If you’re riding
down Route 441 in Miami, the new Harley-Davidson dealership jumps out at
you. It is two stories tall with over 33,000-square-feet, not counting the
ample parking lot. Its color theme and neon lighting matches the high tempo
beat of the upbeat area and definitely ranks as one of the new Harley
superstores. Gracing the 30-foot ceilings of the 80,000-cubic-feet of the
“Old Milwaukee” decor showroom are vintage pictures enlarged to fit the
16x5 foot banners.
the left, motor clothes to the right...a large display of Harley’s new line
of Biker Blues, boots, jeans, leathers, collectibles, and a fully-stocked
parts department. In the center of the room is a wild oversized display of
tires and parts. Ambling toward the rear of the building, you pass the
stairs to the second story offices, a large employee lunchroom, and a
3,225-square-foot meeting room for the H.O.G. Chapter. In the first floor
service area, custom paint and other goodies cover the walls and fill the
display cases. The shop has 12 certified mechanics, a machine shop and clean
room, a motorcycle wash area, and a Dynojet machine. If this sounds like a
dream place—it is. It took 30 years to get there and Phil Peterson and his
staff well deserve it.
Phil started in
the Harley-Davidson business in the Key West area in 1954 then moved to
Miami in 1965. The business kept growing, and at one time, Phil had
stores in Miami, Key West, and Hallandale, Florida. Two of his sons are
operating stores in Dade County, with his son Drew in charge of the South
branch, and Dirk and long-time friend and employee, “Ace” Armstrong, at the
move was on a grand scale. Having bought a piece of land 21 acres in size,
he instructed the architect to build the biggest building he could design on
the property, and still have all the required parking and landscaping that
On February 24
and 25, Harley-Davidson of Miami had their first annual
Open House with
over 7,000 people showing up for the two days of food and fun. The H.O.G.
Chapter staged a fashion show, there was a great band, burnouts by the
shop-sponsored drag bike, vendors, motorcycle displays, Dyno-testing, Buell
demo rides, and of course, some great food by the Wings of Gold MIC.
Saturday evening, there was a birthday party for Phil with a dinner for
friends, employees, and the H.O.G. group. By the way, the birthday cake
looked exactly like the new building and tasted great. If you ever ride down
to the Sunshine State, make sure you drop in and say hello to Phil and the
crew...maybe he’ll have some of that cake still in the freezer.
This article is from Eagle's Eye May 1996 Number 53