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Motorcycle museum a hidden county treasure

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  • Motorcycle museum a hidden county treasure

The Lone Star Motorcycle Museum at 36517 Highway 187 in Vanderpool is an unexpected treasure located deep in Bandera County. It is not just a destination for vintage motorcycle enthusiasts but also for families looking for an engaging stop to break up a leisurely Sunday drive.

“This is something you don’t expect to find in the Hill Country,” said Debbie Johncock. “These motorcycles are not just vintage vehicles, some of them are just gorgeous pieces of art,” she remarked.

The museum houses 70 motorcycles on display. The showroom is awash with red, black, green and chrome motorcycles. These antique and vintage motorcycles date from 1910 and come from all around the world.

Some of the most rare and collectable motorcycles in the world are housed in this museum from makers like Harley, Indian, Norton, Enfield and Vincent. Their best find was a 1938 Brough Superior like the ones ridden by T.E. Lawrence.

Even though museum founder Allan Johncock was originally only interested in British motorcycles, he has European, Japanese, and early American bikes, as well.

Most of the motorcycles in the museum are from his collection, but a few are on loan for display from other enthusiasts.

The museum has drawn visitors from Iceland, Australia, Holland, Mexico, and all over the United States.

“People are thrilled that we are sharing these motorcycles with others,” said Johncock.

Australian Allan Johncock began riding motorcycles as a youth which led to his passion for bikes. The Johncock’s started collecting motorcycles in 1984.

The couple would hear about vintage bikes by word of mouth and track them down across the world. Many of the motorcycles were found as parts stored away in boxes.

The Johncocks would purchase the parts, ship them to the US and Allan would put the pieces together restoring the mo torcycle. At least half of his collection was found in Australia.

Looking for a home base away from the concrete of city life in Houston, the Johncocks found Vanderpool. This was a rural area that had beautiful rides which drew motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world.

After retiring, Johncock returned to his passion for motorcycles taking his collection with him to the Texas Hill Country while also restoring and racing vintage cycles. Johncock raced vintage cycles at Daytona.

“Allan was a rider, and he rode those bikes,” said wife Debbie.

She talks of their rides fondly.

“Allan loved riding and he was a good rider,” she stated.

To begin with the building was just a place to store motorcycles and the bulky tools needed for restoration.

As word of mouth got out, more motorcyclists dropped by to see the restorations and chat with Allan and Debbie.

The couple built the building in 2000 and opened the museum in 2002. Today, the motorcycle museum has an open workshop day on Tuesday for those working on restoration projects.

Even though the Lonestar Motorcycle Museum is located off the beaten track, it can pull in almost 400 visitors on a busy fall or spring weekend.

The museum is open from March through November on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 a.m. Adult admission is $7, and children under 15 are free. There are discounted admissions for seniors and military members.

For more information about the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, go to the web site at lonestarmotorcyclemuseum.com.