Monday, April 26, 2010

Bakersfield Swap Meet

by Willy Vinton

We had a great trip to Bakersfield, CA for the annual Brass Era swap meet. There were lots of unique things there, but not some of the obscure parts we were looking for. At right is one of those things that if you just knew what it was, you would not be able to live without it!  If you have an idea as  to what it is, let me know and I will make sure you get a free day pass to the museum...

You want me to look through this entire pile???????
Tim did get to see a lot of really cool parts sources, and some that he wondered about a little.  This was the first swap meet for our wives, Wilma and Barb, but Tim and I could not keep up with them. They outspent us, and it seems like we were always wondering where they were. They didn't miss a vendor that had any clothing-related items.

So, as a reward to the ladies for being such good sports with all the car stuff, we suffered through a  show at the Buck Owens Palace for a dinner on Barb's birthday. Both of the gals celebrated birthdays on the trip, so we owe them a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and thanks for putting up with us on the trip.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tim & Willy's Excellent Adventure

by Willy Vinton

Earlier this month Tim and I visited the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar, CA (partly out of curiousity, and partly to get Nancy to quit insisting that we go see their collection).

Here is a very nice 1938 Judkin-bodied Lincoln. I really wish that I could have taken better pictures of it, but there are so many cars in the museum I couldn't back up far enough to get the entire car in the frame.

Here Tim is admiring a big Pope-Toledo, and wondering how we can sneak it out and get it to Fairbanks. Alas, we had to abandon that idea.  

I think Tim is looking at the bottom of this car, but maybe he is paying homage to the car gods in hopes of getting this one to Fairbanks as well. 
We had a great visit at the Nethercutt collection and even found out that they have a French chef that comes in to cook lunch for the employees. I pointed that out to Tim, but he said something like, "don't even think about it." Oh well, baloney sandwiches will have to do.                               

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dusting Docents

by Nancy DeWitt

Our training session for new docents (museum volunteers) is rolling right along! Last week's class covered automobile history and Alaska motoring history; this week we'll delve into the fine art of interacting with visitors and leading tours.

Last week Willy gave several new and veteran members of our pit crew a lesson on how to keep our cars looking shiny. At right he is showing the group how much dust and lint collects on our "Photo Opp" car in just one week from all the people climbing in and out of it. This 1910 Everitt definitely requires a lot of attention!

Several of our docents are already pros at polishing our cars. Here's Paul rubbing down the whitewalls on our 1932 Chrysler Custom Imperial Series CL Sedan.

Rick, meanwhile, was busy dusting off the 1930 Packard Deluxe Eight Model 745 roadster. Although I chastised the guys for avoiding the Brass era cars and all the polishing those babies require, I have to give them credit for tackling all the surface area on these big 1930s rigs.

Many thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers. They really help us keep the museum running smoothly and the cars looking spectacular!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cruise In To Summer

by Nancy DeWitt

Every car museum needs a signature event. We put a lot of thought into this over the winter, and decided to combine the beauty of Alaska's endless summer days, the enthusiasm of Alaska's car collectors and the fun of Fairbanks' Summer Solstice events all into one big celebration. Having our car museum situated at a hotel and resort makes it the perfect venue for what we have planned.

Introducing the inaugural Midnight Sun Cruise-In! From June 18-20, you're invited to check out the range of festivities we're organizing at Wedgewood Resort. Besides on-going museum activities (lots of hoods up, scavenger hunts for kids, etc.), weekend highlights will include:
  • Friday evening dinner cruise to an authentic Alaska salmon bake
  • Saturday car show for vehicles 1980 and older. People's Choice awards will be given in six classes. Free for spectators!
  • Saturday evening "Tour de Fairbanks" cruise organized by the Vernon L. Nash Antique Car Club
  • Saturday night awards banquet and entertainment
  • Steam car demonstrations
The weekend will coincide with many other fun Fairbanks events, including the downtown Summer Solstice Fair, the Midnight Sun Run, and the Sourdough Fuel Father's Day Car Show (Sunday). The Midnight Sun Baseball Game will take place on Monday, June 21.

Most exciting is that Dennis Gage of the Speed Channel will be our special guest for the weekend. Dennis will be filming an episode for his "My Classic Car" television series, so you'll definitely want to enter your ride in the show. Who knows, he may film your car!

We're offering a discounted rate at Bear Lodge for the weekend and hope many out-of-towners will join us for this car-filled weekend. Visit our web page at and scroll to the bottom for more information about the Cruise-In.

Please tell us how you feel about this new event. Suggestions are welcome too!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crack Intervention

By Willy Vinton

Here are some photos of the continuing saga of the 1910 Chalmers-Detroit engine. As you can see in this photo there is a crack in the crankcase that leaks lots of oil when the engine runs. This has to be repaired before we can drive the car.

This is another crack that is in the front main bearing boss. This engine has two main bearings, both being ball type bearings that support the crankshaft.

This area was cut out sometime in the past to install a starting motor, maybe in the 50s or 60s. The crack was caused by not radiusing the corners to relieve the stress. This area has to be repaired because this car runs a wet clutch (the flywheel housing is full of engine oil, and  would not be able to keep oil in it).

So, as you can see by these photos, the efforts involved in keeping the museum cars running can become difficult at times. This crankcase, like many of the time, had magnesium mixed in the aluminum, which makes the repairs more difficult as well as the castings being very pourous.

But, we're making the repairs and will have the Chalmers-Detroit running again this summer.