While some motorcycle museums are closing down and selling off, there is one small, but significant, family museum that continues to build on their collection and keep their doors open in the name of a family tradition.
The Panorama Motorcycle Museum 60km southwest of Brisbane includes mainly pre-war American and British bikes that grew gradually over several decades as pig farmer Ron Jurgensen returned from the weekly pig sales with old bikes and junk.
About 1965 he started restoring some of the old bikes with son Rodney and future son-in-law Rod Beasley.
He sold his Wyaralong farm, moved to nearby Coulson where he built some sheds to house his growing collection and opened to the public in 1970. A stroke forced Ron to close his beloved museum.
Now his family – Rod and Jenny Beasley and sons Brendan and Jason – keeps his memory alive with his eclectic collection of bikes, James Bond model cars, musical instruments, war equipment, Aussie car icons, farming implements, old bottles and odds and sods.
Ron had a love for old Harleys, but there are also Indians and British bikes such as BSA, AJS, Triumph and Matchless. The oldest is a 1914 Indian, while the most valuable is a 1942 Indian Chief and sidecar.
It’s not a huge collection, but they are in good nick, about a third would start straight away and the best part are the stories Rod and the boys tell. But Rod is adamant none is for sale!
Today the big shed is bursting at the seams and Brendan proudly says they are continuing to add to the collection, pointing out his latest additions, a couple of Indian racers.
“It’s a family operation. Nothing is for sale, we just add to it. We’re not wheelers and dealers,” Brendan says.
The museum is on the Warrill View-Peaking Crossing Rd 45 minutes southwest of Brisbane and 5 minutes before Boonah.
Turn right off the Ipswich-Boonah Rd at the signpost to Roadvale and take the first turn right. You’ll see the museum sign immediately on the left.
The area is famed for weekend warriors heading down towards Cunninghams Gap and the Scenic Rim, so it’s a great place to stop on your way to or from the region this weekend.
It’s only open on Sundays from 8am-4pm, but they will also open by appointment for clubs and social groups.
And entry is still just $10.
“We don’t make a living out of it, we just do it for the family tradition,” Brendan says.