Barber track to expand museum

George Barber, who built the Barber Motorsports Park and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum with tens of millions of dollars of his own money, expects to complete plans for a 100,000 square-foot museum expansion this year and break ground in 2012.

The new building will be built on the inside of the racetrack and will be connected to the existing museum by an enclosed bridge over the track. You'll be able to stand in the walkway and watch cars and motorcycles race below, he said this week.

The existing museum is 140,000 square feet and has space to display about half of Barber's mammoth bike collection, which is widely viewed as the world's best.

Barber also said that work to restore the iconic Pete's Famous Hotdogs sign that used to hang above the tiny Pete's Famous restaurant on Second Avenue North has been completed.

Proprietor Constantine "Gus" Koutroulakis left the sign to Barber after his death in April. Barber said he intends to display the sign in his museum.

The neon and electrical components have beenrestored, but the slightly aged paint was left alone.

"We're not exactly sure what we'll do with it yet," Barber said.

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