Thursday, December 31, 2009

Many Thanks!

We'd like to end this year by extending our sincere thanks to everyone who helped make our first seven months a great success. Next year should be even bigger and better for the museum!

Stay tuned to this blog for an exciting announcement about a VERY special car that we are planning to exhibit starting in 2010. We also plan on showing off some new arrivals, finishing more of our exhibit panels, rotating some beautiful new vintage outfits out onto the floor, developing some fun hands-on displays, and hosting a very exciting old-car event at Wedgewood Resort next year. If you love old cars and have always wanted to travel (or return) to Alaska, 2010 would be an excellent year to do so (helpful hint: check out the low introductory airfares to Fairbanks on Frontier Airlines that start in May)!

If you have ideas or suggestions for our museum, please let us know. We hope to see you all in 2010!

Have a happy new year,
The Pit Crew

Monday, December 28, 2009

Heine-Velox Update 2

Below is a link to a short video of the Weidely V-12 engine from our 1921 Heine-Velox running prior to being removed from the chassis. This car is being restored at Allan Schmidt's in Escondido CA (Horseless Carriage Restoration). It is our intent to have it ready for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance show next August, so you might want to put that event on your schedule to see its first showing (assuming our apllication is approved by the Concours committee). This is one of only four Heine-Veloxes that exist today, and I think it is the most attractive of them all. We were glad to see that the engine would still run prior to removing it from the car. Enjoy!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Cold Weather Driving - Then & Now

A few days ago the temperature dropped  to  –37º F (–38º C)  in Fairbanks. While we aren’t fond of venturing out in the extreme cold in our modern cars, imagine how demanding it was for Fairbanks motorists a century ago. First, after the day’s use all the car's coolant would have been drained and taken inside, engine oil as well, and the battery if it had one. In the morning both the coolant (a mixture of alcohol and water) and the oil would be heated up on the wood stove. The battery would be placed in the car first, then the heated oil, and last one would slowly pour in the heated coolant. After a few minutes to allow for the warm fluids to warm the engine, one would attempt to start the car and if successful let it warm up some.

Meantime there would be a soap stone or metal heater on the stove warming up, or a “modern foot warmer”  that held hot coals, that would be taken out with all the bundled up passengers going on the drive. Usually the warmer was placed on the floor in the rear of the car and lap blankets were placed over the passengers’ legs, allowing the heat to rise and keep everyone comfy.  The luckiest folks had good heavy fur coats, fur hats and mukluks to help keep them warm. A few cars were also equipped with winter sides, like the Franklin pictured above (photographed in Fox, AK in 1908).

After the car was started and folks were loaded in, one might think it was a breeze from this point.  But, consider that there were no roads, just trails that were not plowed or maintained, so tire chains were usually required and a snow shovel carried just in case. Tires in the early days did not have much traction, especially the balloon tires that were smooth and had no tread at all. When it became cold, the tires became very hard and had no flexibility to help with traction. They were also very susceptible to cracking and actually breaking the beads. Transmissions and rear differentials were very stiff because of the W600 oil that was used in them, and the wheel bearing grease also became very stiff and at times would cause the engine to die or stall when first trying to get it to move.

Upon arriving at the destination and, if planning to stay for more than an hour or two, one would have to once again drain all fluids and take in the battery. This ritual was required so that you could get the car started when it was time to leave again. So today, we northern motorists can be thankful that we have engine heaters, cars with good heaters, heated garages and remote start systems to make life more enjoyable. We also enjoy roads that are paved and maintained, tires with good rubber and radial designs for traction, and arctic grade lubes so that cars can function daily with very little if any problems.

To see more photos of Alaska's first "ice-road truckers," come to the museum! 


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Snow Devils!

In my last post I profiled what may be the oldest vehicle at our museum. Now for the oddest. We have on loan from the Pioneer Air Museum a Snow Motor, also known as a Snow Devil. The bizarre contraption consists of a Fordson tractor mounted on two revolving cylinders or “screws.” The revolving screws pulled the tractor across snow or even bare ground. Each one was controlled by a separate clutch that engaged depending on the position of the steering wheel.

The machine was marketed as the Armstead Snow-Motor, and there is an awesome promotional video made by the company at The video shows a Snow-Motor zipping across deep snow, making donuts, mowing down underbrush, pulling loads and illustrating how much better it is at negotiating deep snow than a rather unfortunate horse. The video also includes footage of a set of screws attached to a automobile--anyone know what kind of car it is?

Three Fordson Snow-Motors were brought to Alaska to haul supplies for a 1926 transpolar flight attempt from North America to Europe by Sir Hubert Wilkins and Ben Eielson. The plan called for the Snow-Motors to pull ten freight sleds bearing 15 tons of aviation fuel and oil, radio equipment and gas for the Snow-Motors. It turns out that the revolving cylinders didn’t work so well in interior Alaska’s cold, dry snow. The machines were also very slow and tremendous gas pigs. We have a photo from the expedition in the museum, as well as footage of a Snow-Motor pulling one of the expedition planes.

We’re pleased to be able to display one of these curious vehicles outside our museum and thank the Pioneer Air Museum for the loan, which included an extra set of screws. The Valdez Heritage Museum also has a set of Snow-Motor screws, apparently from a Fordson tractor owned by the Museum of Alaska Transportation in Wasilla. If anyone knows the whereabouts of the third tractor, please let us know.

P.S. Check out our more recent blog post about Fordson Snow Motors at

2/23/10 Update: We just bought a Fordson tractor, so now we have some missing parts to get this Snow Motor running. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa's Sleigh Lives Here

Perhaps the oldest vehicle in our collection is this 19th century Albany cutter sleigh. James Goold of Albany, NY developed the Albany cutter sleigh around 1833. His design was replicated over time and it eventually became the second most popular winter passenger vehicle in the United States (after the Portland cutter sleigh). The sporty Albany cutter was so fashionable that Kris Kringle was usually depicted riding in one!

The Albany cutter, also called a swan- or swell-body sleigh, is distinguished by its dramatically upswept runners that match the curvature of the carriage. Unlike other sleighs, the Albany cutter’s body and runners were built as one unit. Their elegant shape was obtained by steaming the wood components, a lengthy process that required extensive skill and craftsmanship.

Albany cutters were more highly decorated than other sleighs, frequently displaying eagle heads on the upper edge of the dash (as on our sleigh) and custom paintings dictated by the owner. The Fountainhead Museum's Albany cutter was meticulously restored by an Amish craftsman and pinstriped by hand. The vignettes, or ornamental designs, on it were painted by a Mennonite craftswoman. It's amazing to me that someone could paint such elegant lines without help from stencils, lasers or computers!

This month you can sneak a free peek at this lovely sleigh in the Wedgewood Resort Visitor Center. Keep in mind, though, that Santa has reserved it for Christmas Eve!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Heine-Velox Update 1

Greetings -

While we continue to work on the Stevens-Duryea I thought I'd post a quick update on the progress made on our 1921 Heine-velox.  A link to our last Heine update can be found here -

Right now we're going through the decision process of what color to paint the vehicle. 

Here's an original photo of the Heine-Velox parked in front of the Heine Piano Company showroom in San Francisco. In all the original (B & W) photos we have, of this vehicle as well as the Limo and one sedan, they all appear to be a gray primer color or  perhaps not painted at all but bare metal.  The story is that Heine planned to paint the vehicles whatever color the new owners wanted, but he never actually sold any of the five that were built.
Here's a shot of the 'before' restoration.  It was not in too bad a shape, structurally, but needed a lot of love, as well as a new paint and upholstery.  My first thought was to keep it true to the original and leave it bare metal.  But that, of course, would be terribly impractical and painting it gray would not be flattering.  The Harrah's collection painted ours in this off white color that isn't too bad, but it doesn't have the heir of luxury befitting of this massive vehicle. We are currently leaning toward a Chocolate brown body & wheels, black fenders & a tan top.  But the debate continues.  :-)

In describing the development of the Heine-Velox automobile, the company issued this statement -

"Heine Velox Motorcars in Beauty have been pronounced the CLASSIC CREATION of the century.  The object of constructing this car was to manufacture an automobile superior to anything that had ever been built, about twenty years of thought and experimental work was carried on before the first model was completed."  It goes on to list 13 features which were highly advanced for the day and some even revolutionary.  We probably won't get to see the Heine here in Fairbanks until the end of Summer, 2010.  But keep an eye out here on the blog for updates.  We'll plan to post another once it get's painted.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1904 Stevens-Duryea revealed

Greetings -

Willy and I uncrated the Stevens this afternoon.  As anticipated, it was a couple hours and a whopping big mess to remove the foam.  We anticipated some foam blocking and cushioning, what we received was a completely encapsulated vehicle!  Which was a good thing, really, because it was a long trip up for a very old original car.  So this picture doesn't look too bad until you see the scale of it....

Yes, that's a 7' wide x 7' high x 14' long block of solid foam with a tiny car in the middle of it.  But what a car it is. 

Thankfully there were some 'strings' built into the packaging which allowed us to take some bigger chunks off, but that was by far the biggest block of foam I've ever seen.

The vehicle was secured and packaged by RedStar Auto in Rhode Island and Sean did a terrific job of blocking and securing the vehicle to the crate - as well as two layers of plastic, a vehicle colver, and pading.  Now that I think about it, it took Willy and I almost three hours to uncover the vehicle and it's still mounted to the blocks....

The only unfortunate part of this transport was that the leather fenders had been taken off and put in a separate box which was loaded into the crate.  They had been subject to some weather along the way and we are working diligently to reshape them.  But here it is, without fenders.  The front compartment opens for additional seating which was no doubt a breathtaking proposition for it's day - considering no seatbelts and barely a handhold on the side.  More pics to follow after the long weekend.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick update on New arrivals

Greetings -

I just wanted to give a quick update about the vehicles we received in Fairbanks today!  Three vehicles and a host of Museum items arrived in one 40' connex.  Included were a 1934 American Austin, 1898 Hay & Hotchkiss, 1904 Stevens-Duryea and several bicycles (including a bone shaker!)

Sorry the photo quality is so lousy but here's the 1898 Hay & Hotchkiss.  Aside from it's stunning combination of deep burgany paint and polished copper, this vehicle is truly one of a kind, and a remarkable addition to the Museum.  The engine was referred to as the "Hay frictionless gasolene (sic) Motor."  It is an 8 cycle, horizontally opposed 4 cylinder that produces 5 hp.  It was also touted as not requiring oil or water to run.  It is the oldest know surviving 4 cylinder American made vehicle.

Next up is the 1934 American Austin.
This car is just too cute.  Started in 1929, the American Austin company produced these miniscule vehicles in hopes that due to the Depression Americans might buy small cars.  And these vehicles are SMALL - 16 inches narrower and 28 inches shorter than any other car in American at the time.  It has a 45 cubic inch 4 cyl. engine and guaranteed 40 mpg.  Unfortunately the vehicles were simply not taken seriously, and were considered just a novelty.

Last up is our 1904 Steven-Duryea.
Well ok, the packing crate is all we get see today.  This vehicle was purchased from it's original owner in 1932 by Charles Duryea, the brother of Frank Duryea, and donated to the Museum of Science and Industry.  It is complete and in all original condition.  This is a true time warp vehicle and we look forward to opening it up in the next few days.  Due to it's 105 year old, original, paint and wood bodywork this vehicle was crated and 'foamed in place' for it's trip to Alaska.  We also shipped it up in stages and will allow it to warm up to 'room' temperature slowly before we open it.  I anticipate a long, messy, unpaking process but the results should be well worth it.

We wish to thank Horizon Lines and Weaver Brothers for accommodating our special transport needs on this shipment!  


Monday, November 23, 2009

Moline-Knight Arrives

Our newest arrival is now out on the museum floor. This 1914 Moline-Knight Model 50 7-passenger touring car is one big beauty. It carries a 4-cylinder Knight sleeve-valve engine with a bore of 4 1/8" and stroke of 6". This high-quality automobile was less expensive than other Knight-engined cars and was the only one to feature thermo-syphon cooling. We know of only 10 other Moline-Knights, two of which are Model 50s.

Particular care was given to the finish of Moline-Knight bodies, which were as smooth as glass and as lustrous as a mirror. Repeated coats of elastic varnish made of pure oils, japans and imported gums were applied. Each coat was given ample time to dry and then rubbed down with the finest sandpaper, curled hair, pumice stone or steel wool before the next coat was applied. As a result, the paint would not crack or flake due to expansion or contraction of the metal.

This is a beautiful car and we'd like to acknowledge Murray Motor Car for doing such a great job with the restoration work. We hope you'll come see our Moline-Knight soon! We're open every Sunday from noon to 6 pm.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Night at the Museum

Last night approximately 200 people braved the cold and came to the museum to support the Imagination Library. This festive event, which including wine and beer tasting, a silent auction and live music, was organized and sponsored by the Interior Builders Association. Our catering staff had quite a spread of hors d'oeuvres set amongst the cars and vintage clothing. The wine tasting table near the 1906 Compound was especially popular. I don't know what they were serving but clearly it was a hit!

It was great to have a crowd of new visitors in the building. Many Fairbanksans have no idea just how nice the museum is and it's fun to see their jaws drop as they wander past the cars. Alas, only a few folks were brave enough to throw on some dusters and climb into the 1911 Everitt for a photo (Dennis tried to wear a lady's hat but we wouldn't let him).

Kudos to the folks with IBA and many, many thanks to our awesome docents!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our youngest docent/mechanic/general helper

I had the joy of working with one of the grandsons today. Devon came down to spend some time with me and said he really needed to help work on one of the cars, so here he is putting the back on the water pump for the 28 Pierce-Arrow. He says we need to hurry and get summer back so we can drive the cars again. I agree with him on that.

We should be ready to install the engine back in the Pierce-Arrow in the next couple weeks, so keep watching for that event.

Willy and Devon

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New "Iron Maiden" Arrives in Fairbanks

Greetings All -

It's finally here, our 1910 Advance traction engine.  This is one of three vehicles we purchased from the LeMay collection in Washington State earlier this summer.  Great thanks to Lynden Transport who brought it up to Fairbanks and unloaded it for us.  There's Rick in the Driver's Seat!  It will be placed outside the Museum as a photo opportunity for our guests and visitors.

A quick background on Traction Engines -

Traction engines, also known as road locomotives,  were the predecessors to today's modern farm tractors.  These self-propelled steam engines were used to move heavy loads, or serve as power plants for threshing and other farm duties.  They were also used in Alaska to power conveyors and other mining support functions, as well as Lumber and Timber cutting.

This particular machine was produced in Battle Creek Michigan in 1910.  The Advance Thresher Company sold more than 12,000 steam traction engines between 1881 and 1911, when they were acquired by the M. Rumely Company.  The reorganized company continued to make traction engines until 1917.

Height - 130"
Length - 220"
Weight - A lot!

Two questions for our readers: Does anyone know how much this engine weighs? (we do have the big smokestack and bell for it.) Also, does anyone have any history on this engine?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Feelin' Sparky Today

Wait a minute...NO ONE TOLD ME I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT SPARK PLUGS when I accepted this job! They are just nowhere near as exciting as a pre-war car. But, Tim and Willy are absolutely giddy over the spark plug collection we've acquired--part of which is now on display in a lovely case made by our very own Pete Peterson.

Apparently there are some very rare and funky plugs in that case. Willy helped me identify most of the them yesterday but these three stumped us. Is there a spark plug expert out there that recognizes any of these? Willy has added some comments. You can click on each photo for an enlarged view.


We can't find any markings on this long reach plug. It is a take apart plug.

No visible markings on this one either.

The last plug has no markings except for the number 3 that you see here.

If I could just get Nancy to experiment with the magneto set up in the shop, I think we could get her fired up about spark plugs......

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The "Hay" is on the Way!

The oldest car in our collection is en route to Fairbanks! Our 1898 Hay Motor Vehicle (also incorrectly known as a Hay & Hotchkiss) was discovered in a barn in Connecticut in the 1940s, not far from where it was built in New Haven. It passed through several owners (including the Powers Auto Museum) over the years, remaining pretty much in the unrestored condition pictured at right.

The Hay's last owner, Ambassador William Middendorf II, had Sean Brayton and Peter Pitcher begin what would turn into a very lengthy restoration of this unusual little car. This is the only Hay Motor Vehicle ever made, as the car never made it into production. This is likely due to the 4-cylinder, 8-cycle engine's odd design: Walter Hay claimed that no oil or water was needed to run it, "the motor simply running a trifle harder when no oil is used"! 

The 8 cycles of the engine gave two full revolutions to clean and cool the cylinders, giving it a pure mixture of fuel and air for complete combustion and obviate exhaust odor. The governing of the engine is done by holding the exhaust valves open and thus the admission valves are also open, so only air is exchanged. The cutout is done on opposite sides of the engine, and power requirements will cause the engine to fire as needed. Willy's opinion is that this engine would never run very well, due to its design and complicated nature. He spent a couple days with Sean Brayton of Red Star Restoration playing with this engine and it will run, but you probably won't see him taking any trips down the Parks Highway in it!

As best we know, our Hay is the earliest American four-cylinder gasoline-powered automobile still in existence. Sean just finished a complete restoration on it, and the car is now on its way to Alaska. We're pleased that the Hay was able to be shown in its birthplace of New Haven (pictured here) before beginning its voyage north. It is a striking vehicle, and you will enjoy seeing it when you come to visit.

Willy and Nancy

Thursday, November 5, 2009

1928 Pierce Arrow

The museum is only open on Sundays now but the shop is hopping with activity.

At right is Carolyn Mustard, working on the upholstery of our 1928 Pierce Arrow Series 81. We are doing a complete reupholstering of the car with the correct leather and patterns. You might have noticed that it is missing the engine, transmission as well as the steering. We are doing a freshening of all the mechanical components on this car and will be able to put it back into like new driving condition.

THATS A WHAT???????????? YA SURE??????

Here docents Rick Larrick and Ron Allen are disassembling the engine out of the Pierce. Overall it looks good, with the only major problem we found was one stuck valve and the head gasket leaking, which let coolant down into the valves and a couple cylinders. We will do a valve job on it and clean up the engine bay and  try to make it oil tight??????



Docents Jerry Mustard and Jim Movius have been hard at work on the large resistor from our 1917 Owen-Magnetic. They researched many hours and came up with a solution to duplicate what was original on the car. Upon removing the wire from the ceramic center, of course the ceramic center fell into many pieces, creating a great puzzle that we all (Ron Allen, Rick Larrick, Jerry, Jim and myself),  had fun putting back together again. After hearing comments from Rick ("Boy, that glue does get hot!") and lots of "Ooops!" and sticky fingers, we finally got it all repaired and put on the car. Now its a matter of getting the time to go through the fuel system and really check the car over before we fire it up for a test drive. More to come at a later date on the final results.


Monday, November 2, 2009

SoCal Wrap Up

I topped off my trip to southern California with visits to two very interesting collections. First, Bill Evans generously allowed me to look at his private museum, which includes three Pope-Hartfords, a lovely Pope-Toledo and a number of other great vehicles including some early race cars. I was particularly interested to see his Henderson opera coupe, which is stunning (and very red!). This is the fourth surviving Henderson automobile that I know of, including ours, although I think there is one in Washington still awaiting my discovery.

I next visited the J.A. Cooley Museum, billed as "San Diego's Most Unique Collection of  Antiques & Automobiles." You won't find a website for this place, and it doesn't look like much from the outside. However, Mr. Cooley and his wife, Carmen, have some great cars on display, including the only Hunt Special ever made, a 1900 Crest, 1912 Cartercar (pictured below), 1914 Woods Mobilette almost identical to ours, and a 1933 Olympic. While the Cooleys own over 170 cars, only about 20 are on display at a time.

The Cooley museum is also full of other neat antiques, including huge collections of old clocks, model trains, typewriters, cameras and the most impressive assemblage of phonographs I've ever seen. Be sure to ask James to fire up one of the wax cylinder players if you visit, and budget some time to sit and visit with him. He's a very interesting guy. The museum is located at 4233 Park Blvd., which is only a few miles from the San Diego Automotive Museum.

Now I'm back in Fairbanks, where it's 80 degrees colder than where I was 24 hours ago. Despite the chill and all the great cars in southern California, I'm happy to be back at our museum!


Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Ride in a Rochester

While driving south from Los Angeles a few days ago I stopped by Michael Claire's place in La Habra. Mike had discovered the Fountainhead Museum on the internet a few weeks ago and contacted us about a car we have in common--a 1901 Rochester steam carriage. Until that point, I had only found one other Rochester besides ours, that being John Hampton's in Argentina. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to learn about another one and to know I'd be in Mike's neighborhood a few weeks later.
Mike has lovingly restored his Rochester and tricked it out to make it operable on today's streets. A good thing, since he fires it up every two weeks or so to take it out for a long drive. Following a lot of coaxing, Mike got the little car running. After giving me a ride through his neighborhood, I then got to take the tiller--what a hoot it is to drive what feels like a tall, rickety wheelchair! Watching Mike "blow off steam" after the ride was pretty entertaining, too. Many thanks to Mike for such a fun afternoon, and for generously donating a working engine from a 1900 Milwaukee steam car to our museum. It will be a great addition to our engine exhibit.

The Rochester Cycle & Manufacturing Company was short-lived, and we think they made only about 20 of their steam carriages. If so, a survival rate of three is pretty amazing, especially when you consider how fragile these little buggies are. Ours is presently being restored by Allan Schmidt in Escondido, so it won't be on display for a while. I'm looking forward to its return to Alaska!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Restoration Check-Up

Yesterday I headed over to Allan Schmidt’s restoration shop near Escondido. Ever since I started doing research on our cars, the one that has intrigued me the most is our 1921 Heine-Velox Sporting Victoria. Piano maker Gustav Heine only built five of these enormous, curious-looking vehicles, and only one Sporting Victoria. Considering one could buy a Rolls Royce for $10,000 and a Ford Model T for $500, Heine’s prices of $17,000 - $25,000 for his big cars were outrageous. Yet, Heine refused to sell them.

I was pretty excited to see the Heine-Velox, but this was what greeted me:

The 4,500-lb car has been completely taken apart so Allan and his crew can work their magic and bring it back to its original glory. The fenders were in one room awaiting our decision on paint color, brake rods were at the welders table, wood pieces were being sanded, and the body was outside so the glue could dry. The modified Weidely V-12 engine was still mounted, so I snapped a picture of it:

Based on the other work Allan has done for us and others, we know the Heine-Velox will look stunning when it's finished. Allan also has our Biddle, so I got a nice "before" look at that car before I headed over to the San Diego Wild Animal Park (where I got mauled by a flock of lorikeets, but that's another story).

If you have an antique car and are looking for restoration supplies and accessories, be sure to visit Restoration Supply Company's website at Allan and his crew will take good care of you.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hanging Out at Big Dog

I hit the jackpot and got to visit Jay Leno's Big Dog Garage in Burbank yesterday. Bob Sales, another one of those car guys "living the dream" by getting to work around an amazing collection, gave me the tour. That's Bob sitting in a Duesenberg chassis, explaining that this was what buyers started with and how they ordered their own coachwork. This Duesy had some wood and seats added so Jay can drive it on the streets. Every day Jay drives home a different car or motorcycle from his collection, which may range from a 1909 Baker Electric to his 9,000-lb, 1500-HP M-47 Patten tank engine car (whose wheelbase is over 15 feet!).

Many thanks to Bob for a great tour, and to Bernard Juchli for helping us earlier with a part for our Owen-Magnetic.

For those of you wondering, getting in to the Big Dog Garage is by invitation only. But, Jay shares his cars with everyone through a great website at You can also read about his tank car at


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the Road Again: Nethercutt Museum

I stopped by the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar, CA today to drop off some of our museum's brochures and to say hi to Skip Marketti, the curator. Skip, who has directed the Blackhawk Collection and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, also worked for Harrah's years ago and actually helped with the Gold Star restoration of our 1906 Compound. Skip and his staff were very helpful a year ago when I visited their museum's library to do research on some of our more obscure cars. He also gave me a private tour of their restoration shops and a peek at the Grand Salon across the street from the museum.

Call me a traitor, but I keep finding myself drawn to outrageously valuable foreign cars. First the Delahaye at Dragone's in CT, and now the Nethercutt's 1937 Talbot Lago T150 C-SS Sport Coupe. This beauty, which has won many Concours awards, is apparently the only "Tear Drop" with front fender skirts left. It carries a HEMI 6-cylinder engine displacing 255.3 cu. in. and packing 140 HP. Skip is now my best friend for letting me sit in this car, which once belonged to an Indian Maharaja's wife.

If you find yourself in the L.A. area, definitely swing up to the Nethercutt Museum. They have a great collection of gorgeous, mostly pre-war cars. Just be sure to schedule your visit when they are giving tours of the Nethercutt Collection (more cars!) across the street.

I'm off to see another fun collection tomorrow. I wonder which car will become my new favorite?


Monday, October 19, 2009

What a Night!

What an event!!! On October 7 we invited 400 of our closest friends from the tourism industry to a reception at the Museum and what fun it was! During the Alaska Travel Industry Association's (ATIA) Community Night we got to show off our facility as well as feature food, beverages and entertainment from throughout the community. Just when I didn't think this night could get any better-the Fairbanks Community Band's Jazz Band started playing music from the big band era! People started dancing---you felt like you were back in the 30's. What a night!

Since I'm the sales person for Fountainhead-I have to say that if you want a really memorable reception-have it at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum!

Diane Shoemaker

New Arrivals

Three new cars have been added to
the museum in the past month: an 1899 Hertel runabout, a 1907 Cartercar Model A touring, and a 1927 Stutz Blackhawk boat-tailed speedster. Each is a VERY interesting and unique car.

The Hertel pictured here was made by the Oakman motorcar company and is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as an Oakman. If you look closely you'll see that it is essentially a body and motor perched between two bicycle frames. The 3 HP engine drives friction pulleys which rotate against the inner rims on the inside of each rear wheel. Rumor has it that there are three Hertels still in existence, but I have only been able to locate one other (an 1898 runabout in Sweden).

As for what makes the Cartercar and Stutz unique--well, you'll just have to come to the museum and see for yourself. I guarantee that the Blackhawk will make your jaw drop!