Renewed classic carries timeless memories
Hillsboro man restores Harley as tribute to friend
Every nut and bolt on the Harley has been replaced, but Jim Hefley still rides it to honor the memory of a friend.
The 1953 Harley Davidson was late Tabor College professor Richard Wall’s pride and joy when he was a young man.
Wall bought and rode the motorcycle in as a student at Hillsboro High School where he was a junior and Hefley was a senior.
He kept the Harley as a student at Tabor College, where he eventually served as a biology professor and chair of the mathematics and sciences department.
“He was a wonderful guy,” Hefley said. “It’s too bad (more people) didn’t get the chance to know him.”
The motorcycle passed to his family when Wall died of a blood ailment in 2005. Hefley bought it in 2007.
With the help of David Baumgartner, owner of 81 Kustom Cycles in Newton, Hefley spent a more than a year restoring it.
The bike is not his only Harley. Hefley has a red 2007 Ultra Classic he takes to cruises.
The green ’53 Harley is so dear to Hefley that he shows it “very infrequently.”
He made an exception Saturday in Hillsboro at the annual car show put on by Route 56 Classic Cruisers because he wanted to support the community, just as his friend did.
“I show it with a sign that says former owner the late Dr. Richard Wall of Hillsboro,” he said. “It’s a tribute to him.”
The judges named the Harley their best-in-show motorcycle.
Last modified June 17, 2021