Barber Motorsports Park has made a name for itself in the Southeast as a premier racing destination in the heart of the South. From museumgoers to motorcycle enthusiasts and dedicated racing fans, thousands of visitors come to Barber each year to enjoy the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the Porsche Track Experience, and a number of public and private events.

(Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum/Facebook)

The most notable of these events is the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix. Considered the state’s premier INDYCAR event, this year marks its 14th year at Barber and the excitement surrounding the event shows no signs of slowing down. While many visitors are local to the area and well-versed in the history of the park, others may not know the remarkable journey of the park’s namesake George Barber that led to its current grandeur.

Known by many as one of the most interesting men in the state, Barber’s legacy begins with a familiar Alabama favorite. In the 1930s, his father, George H. Barber, founded his company, Barber’s Diary, the largest dairy company in the state, and the company responsible for the iconic cartons served during school lunches throughout Alabama. At the time Barber’s father was working to grow the dairy company and help establish milk pasteurization standards for the U.S., Barber’s interest in racing took on a life of its own and Barber later found himself behind the wheel.

After achieving 63 first-place finishes racing Porches in the 1960s, Barber developed a fascination with motorcycles. This fascination grew, and he ultimately made the decision to create a museum to house motorcycles to be worked on. During that time, his passion also led to similar ventures such as directing a vintage motorcycle racing team. Barber’s motorcycle collection grew considerably over the years and his museum officially became the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in 1994.

(Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum/Facebook)

According to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, George Barber dreamt of a racetrack for the land near the museum that could showcase the “living museum” quality of his collection. He had the grand vision to build a world-class facility unlike any other. Barber consulted with well-established racers Dan Gurney and John Surtees and set out to design the park to an unmatched level of precision.

In September of 2003, Barber Motorsports Park, spanning over 800 acres, opened to the public boasting a museum later named as home to the world’s largest motorcycle collection by Guinness World Records, and a world-class 16-turn, 2.38-mile racetrack.

The park’s fascinating origin story and deep roots set it apart as the perfect location for hosting events that draw fascinated visitors from across the world. This month, the park will host the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix and thousands of visitors and fans will get to experience a slice of Barber’s incredible vision.