Backroads Gold

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Coker will looking for barn finds like this “amazingly authentic” unrestored 1924 Mercer that appeared at the SEMA Show in 2012.

Coker will looking for barn finds like this “amazingly authentic” unrestored 1924 Mercer that appeared at the SEMA Show in 2012.

Last September, at the Antique Motorcycle Club of America National Meet in Davenport, Iowa, I was woofing down some kind of sandwich at the food stand while talking to Jeff and Sharon Powell, a couple of first-class MG and bicycle collectors out of Chicago. Suddenly, Corky Coker was sitting with us.

After setting down all the goodies he had scared up at the swap meet, the mustached tiremaker snapped his suspenders and started joshing me about something I wrote on his 1924 Mercer. Then, he spent the next half hour or so jawboning with us. When he hauled his motherload of “junktiques” off again, Jeff Powell looked at me and said, “He’s really a nice guy—ain’t he?”

That nice guy impression is what makes Corky an excellent scavenger of old cars, motorcycles, truck and automobilia and explains why just a few weeks later, at the SEMA Show in Vegas, Corky and his daughter Casey Cunningham let out the news that they will be launching a new cable TV show. Based on Coker’s bargaining skills, the show will be called “Backroad Gold” and it’s appearing on the Travel Channel starting about now.

 

Coker is also a fancier of early bikes like this restored Henderson and makes tires for them, too.

Coker is also a fancier of early bikes like this restored Henderson and makes tires for them, too.

 

Casey revealed that Backroad Gold will follow Corky Coker as he scours the highways, back roads and small towns of America, wheeling and dealing for hidden riches such as antique cars, motorcycles, trucks, gas pumps and road signs. “This is my father’s life-long passion and his business—he is constantly on the road hunting for the next big find,” she said.

Together with his team of restorers—including his father, son-in-law and Casey—Coker buys, restores and sells all his finds from his Honest Charley’s Speedshop in Chattanooga, Tenn. Segments of the new reality series will be 30 min. long.

For more information visit: http://web.poptower.com/backroad-gold.htm#ixzz2lBpfn01f.

 

 

 

 

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