Wayne Caveney has been riding motorcycles for over 50 years. He owns three motorcycles that are licensed to be on the road and has four more that are being worked on. That’s not so unusual.
What is more unusual, however, is the 30+ year collection of motorcycle memorabilia that fills his basement. His entire basement is full of motorcycle-related items, all carefully displayed from floor to ceiling. Most of the pieces have a story and many perform an action.
Many vintage motorcycle toys fill display cases and line shelves, along with trading cards, oil cans, posters, pennants, and advertising items. He is unsure how many items are in his collection but estimates that there might be a half a million individual pieces. Many items feature Harley Davidson motorcycles, but he collects it all. Most of the colorful items Caveney has purchased at flea markets, auctions, and online.
He has a complete set of cigarette/tobacco cards that feature motorcycle speedway riders. These cards were included in cigarette packs in the early 1900s up until the 1930s.
There is one item he is still searching for, he explained. There are supposed to be six ‘trikes’, or three-wheeled motorcycles, in a set, and he only has five. That missing trike keeps him out there, searching for it. He has seen it in a book, he said, but never in person. He’s pretty good at keeping track of what he has so that he doesn’t have duplicates of too many things.
It was his Uncle “Dude” that influenced him to collect, Caveney said, back in New Hampshire. Uncle Dude always had bikes, he explained. Caveney grew up in New Hampshire where Laconia Motorcycle Week was started, which was the largest motorcycle rally in the country until the Sturgis, South Dakota, event started. He has lived in Charlotte since 1989 and retired from the State of Michigan.
One of his favorite items in his vast collection is a wind-up metal toy made in Germany by the Arnold Company in 1949. It features a rider on a motorcycle, and the rider actually dismounts and remounts the bike, then rides it in a circle and ends up spinning. He has many wind up and battery-operated motorcycles, he estimates about 1,300 of them, many of which are ridden by a police officer. The oldest one in his collection dates from 1905. His oldest pennant is from 1915.
“I just love it all,” he said. “The toys they used to make are unbelievable.”
He has been contacted by American Pickers about his collection, but so far has not had a visit from them.
Caveney’s wife, Debbie said, “It’s overwhelming,” as she looked around at the collection. “He’s got everything.”
To contact Caveney about his collection, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.