LEXINGTON, Ohio — Rob Wilhelm bought a 1979 Honda 250 Elsinore two years ago, spent a year gathering parts and another year restoring the classic bike.
The effort paid off on Sunday when Wilhelm's bike was selected as the Grand Marshals' Choice winner at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Bike Show, presented by Old Bike Barn, during AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Rider of Kawasaki.
Rob Wilhelm of Traverse City, Mich., receives the Grand Marshals' Choice award from Gary Semics (left), Steve Johnson and Jeff Fredette.
"This bike was in rough shape when I bought it," Wilhelm said. "But I had a 125 when I was a kid, and I have always liked this style, so this build meant a lot to me.
"But what really meant the most to me was when one of the judges told me that three of the four Grand Marshals picked my bike as the best."
The Grand Marshal's Choice award this year was a collaborative choice among co-grand marshals Tony Nicosia, Steve Johnson, Gary Semics and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Jeff Fredette.
Other winners announced Sunday included:
- American Best of Show, Bill France, 1948 Harley-Davidson Panhead
- European Best of Show, Alan Downey, 1975 Bultaco Montadero
- British Best of Show, Carl Peshoff, 1959 Ariel Square Four
- Japanese Best of Show, Jim Ratti, 1973 Honda CB350F
The bike show judges were David Uhl, Ron Ribolzi, Bear Haughton, Ellis Holman and Graham Cousens.
Bill France (left) receives the First Place award for American 1939-1969 from Grand Marshal Steve Johnson. He also won American Best of Show.
Carl Peshoff receives the British Best of Show award from Bear Haughton of Old Bike Barn.
Alan Downey receives the European Best of Show award from Bear Haughton of Old Bike Barn.
Jim Ratti receives the Japanese Best of Show from Bear Haughton of Old Bike Barn.