Treasures of the vault

When I first began working for the High Desert Museum, I was elated to find something tucked away in the vault that I never expected here: this 42 Liberator. It immediately became my favorite object in the collection. I am a huge fan of vintage Harley-Davidsons for many reasons but have always been drawn to the sense of freedom they embody. It would be difficult to find a better ambassador of freedom than a Liberator. What makes this motorcycle so important to me is what it paved the way for. With the popularity and economic strength Harley-Davidson had after WWII, the company was able to launch a brand new big V-twin engine in 1948, affectionately known as the Panhead. I was born and raised on the back of my father’s Panhead which I now own and ride, over 30 years later.