Gordon Massie got his first motorcycle at 11 years old: a tiny minibike with a lawnmower engine that could only reach a top speed of about 20 mph, purchased with his own money. After that, it was over—Massie was hooked. With the begrudging blessing of his parents, he bought his first street-legal bike at 15: a 1966 Honda CL160, not unlike one of the 91 vintage motorcycles displayed in his Texas Vintage Motorcycle Museum in Johnson City.
After years of restoring and collecting motorcycles, Massie opened the museum in the spring of 2022, exhibiting 83 bikes from his personal collection and eight loaners, mainly from the 1950s through the 1970s. There are Moto Guzzis and Hondas and Kawasakis and Ducatis and Harleys, a tiny 1960 Tote-Gote Scamp with an additional sidecar built from a World War II bomb casing, a loaner from West Coast Chopper's Jesse James, and a Norton Manx factory road racer that competed in the 1955 and 1956 Isle of Man races. A barebones green Cushman with a fringed seat has a handwritten sign underneath it: "Perhaps my ugliest motorcycle??" A virtually unridden, on-loan Ducati signed by English racer Paul Smart was previously displayed in someone's living room. Bikes hang from the ceiling, and a plastic plate catches oil dripping from one below. It's a motorcyclist's dream.