Founder of Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum in North Carolina
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Life Member and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Dale Walksler, founder of the Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum, died at home Feb. 3 after a long illness.
An entrepreneur as a teenager, Mr. Walksler found his life’s passion in motorcycles. He bought and sold Harley-Davidson parts during high school before launching Dale’s Hogs motorcycle store in Illinois when he was 18.
At 22, he became one of the youngest Harley-Davidson dealers in the country when he opened a dealership in Mount Vernon, Ill.
As his business grew, Mr. Walksler moved his motorcycle collection to the dealership to attract customers. In 1999, Mr. Walksler sold the dealership and relocated his motorcycle collection to Maggie Valley, N.C. The new museum opened in 2002.
Although the Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum is open to the public only six months each year, more than 100,000 visitors pass through its exhibits annually. From December through April, the staff restores bikes and arranges new exhibits.
The museum’s popularity earned Mr. Walksler appearances on several television programs about vintage car and motorcycle restoration, including “American Restoration,” “Chasing Classic Cars,” “American Pickers” and his own show “What’s in the Barn?”
Those shows helped popularize vintage motorcycling, as well as put forward a positive image of the motorcycling lifestyle.
Mr. Walksler was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2019. His biography can be found at motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?racerid=514.