “The Museum That Runs.” Through his passion, vision, and dedication, coupled with his generosity, he created not just a destination but an experience. His influence and reach extended through public appearances at antique motorcycle events and auctions, his first television show “What’s in the Barn” followed by a season of “American Restoration” and guest television appearances in American Pickers. He took production in house and created “Reel School”, a show featuring restorations of vintage motorcycles and breathing life back into motorcycles that have sat idle for years. Reel School is a streaming show and can be viewed on “Dale’s Channel”.
Dale possessed a knowledge of American motorcycles like no other. Those who spoke during the tribute told stories of his ability to look at an American motorcycle part and be able to identify the model and year it was from. During the inside portion of the tribute the museum debuted a 22-minute-long mini-documentary highlighting Dale’s life and featuring stories from many of his closest family and friends. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/JVULE45681g
To help fund the running of the museum and to acquire new additions Dale built a raffle bike each year and some lucky winner was the owner of a custom Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, Panhead or Flathead. Each bike was a work of art. Matt, his son, continues the annual tradition of building a raffle bike. This year’s build is a 1937 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead and will be raffled off on November 19th. Two other lucky winners will win $10,000 and $5,000. You do not have to be present to win.
Dale’s Wheels Through Time is located 5 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway in Maggie Valley and is open Thursday through Monday into late November.