On June 29, 2014, one lucky motorcyclist will win the antique-motorcycle adventure of a lifetime in the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes, being organized by old bike enthusiast and builder Matt Olsen. What’s the Golden Ticket? It’s the opportunity to ride Olsen’s 1936 Harley-Davidson EL on an all-expense-paid “factory ride” in the vintage motorcycle event of the year—the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run, a 16-day, 4,150-mile coast-to-coast ride only for motorcycles made before 1937. The run will travel from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Tacoma, Washington, September 5-21, and thanks to this unique sweepstakes, one lucky rider from anywhere in the world, will be making the trip in style.
All of the available entries for the 2014 Cannonball, priced at $2500.00 apiece, were sold out long ago. But Olsen secured one to award as the grand prize in this sweepstakes.
That coveted entry is just the start of the Golden Ticket prize package, though. Because not only will the winning rider get to ride a truly historic motorcycle for the Cannonball, the winner will also have the benefit of a full support crew headed up by Olsen himself, whose bike-building resume includes the Best in Show Award at last year’s prestigious Born Free Bike Show. Matt and his wife, Brittney, will drive a support truck, taking care of needed maintenance on the bike and the 36 el that his father Carl will be riding each evening while the winner gets some needed food and rest in the hotels that will serve as Cannonball stops across the country, all expenses paid. Says Olsen, “This is a turn-key deal. You show up for the start in Florida, and we’ll take care of everything until we reach Washington.”
The Golden Ticket machine is Olsen’s own 1936 Harley-Davidson EL, a rare first-year example of Harley’s “Knucklehead” design that remained in production through 1947. The Knucklehead—the first production Harley V-twin to feature overhead valves, re-circulating oil system and integrated dash —is often regarded as the most iconic American motorcycle of all time, setting the trend for the American cruiser style. And Olsen’s machine, finished in Venetian Blue and Orlando Orange paint, is one of about 1,500 Knuckleheads made that year. Although the winner will want to own this amazing motorcycle after he or she rides it on the Cannonball, Matt is keeping this beauty. The “pre-1937” restriction on motorcycles entered in this year’s Cannonball means that a ’36 Knucklehead will be the most advanced machine eligible for the ride. And Olsen’s is a well sorted-out example, having served as his primary motorcycle for eight years.
“I have ridden this bike everywhere,” says Olsen. “It’s completed two Iron Butt 1,000-mile days, and is the oldest harley to complete one of the bun burner 1000 challenges.” That grand prize is impressive enough. But the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes offers a pretty spectacular second prize, too, donated by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company*: an all-expense-paid trip from anywhere in the world to the Harley-Davidson factory in Milwaukee for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the company’s museum and archives, along with its Milwaukee-based powertrain plant. It all adds up to two Golden Ticket prizes—one for the Cannonball Endurance Run and the other for a rare tour of Harley’s headquarters and archives. And those prizes are available to anyone who enters the Golden Ticket Sweepstakes.
For further information, including rules and conditions applying to these prize packages, go to: www.cannonballgoldenticket.com . * The Harley-Davidson Motor Company is not a sponsor or otherwise involved in the operation of this event.