Foundation News


Jun 24, 2016

"Gentleman Ray" Collection with AMF

by Brendan Dooley, AMF Director

 

When the Antique Motorcycle Foundation got started, Raymond Dhue was essential to the process. The former AMF vice president was first a longtime member of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America and very active in the Colonial Chapter in New Jersey with his wife, Kathy. He served as a secretary for many years before being invited to serve on the AMCA board as well.

"Everyone called him 'Gentleman Ray,'" said his widow, Kathy Dhue Abels. "He always had period clothing" when he took bikes to AMCA shows.

"Ray's passion for motorcycling started when he graduated from college, needed to pay off loans and couldn't afford a car—so he bought a motorcycle," Kathy said. "That's how he got around. One day he went to a motorcycle show in Manhattan and that was when he was introduced to AMCA."

It started with an old Triumph, she said, that wasn't correct. It was through AMCA he saw an original bike and then started buying and collecting.

"When we got married, he had five bikes," Kathy said. "When he passed (in 2011), we had 21."

In addition to the motorcycles (including "boxes and boxes of parts for each one, meticulously labeled," Kathy said), they had collected dozens of Franklin Mint motorcycle collectibles and miniatures, other classic bike models, memorabilia and antiques.

Among the Franklin Mint collectible models were an 1885 Daimler bicycle, 1957 BMW with sidecar, 1969 Triumph Bonneville, several Indians including three 442s, and many Harley-Davidsons from multiple eras.

Working with AMF board member Dennis Craig, Kathy decided to donate most of the collection to the foundation so they can be seen in the foundation's exhibition wing at Motorcyclepedia museum in Newburgh, N.Y. A few of the motorcycles were split amongst relatives, and Kathy kept her favorites: a pink 1969 Yamaha "Pink Lady" U5-E and a 1954 BMW she loved to ride. (Kathy is donating that pink Yamaha soon too.)

Much of the memorabilia and models are waiting to go on display at the museum until a proper display can be sourced, according to Jon Radermacher, AMF president.

The generosity of the Dhue family is a beacon to other hobbyist about keeping the hobby going after we are gone, and it does not have to be just about bikes. There is so much more that shapes the hobby, and items like the antiques and models and miniatures are common items in many collections and help catch the spirit.

When you give to AMF, donations help future generations of hobbyists understand the past. And that can be through classic bikes and parts, literature and brochures, models and memorabilia, period clothing and more. Monetary donations are always welcome as well to help with items like transport of collectibles to the museum, items put out on loan and even things like sourcing displays and informational placards.

"He was a very special person and impactful on the hobby," Kathy said.

And through her generosity and the AMF, his impact will continue. 

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