Buzz Walneck is the creator of the very popular Walneck’s Classic Cycle Trader, a monthly magazine that serves historic motorcycle collectors and enthusiasts. His work has contributed significantly to the promotion of classic bike collecting and racing.
Born in Chicago in 1942, Walneck’s first name, Buzz, was derived from a popular cartoon character from the World War II era, Buz Sawyer. By age 7, he had already decided that he would someday have a motorcycle shop. At age 9, he got his first bike, a LaRay.
In the mid-1970s, Walneck and his wife, Pixie, bought a small motorcycle shop, complete with 13 used motorcycles and four truckloads of used British and American parts. They staged a motorcycle swap meet to sell the bikes and parts, and planted the seeds of a business that would soon grow. He held his first swap meet at Santa Fe Speedway in Chicago about 1980.
In 1978, England’s Classic Bike magazine began arriving in the United States. Walneck became the U.S. distributor for the magazine, and he inserted a flier that listed his available parts for sale into each copy. Soon after, subscribers asked to place their own ads in the flier. The flier, which he titled the Motorcycle “Classic’fieds” kept growing and became a magazine in it’s own right. Walneck became a full-time magazine publisher
Walneck’s Classic Cycle Trader, as it was now known, became the leading classified magazine for collectible motorcycles and parts. In 1997, Walneck sold the publication to Trader Publishing, where it continued to grow. Today, Walneck serves as editor-in-chief, and the magazine has moved into the online world where it gets more than 100,000 visitors a month.
Over the years, Walneck has had the opportunity to view a wide range of motorcycles, some of which have become part of his own collection. One of the more unique bikes is the oversized Roadog, pictured here.
In 1999, Walneck served as Sotheby's principal motorcycle consultant for the Chicago branch of the worldwide auction house. He that role until Sotheby's stopped holding auctions in Chicago in late 2001. The Walneck family continues to produce motorcycle swap meets throughout the Midwest with the help of son Ed and Ed's wife, Chrissy.
Buzz Walneck was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2004.