26 August 2011

City Paper

Tim Sneed, Funny Face and Murph with the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix Motorcycle

Artist Tim Sneed works in a big garage full of motorcycles and metal-working machinery in East Baltimore. His shop is called Mobtown Cycle, and he—as the son of Bill “Whitey” Sneed, a Karb Kings car club original member and president (1961-’62), and reviver of the ’50s and ’60s club in the past decade—is a big fan of the Grand Prix.

So big a fan is Sneed, in fact, that he is personally building a customized Harley Davidson Sportster to be auctioned off for charity during the race weekend. “They approached me back in March,” he says, “and wanted to talk to me about building a bike for the race.” He says he told them to figure out their budget and come back, “then I never really saw them again.”

Later, Sneed says, his partner got on him again about doing the charity bike, went through records, found the guy’s contact number and set up the deal. “I don’t really know the cat’s name,” Sneed says. “I’m just building the bike.”

It’s a 1992 XL 1200, which he has made to look very much like a racing bike of the 1970s.

The charity auction will be but one of myriad events held during the “festival of speed,” as the race has come to be known. Besides the IndyCar race on Sunday, there will be an American LeMans series race pitting heavily modified Porsches, Ferraris, and Corvettes against one another. There are two other somewhat minor-league road races scheduled as well, along with a 5K foot race. Nonstop music concerts are on the bill, and there are three distinct and separate “fun” zones depicted on the maps of the race circuit, with one dedicated to “family friendly food and entertainment”; one to pro beach volleyball, go-karts, and radio-controlled racing; and one labeled, simply, “Party Zone

No comments: