Dale Walksler Obituary, Death Cause – Dale Walksler, 68, the museum’s founder in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, passed away from cancer on February 3, 2021. For four years, he had struggled against the illness. In 2002, Walksler opened a new 38,000-square-foot facility to house the collection after relocating it from Mt. Vernon, Illinois. I had the pleasure of meeting with Dale Walksler and touring the facilities back in 2006. Talking bikes with Walksler was a blast because he was both friendly and knowledgeable.
His assortment of automobiles is unparalleled in quality and originality. Every car on display at Wheels Through Time is functional, making it the “The museum that runs,” as described by Walksler. To keep his word, Walksler wore an old-fashioned pudding bucket helmet and a leather riding jacket while we were there and took us for a ride on his 1917 Henderson Four. We rode along with Speed Channel’s Dave Despain, who was on a Gold Wing. For his accomplishments, Walksler was inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame this year (2019).
His extraordinary career in the motorcycle industry, which he began while still a young guy, is chronicled in that section of his website’s bio. In 1970, at the tender age of 18, he opened Dale’s Hogs, a motorbike dealership he had founded. Two years later, at age 22, he opened a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle franchise in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, making him one of the youngest people ever to receive such a franchise.
After he sold the business in 1999, he kept his collection and moved it to its new location in Maggie Valley in 2002. He kept adding to it with rare, vintage motorcycles and cars, like a 1916 Traub that is the only known example of its kind.
Walksler is in high demand as an expert judge at numerous motorcycle competitions due to his considerable expertise working with vintage and collectible motorcycles of a range of manufacturers. His status in the Antique Motorcycle Club of America was that of honorary member.