During their annual Vintage Rally and Swap Meet, the National Motorcycle Museum revealed a new motorcycle from film history, thought to have been lost forever.
The motorcycle from the film “The Wild Angels,” was unveiled by Dave Ohrt of “American Pickers” alongside Jill Parham.
Ohrt said that he first learned about the bike back in 2008 when Mil Blair, publisher of American Iron magazine, called the late John Parham about discovering the bike in California in the possession of the daughter of the original mechanic from the film that had worked on the bike.
The film was directed by Roger Corman, known as “the King of the B’s” for his penchant for making B-movies, and starred three eventual Oscar nominees: Peter Fonda, who also had a starring role in “Easy Rider” three years later, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, who were married to each other at the time. The film also starred Nancy Sinatra.
“It was probably the first biker movie that they spent real money on, that had merit,” Ohrt said of the film’s significance.
The bike itself is really what stands out to Ohrt about the film. The fact that the bike is from the late 60s, a personally favorite era of his, makes the bike even more special.
At the urging of the crowd, Ohrt even started up the bike at the unveiling, which blew some of the materials behind the bike down from the wall.
In addition to the bike, the new part of the film exhibit includes the certificate of authenticity on the bike, a vest from the movie, and promotional and behind the scenes materials from the film.
The cast of American Pickers weren’t the only draws for the annual rally and swap meet. Author DJ Jones talked about her book, ”50 States of Consciousness,” which chronicled her 2006 journey through all 50 states on the back of a motorcycle to raise money for heart disease and pediatric cancer.
“I’m just trying to make everybody realize that we have so much more in common than we think we do. It comes down to that human factor,” she said. “I’m trying to help some people and talk to kids and spread the word that we have the ability to do whatever we want to.”
Carl Ries also gave a presentation on the history of the Cannonball, which stopped by Anamosa last fall.