Several years ago, Dean Edward, local motorcycle enthusiast, was amazed to discover that the Allen County Historical Society owned a vintage Thor motorcycle. Excited by the discovery of the rare bike, Edward contacted Dale Walksler, CEO of the Wheels Through Timemotorcycle museum, Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
The 1912 Thor motorcycle had belonged to Ralph Marshall, former Allen County Sheriff, board track racer, 1936 Olympian, and owner of Marshall Sporting Goods store. As a young man, Marshall raced the bike locally and in surrounding counties. His donation to the Historical Society included the original bill of sale and the bike’s travel case.
Last fall, Walksler contacted Allen County Museum director Pat Smith to request permission to enter the Thor into the highly prestigious, world class, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance car and motorcycle show in Florida. The theme for the class was “Orphan American Motorcycles”, giving the opportunity for America’s lesser known brands to be seen by the world. Ten rare machines were displayed the first weekend in March, ranging from a 1904 Yale to a 1914 Flescher Flyer. All machines were at least 100 years of age.
The award for the preservation and provenance, going to the original machine with best documented history, presented by Concours Board Member John Duss, went to the stunning 1912 Thor Board Track Racer. Walksler stated that, “the 1912 Thor is among the most original early racing motorcycles in the world. It is preserved in original paint, with original racing saddle, “Blue-Streak” racing tires, chains, and number plate.”
The bike will soon be returning to the Allen County Museum where it can be seen with its original racing crate, in which it was shipped from the factory to its owner, and from race to race.
The Thor will also be featured in an upcoming episode of “What’s in the Barn.” The television series can be seen on the Velocity Channel and will also be shown on the Discovery Channel.
Learn more about the Allen County Museum’s many unique relics athttp://www.allencountymuseum.org/ACM2/Welcome.html.