Modern attempts to reinvent the wheel have been mostly pointless, with the exception of the octagonal wheel, which had eight decent points but was otherwise useless. Celebrate the well-rounded products of human ingenuity with today’s Groupon: for $12, you get two adult tickets to Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley (up to a $24 value). Admission for adults is regularly $12, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children.
Wheels Through Time revs up the heart rates of vintage motor enthusiasts to redline levels with its collection of more than 300 rare and classic motorcycles alongside a slew of other well-oiled artifacts. The museum displays historic hogs from powerhouse makers such as Harley-Davidson and Excelsior, and several exhibits featuring military motorcycles, board track racers, and the first helmets to incorporate x-ray traffic vision. Wheels Through Time, nicknamed “The Museum That Runs,” is dedicated to exhibiting motorcycles that are in running order—quite a feat, considering more than 30 models on display were manufactured before 1916, the year the wheel was invented. An impressive collection of vintage automobile classics spanning nearly a century includes early teen cars in all their hyperemotional glory, as well as 1930s Lincolns and the same Corvette Neil Armstrong drove back to earth after the Apollo landing.
Wheels Through Time Museum
Heralded by Cycle World, American Motorcyclist, and comedian Jay Leno, the Wheels Through Time Museum recently picked up even more exposure on an episode of History Channel's American Pickers. In "The Belly Dance," hosts Mike and Frank come to the museum in need—they've found a rare belly-tank racer, but unless they can get it to run, the find will have cost them more money than it's worth.
That's where museum founder and curator Dale Walksler, automotive enthusiast par excellence, comes in. In 1993, Walksler invited crowds and fellow bike buffs to join in the astonishing details of his obsession: more than 300 rare and historical classic motorcycles amid a collection of tens of thousands of related artifacts. Free from the ghosts of vengeful traffic cops, the double-decker garage resembles a fever-dream cycle showroom gleaming with vintage and contemporary models by Harley Davidson, Indian, and Excelsior, and one-of-a-kind machines that include the handsome Traub. The ahead-of-its-time machine was discovered bricked up inside a Chicago wall in 1967, built by a brilliant designer who apparently never built another bike before or after. Despite dating back to the 1910s, nearly all of the machines can still run—often zooming straight through the 40,000-square-foot museum floor¬—and lecture passersby on four-way intersection etiquette.