Vintage Lords hope to open a museum to showcase their collection of vintage vehicles
About 30 miles north of Winston-Salem, out of the city and into the windy country roads of state Highway 772 in Madison, North Carolina, there are a string of three buildings on the left side of the road. Walking into these buildings owned by Steven Cole of Vintage Lords will transport some back at least 50 years. Inside of these unsuspecting, vintage relics themselves, a vast collection of vintage cars and motorcycles sit and await their turn at being swooned at, restored or resurrected.
Jason Lord is the founder and creator of Vintage Lords, which buys, sells and collects vintage cars and motorcycles. Lord said he became friends with Cole after having him “as such a good customer” for a while. Lord said four years ago, Cole offered him his shop space so the both of them could work on restoring and collecting together. Lord said his long-time friend Everett Miller, a vintage car mechanic joined Vintage Lords to help with the restoration process. Lord said Miller has helped him more times than he can count.
“I am out here to help Jason and Steve with whatever they need,” Miller said while working on fixing the head and taillights of a 1949 Jeepster.
Lord said he has been collecting for over 15 years and Cole started collecting vintage motorcycles eight years ago. Lord runs his own motorcycle dealership, Kevin Powell Motorsports and has even worked with Joe Kiser, a well-known, family business motorcycle dealer based out of Winston-Salem and attributes these to some of his luck with his collection. “We have been doing it for so long, people will just call us and we got people looking at stuff for us,” Lord said.
Lord said his fascination with cars and motorcycles started when he was 16-years-old.
“I got into my fair share of trouble with the fast cruisers,” Lord said with a chuckle. “So that is when I got into the older and slower stuff.”
Lord said Cole has been in the motorcycle realm longer than he has, and his area of expertise is Harley Davidson motorcycles. Cole calls collecting a hobby of his as well as a better way to spend money.
“It is better than putting your money in stocks because you can’t see it,” Cole said.
While collecting these vintage bikes and cars, Cole sees his investment develop, flourish and he gets to tinker around with his motorized relics. Lord said their hobby is a good way to spend money because “the end result will always go up in value.”
For Cole, the physical appearance and tangibility of owning these vintage vehicles are what draws him into collecting the most.
“You get to look at them, get them going and ride them,” Cole said.
Vintage Lords’ motorcycle collection dates back from the 1940s to 1960s, with some models from the 1970s, however, there is nothing else past the 1970s, Lord said. Among these older, vintage bikes are the brands, Honda, Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Motessa, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Sears and Zundapp. Although, intact motorcycles are not the only things that Vintage Lord collects. Vintage Lords has in its possession a 1971 Honda 600 cc motorcycle motor and a Harley Davidson Hummer motors that date back from 1946 to 1954.
Lord said he prefers Hondas as his favorite type of car and motorcycle while Cole said is a tough decision to choose his favorite motorcycle Vintage Lords has in their collection. He said he really likes the 1946 Harley Davidson as well as others he has not heard of, such as bikes from Germany and Russia.
“My favorite bike though is the [Honda] Dreams, we have a bigger collection of them,” Cole said. “To me, those look like a piece of art.”
Lord and Cole said Vintage Lords has 10 to 15 restored vehicles that run at all times. Lord said that number fluctuates, however, because they are constantly buying and selling.
In terms of restoration, Cole said it takes their motorcycle mechanic two to three days to fix up a motorcycle in good condition. With cars or cycles that need to be totally restored, it could take months.
Lord and Cole not only collect their motorized pieces of art, but they also sell them. Lord said the biggest sale they have ever made on a car they worked on was $50,000 and at least $20,000 to $30,000 motorcycles. However, Lord said they will be moving away from the constant buying and selling of motorcycles to a more collecting and curating process for their future plans: opening a museum in their shop.
Lord said he wants the museum so people can come and experience their little pieces of the past.
“So that people can come look at the bikes and with the older guys–try to take them back a little when they were young,” Lord said.
He said he wants people to be able to take something away with them when they come, such as sharing what they liked or what the bike or car said to them and the story behind it.
“Every bike in there has got a story,” Cole said.
Lord said many people let their vintage cars sit outside and rust to the point where they lose their value.
“As far as us buying, restoring and selling to others who’ll restore them, we are saving a little bit of the past,” Lord said.
Cole said the area of Dillard in Madison, North Carolina, is fitting for Vintage Lords’ location because of all the motorcycle traffic from Winston-Salem to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“This is the destination,” Cole said. “Everyone rides from Winston-Salem to the roads around here.”
Vintage Lords are actively looking to buy and sell, to see their collection visit their social media pages or call Lord for more information.