The Museum is honored to see our motorcycle featured on the front cover of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America's latest journal.
The all-original, one-owner 1956 Harley-Davidson FLH nicknamed "John D's Cherry Pepper" is one of the crown jewels of the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum's collection. Previously belonging to the late Mr. John Deathredge, the bike was purchased brand new from a Harley-Davidson dealer in Pueblo, Colorado in 1956, and spent most of its life parked in Mr. Deathredge's barn, save for an annual start and fluid exchange.
The Museum has consulted with Dennis D'Angelo and Greg Lew, two of the world's foremost experts on 1950s Harley-Davidson motorcycles, to verify that this immaculately preserved, low-mileage machine had never been disassembled or restored.
From the factory, John D's Cherry Pepper included the "King of the Highway" package - turn signals, light bars, oil filter, dual exhausts, windshield, cigarette lighter, and all the bells and whistles a post-WWII era motorcyclist could ask for.
The bike shows none of the typical signs of barn-bike deterioration, and even the polishing on individual components has stayed strong for over 60 years.
The immaculate state of preservation is attributed to the climate-controlled environment in Mr. Deathredge's "vault", as he called it. The Vault was a converted railroad car, complete with central heat and air conditioning, and isolated from all UV light. These factors, combined with the extremely dry conditions in Colorado's Arkansas Valley, kept this machine in a literal time capsule, free of any allowance for deterioration.
Although Mr. Deathredge only rode the motorcycle from 1956 to 1959, he lovingly cared for the machine every month of every year until his death in 2018. Mr. Deathredge's "vault" contained many other treasures, also immaculately preserved.
Watch the video below for an in-depth, piece-by-piece presentation on this legendary machine: