Pieces of history are stashed in a wooden crate in Dan Maxey's "toy box,” a storage building behind Maxey's Cycles. Surrounded by dusty vintage motorcycles and dirt bikes, in a dark corner, lies a Honda Dream motorcycle — manufactured in 1965, brand new, still in the packing crate. Honda shipped 50 of the motorcycles to Maxey's dad, Jim Maxey, in 1965 and for some reason, the elder Maxey requested the last one to be left in the crate. Dan Maxey, who started polishing motorcycles for his dad at about 9 years old and now owns the business, said their plan was to give away the Dream at an open house, or an anniversary celebration. It never happened. Jim Maxey died in 2005, leaving the fate of the motorcycle in Dan Maxey's hands. He's passing it on, too, to his son, Tony Maxey, sales manager for Maxey's Cycles.
This Dream's historyHonda debuted the 305cc Dream motorcycle in the U.S. in 1959 to a tough market; only 19 units were sold in its first year, according to Honda. But Honda motorcycles gained popularity with bikers who wanted a cleaner image than the Harley Davidson riders, Maxey said. That 1965 shipment of Honda Dream motorcycles gave Jim Maxey the income he needed to sustain his business through the years. He purchased the bikes from Honda for $250 a piece, and sold all but the last one with a $500 price tag. "It made our business. If it wasn't for the 305 Dream, we wouldn't be here today,” Dan Maxey said. Jim Maxey invested the money he made from those sales in property, some of which the company still owns today, Dan Maxey said. They also expanded to three dealerships. When Penn Square Bank collapsed in 1982, Maxey's business survived by consolidating the three dealerships into one. The location on Route 66 was chosen because it was the heart of the business; it is still there today.
Still in the boxDan Maxey has collected dozens of motorcycles over the years, often taking classics as trade-ins on new bikes. He's never had the heart to unpack the Dream. "You'd almost have to put it together for it to be worth something,” he said. "But then you'd lose the novelty of it.” On occasion, he'd move it into the showroom, crate and all, just to see customer's reactions. Most walk on by, but true enthusiasts will wonder and ask: what's in the crate? He's never really considered selling it, but says it's probably worth $10,000 to $15,000, maybe more. "I don't think it's for sale,” he said. "But it could be bought.”
Dan Maxey, owner of Maxey's Honda in Oklahoma City, is pictured in his store. By Jaconna Aguirre, THE OKLAHOMAN