Monday, June 28, 2010

Dennis Gage and Our Classic Cars

by Willy Vinton

WOW:::: what a weekend we had on the 18-21 June!  Dennis Gage arrived on the evening of the 17th with Ben, his producer and camera man, to  film the inaugural Midnight Sun Cruise-In for the Speed Channel's "My Classic Car" show.

On Friday morning we met at the museum for a quick tour. Dennis made it clear that he is not a museum kind of guy, so I was rather pleased to hear his expression of "Holy (something or other), this place is a surprise." So after all of the Midnight Sun Cruise-In activities--including the Tour de Fairbanks during which Dennis had to suffer driving our georgeous 1927 Stutz Blackhawk (below right*)--Dennis decided to get video for a second show about the museum.

It rained all day on Sunday, giving us the opportunity to get all the interior filming done. Monday was a pretty, sunny day, allowing us to show Dennis that we could indeed push any of the cars out the door and run them. We started out with a very unique 1914 Wood Mobilette cylecar, which Dennis got to drive around. This was entertaining as he had never driven a cylecar before. Next we drove the museum's rare 1920 Argonne (the only surviving one of 24 produced) around the Wedgewood Resort grounds. Then we rolled out the 1933 Auburn speedster; alas, it would only run with prime, and the fuel pump failed us. Another job for the list!

The last car out was the 1906 Compound (also the only one left). Within 5 minutes it was up and running, much to the amazement of Dennis. He got to drive this one around as well (at right), giving him the opportunity to pilot one the rarest cars we have in the collection. So as you can see it has been busy and fun time at the museum. We got some great footage and really look forward to seeing both of the shows that will air in the 2011 lineup.

Don't miss Dennis' blog post about his visit at

*Photo of Dennis in 1927 Stutz by Ronn Murray Photography

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