Hall of Fame Inductee - 2009
Dale Walksler bought his first motorcycle at the age of 15, not knowing it would just be the first of many machines he would collect and share with thousands of fans over the years. In the early 1970s, he purchased the contents of an old Harley-Davidson dealership and opened up shop. A few years later, he bought an existing dealership in Mount Vernon, Illinois and became the youngest start up dealer in the country at the age of 21.
Walksler’s dealership continued to grow over the next 25 years and consistently performed in both sales and marketing. In 1988, Dale purchased a collection of vintage cars, built a building and opened a museum behind his dealership. It started out as “Dale’s Classic Cars,” but soon took on a new direction when he began to incorporate rare pieces from the history of American motorcycles. Within just a few years, Dale’s collection totaled over 200.
In 1999, Dale decided to dedicate himself to his passion for vintage motorcycles full-time. He sold the dealership, and started to look for a new home for what had become “Wheels Through Time.” It didn’t take long for Dale to settle on Maggie Valley, North Carolina as the new home for the museum.
Wheels Through Time welcomed over 500,000 visitors to its Maggie Valley location since 2002. Although the museum is no longer open for day-to-day operations, several special events and openings are held for visitors each year. For anyone who can’t make it to Maggie Valley, Dale created the innovative and groundbreaking “Time Machine”. Perhaps the first of its kind, this virtual website allows the museum to be experienced with the click of a mouse. This one of a kind website can be accessed at www.wheelsthroughtime.com.