(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) - In 1983, as the classic American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson plummeted toward bankruptcy, in part as a result of fierce competition with cheaply built foreign motorcycles flooding the U.S. market, President Ronald Reagan imposed a temporary tariff on imported Japanese motorcycles that ultimately helped Harley-Davidson stave off bankruptcy and return to producing higher-quality bikes. Remarking about this celebrated turnaround, President Reagan quipped, "Never bet against Americans."
In honor of the motorcycle and the passionate people who ride them, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its latest special exhibit, Born to be Wild: Vintage and Celebrity Motorcycles. Opening July 9, 2010, Born to be Wild chronicles the history and rich tradition of motorcycle culture from around the world. This exhibit will include the display of dozens of iconic movie and celebrity motorcycles as well as rare and vintage motorcycles dating back to 1899. Fun, lighthearted motorcycles will round out the exhibit, including a motorcycle and adjoining side-car from the Jelly Belly Company which guests may actually climb on and have their picture taken.
"Ronald Reagan's actions helped change the course of the American motorcycle industry," said Library Director Duke Blackwood. "By showcasing more than a century of truly extraordinary motorcycles, there really is something for everyone to see and enjoy."
Vintage motorcycles on display include a 1903 Harley-Davidson, a 1913 Sears, a 1922 Ner-A-Car, a 1948 Indian (Floyd Emde's winning bike from the Daytona 200 owned by Don Emde), a 1959 Cushman Eagle, a 1979 Honda CBX, a 2000 Custom Harley Chopper, a 2008 MV Agusta and many others.
Celebrity motorcycles include ones from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Steve McQueen, Joe Jonas, Dan Gurney, Keith Carradine, and others.
Movie motorcycles include Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1991 Harley from "The Terminator," the 1920 Indian Scout ridden by Anthony Hopkins from "The World's Fastest Indian," the motorized bicycle ridden by Kevin Kline and Will Smith in "Wild, Wild West," the Batgirl and Robin motorcycles ridden by Alicia Silverstone and Chris O'Donnell in "Batman and Robin," the motorcycle ridden by Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in "Star Trek," the Space Bike ridden by Adam Sandler in "Bedtime Stories," and more!
The exhibit, which is housed inside the Reagan Library's Air Force One Pavilion, runs through November 9, 2010. The Reagan Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California. Public hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Museum admission fees are $12.00 for general admission, $9.00 for seniors 62 and over, $6 for children 11-17 and free for children 10 years of age and under. For more information, call (800) 410.8354 or visit www.reaganlibrary.com.