2017 marked the centenary of Canada’s oldest Harley-Davidson dealer, which began in 1917 when Fred Deeley opened his first shop in Vancouver.
Fred’s son, Fred Jnr, took over the running in 1925, and his son, Trev, became the dominant figure in Flat Track racing throughout the 1940s and 1950s, riding as a factory-sponsored H-D teamster. Even after his own retirement from racing, Trev sponsored champions like Yvon Duhamel, Steve Baker and Don Vesco. In 1953 Trev became General Manager of the family business, and four years later added Honda to the stable – the first Honda distributor in the English-speaking world. By 1985 Trev was on the H-D board, and his company was the exclusive Canadian distributor for the iconic brand. He remained on the H-D board until 1993, and the same year opened the Trev Deeley Museum which has grown into a truly word class collection. Trev passed away in 2002, but the company founded by his grandfather continues in Vancouver, located since 2006 on the main thoroughfare of Boundary Road. The museum is now part of the main retail business. The Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition changes its format on a regular basis, and currently showcases 100 Years of Motorcycling. A storefront window display of iconic models greets you as you enter the spacious parking area of the dealership, with Trev Deeley’s WR 750 on which he finished 10th in the 1950 Daytona 200 as the centrepiece. Inside is a brightly lit and colourful trip through time, and although HarleyDavidson dominates, there is a wealth of other makes represented, from a replica of the 1885 Reitwagen with its timber chassis, through the best of British era, the coming of the Japanese, and numerous European models. The 100 Years of Motorcycling Exhibition is scheduled to run through 2019 and is a must-see if you find yourself anywhere near Vancouver, British Columbia.
Naturally the bulk of the display is devoted to Harley-Davidson, but there is also a large collection of significant motorcycles from other manufacturers, American, British, European and Japanese.
TOP Welcome to the show. TOP RIGHT The spacious showroom of Canada’s oldest H-D dealer. ABOVE 1938 Police Harley and sidecar welcomes visitors to the Exhibition. The owner of this Electra Glide was 6 foot 8 inches tall, hence the oversized seat and extra tall windshield.
The milestone CB750. This is a 1973 K3, a model that did not come to Australasia. Replicas of the choppers ridden in the movie Easy Rider by Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda. LEFT The legendary Series C Vincent Black Shadow – when released, the world’s fastest standard motorcycle. ABOVE British brawn. Brough Superior SS680 of 1929 with V-twin JAP engine. BELOW LEFT The seminal Honda Gold Wing of 1976; the model continues today. Last of the line. The 1953 Chief was the final version of the iconic model.