Friday, August 28, 2009

Small World

Today while visiting with tourists in the museum, the conversation led to where folks were from. When asked, I said that I had come up from Montana. The gentleman on the right in this photo asked, what part? After exchanging information it was discovered that he was married to a sister of a schoolmate of mine. Lowell Neson of Kalispell, MT was in town to visit relatives and came in to see the museum. Lowell, when you see Steve or Mike, make sure that you tell them hi from up north. Hope the rest of your trip is as enjoyable as your visit to the museum was.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cruising in the Argonne

We didn't have any docents show up to work today (wherefore art thou, Julio?), so Willy forced me to take the wheel of the 1920 Argonne roadster this evening. I learned two things. First, people really get excited when they see this car (watching a group of tourists frantically dig for their cameras as we drive up is rather entertaining). Second, I look ridiculous in a cloche hat.

Cruising around in a fantastic car on a lovely evening is quite fun--even more entertaining than watching our tallest docent, Rick, try to figure out how to get behind the wheel of it. It's funny how it took so long for car designers to develop adjustable seats! Rick finally managed to get in by putting his feet onto the floorboard first, then maneuvering his knees sideways under the steering wheel like some circus contortionist, and finally sitting down. I'm short, but even I had trouble squeezing behind that big steering wheel.

Earlier, Willy had the hood up on the Argonne and I snapped a photo of the plate on the Rochester-Duesenberg engine. I love "The Power of the Hour" slogan on it (click on the photo for an enlarged version).

I'm guessing the Argonne will head back to its spot the museum floor tomorrow. I wonder what car Willy will roll out next? I vote for the 1907 Franklin!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Skilled Driving Saves Moose

Here is the moose that was nearly hit by the Argonne in its cruise around the grounds. luckily for "Nugget" the driving skills of the operator and the fine handling qualities of the car kept him safe. this is a very impressive car to drive for something built in 1920, when it comes to life everyone gets a very large grin on their face. if you get a chance to see and hear it run you are very fortunate, as it is the only one you will ever see. when the Rochester Duesenburg engine comes to life you know your in for a fun ride.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Visitors in a Speedster

Had a great visit today from Matt and Jess Ryan of the state of CA. They drove their 1915 speedster up to the Washington ferry, and came to Whittier, and then drove up to Fairbanks to see the museum. From here they are driving to Haines and then by ferry over to Skagway, then down the Casiar to return to California. We wish them a safe and fun trip and hope the weather stays okay for them.
Thanks for coming and visiting the museum. You can follow them at:

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Argonne Roars to Life

Willy fired up one of my favorite cars in the collection today. Our 1920 Argonne Model D Roadster is one of only 24 Argonnes produced, and the only known one remaining.

The first 18 Argonnes built were powered by a 3,710cc 4-cylinder Buda engine, while the last two carried the more powerful 4950cc Rochester-Duesenberg engine. Ours is powered by the latter, and this engine has to be heard to be believed! If you're in Fairbanks over the next three days, you'll want to be at Wedgewood Resort when this baby rumbles around the hotel grounds!

We'll post more photos and information about this car soon (rumor has it that it hit a moose on its first outing, so stay tuned for details...).


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A close 'BRUSH' with fun

Thankful for fast action cameras, I was able to capture Jerry as he came flying by the museum in the 1908 Brush model BC. You can notice that even his hair is blown back from the high speed. As Jerry says, you have to feel this one to see how it wants to run. It is a great little car that is all original, with nothing but maintenance being done on it in the past. Without more lights, I "wooden" drive it off property for fear one could get "nailed".


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quiz Photo: Mystery Truck

The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum has compiled an impressive collection of historic photographs, most of which we've enlarged to ~4' x 7' for the museum walls. Many, like the one shown here, are crammed full of passengers. Clearly these early cars were very popular!

We have been unable to identify the truck (or car) pictured here. Any guesses? The radiator emblem appears to be a triangle, or perhaps the letter "A". The photo was taken on July 4, 1913 as people headed to the local ball park to see the first airplane flight in Alaska. You can click on the image to enlarge it.
If you don't want to create a Google account to post a guess, please contact me at or 907-458-6112.

This photo is from the Lulu Fairbanks Collection at the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and may NOT be reproduced in any form.


Friday, August 7, 2009


We want to thank everyone who has taken the time to write comments in the visitor book at the museum's front desk. We've implemented several of the suggestions we've received, including opening up a rumble seat and putting up descriptions for the clothing displays. We won't be able to put the music playing over the sound system onto CDs to sell, but we do have a list of our CDs at the front desk (we bought most of them through Amazon).

We've received some great comments so far and want to share some with our readers:

Your collection is second to none! And I’ve seen collections all over the U.S. Jack Garland, Pullman, Washington

Beautiful, amazing collection! So many wonderful cars, pictures and clothes! Truly a gem for the entire community, as well as visitors. We’ll definitely be back!! Kelly Wade & Nathan Harris, Fairbanks

A must see in Fairbanks!!! Eleanor & Bill Maroney, Florida

We went to the museum yesterday and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. What a treat to take a stroll through all those beautiful cars and marvel at their condition and history. The display narratives and photographs are icing on the eye candy. Anonymous post to Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

So impressed with the displays, the photographs and the history information that we learned. This is definitely a place to bring our visitors to. To see this car collection in our town is really quite an achievement. Anonymous

This is the most enjoyable collection of auto history I’ve seen in a long time.
Robert Taylor, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Absolutely marvelous display—so well designed and arranged. Music is delightful!

Nicest collection we’ve seen! Choice autos!
Pat & Vicky Johnson, Homer, Alaska

Fantastic museum. An outstanding place for Fairbanks and anywhere. Photographs are a wonderful addition, as is all the period clothing! Anonymous

This is the most impressive collection I have ever seen.
Tucson, Arizona

A beautiful collection of antique cars highlighted by the photographs of Alaska. Amazing to think about being stuck in the mud and being pulled out by horses. Jane Letteney, Massachusetts

Absolutely incredible! The most amazing and rare collection in the world. Wonderful display including clothing. What an experience! The Phenix family, Healy, Alaska

This is great. Nothing like anything I’ve seen in NYC! Eustace Johnson, New York, New York

Praise for a great auto and clothing museum is very well deserved as it is wonderful and very well designed. I greatly enjoyed the wonderful photographs as well. I was so glad to have taken the time during a very busy two weeks to go to your museum. Also, I have been sharing my enthusiasm for it with others as well - especially locals in Fairbanks if they have not seen it.If I lived in Fairbanks you bet I would love to adopt a vehicle and polish and dust it with loving care on a regular basis. What a great idea! Michael Murray, Homer, Alaska

Nancy & Willy (pictured above in the 1911 Everitt Model 30)