Put together a lover of toys and the manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars, and you have the owner and creator of possibly the greatest collection of motorcycle sidecar toys known to man.
For AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Doug Bingham, it began when he started manufacturing sidecars in 1964, a company incorporated in 1969 as Sidestrider Inc. in Van Nuys, Calif.
The variety was endless, ranging from some the size of house flies to those large enough to operate on slot-racing tracks. And there were other remote-controlled models that you could race across the sidewalk, or across a dirt field.
The toys were made of everything from Legos, one of Bingham’s favorites, to the finest steel from all over the world. He never knew when, or where, he was going to find one, from the hallowed shelves of an F.A.O. Schwartz in New York’s Manhattan, to an obscure toy store in Solvang, Calif.
The collection grew from one large display case, to a second, then a third.
When Bingham decided it was time to retire, he wondered what to do with the toys. As an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer, his first thought was to donate them to the Hall of Fame.
So he sent his 50-year collection to motorcycling’s hallowed hall in Pickerington, Ohio.
According to Doug, he has spent a lifetime enjoying AMA events, adding “this is my way of giving back to someone who’s been good to me.”
-- Bob Jackson