Jillian Garrigues

About Jillian Garrigues

Video: Hidden Treasures — Bench Mark Works Motorcycle Museum

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STURGIS, Miss. (WCBI) – You would probably expect to see motorcycle or two in Sturgis, Mississippi. But a one-of-a-kind motorcycle collection also exists in the small town. Vintage BMW motorcycles are on display at Craig and Elaine Vechorik’s shop, Bench Mark Works.

“I started working on motorcycles when I was in college at Mississippi State. I was working at what was then Lake Hill Motors in Clayton Village. In the 1970s I bought my first BMW and things went downhill from there so to speak. I kept buying bikes and restoring them, I was doing it for other people, and 14 years ago I started Bench Mark Works and just kept doing it,” said Craig “Vech” Vechorik.

Vechorik has now used his unique skill and talent to become an expert in vintage BMW motorcycles. At his Bench Mark Works he restores bikes sent from customers around the country. His museum is made up of his own rare motorcycles, and yes, they all run.

“This first one is a 1925 BMW. They started making motorcycles in 1923, they’re quite rare. That one I found in Europe. I’ve also got this 1936 R-12 with a 1937 side car. That particular machine was delivered to the dealer in Spandau north of Berlin in October 1936. It was turned over to German soldiers who painted over the black and white with a brush. Then it went to Spain with the Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War. After war, it was owned by Spanish police and they sold it off. When I got it, it was in about 10,000 pieces in boxes and missing parts,” Vechorik said.

Each motorcycle in Vechorik’s collection has a story, and took several years to fully restore.

“Motorcycles have always been an obsession of mine, particularly BMW’s. Long ago I decided, you can be a jack of all trades and a master of none, or you can concentrate on one thing and master it so you become known as an authority on a particular subject. And that was the path in which I took,” said Vechorik.

Bench Mark Works is located off Sturgis-West Point Road at 89 Earles Fork Road. Look for the dinosaur riding the motorcycle and they will be happy to show you around. The shop is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Visit http://www.benchmarkworks.com/ or call (662) 465-6444 for more information.