Every year during the last few hot days of summer, gear heads and moto nuts from all over the world flock to the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa for the world-renowned Chief Blackhawk Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet. What started with just a few motorcycle lovers some 51 years ago under a shade tree, exploded to attract thousands of people each year and has become the largest vintage motorcycle swap meet in America. Overnight, the fairgrounds are transformed into a little city with over 1000 vendors buying and selling anything related to antique motorcycles from the turn of the century to the 1970s.
For All The Pickers
Mike has had his spot at the swap meet for almost 30 years and never misses the opportunity to see his old friends and score rare treasures. He has loved motorcycles since he was little but the swap meet is where he fell in love with the history of the motorcycle.
“So many of these vendors are my mentors and this swap has been a true coming of age for me as a picker,” says Wolfe. “It’s a community of like-minded people that love transportation history and anything with two wheels.”
A favorite night of the swap meet is the motorcycle races. Here you can see riders race motorcycles that age from the early 1900s to the 1960s on a flat, dirt oval track.
One of the people that help make this swap the success it is, is Wanda Schumacher. “She wears a lot of hats but what I love about her the most is that she’s everyone’s mama and she takes care of us,” says Mike.
World Known and Loved
With that family-like atmosphere and an unrivaled selection of everything vintage motorcycle, it’s no wonder that this swap brings people from all over the world, over 20 different countries to be exact (and counting).
Visit www.chiefblackhawk.org for the latest information and dates for next year’s swap meet! We can’t wait to see you out there!