Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Fine Car Club Car Show

by Nancy DeWitt

Alaska has a surprisingly robust number of vintage cars within our borders. The old car hobby is definitely alive and well in Fairbanks, with the Vernon L Nash Antique Car Club taking the lead in promoting the preservation and enjoyment of "ancient vehicles" through car shows, runarounds, rallies, tours, joint meets and social events. This past weekend the club held their annual car show at the Carlson Center.

Willy drove our 1914 Moline-Knight and 1927 Stutz Black Hawk the few miles to the show on Friday, hurrying to beat an impending thunderstorm. It was a crime that the passenger seat of the Stutz was empty on the drive over, but Scott (one of our museum clerks), was happy to catch a ride in the Moline-Knight. We saw more than a few jaws drop when folks saw our Stutz, and we had a great time telling folks about our museum and upcoming Midnight Sun Cruise-In set for June 18-20.

There was an impressive variety of cars and even a few antique tractors at the show. It was very hard to vote for the People's Choice Award for the four classes, as there were so many beautiful autos on display (like the 1967 Shelby GT500 at right). Hopefully we'll see many of these at the Cruise-In in a few weeks!

We've posted photos of more of the cars on our Facebook page at:
I hope you'll visit the page and identify some of the cars for me. For more information about the Vernon L Nash Antique Car Club, follow this link:


  1. Hi, we attended the show on Saturday, and were curious what the red station wagon was that as sitting next to the black mercury in the third row.

    We really enjoyed the show, it was one of the last things we did before leaving alaska.

  2. I think you're referring to the 1951 Crosley in this photo (you might have to cut and paste the link into your browser):

  3. Kathryn and I visited the Fountainhead Museum expecting to see the collection in a short amount of time. Once in the museum, we quickly realized that this was not a typical antique auto museum. Fountainhead is a world-class museum!
    I’ve been involved in the antique car hobby for almost 50 years, primarily with Model A Fords and Buicks. I’ve visited many antique car museums, worked on many old cars, judged antique cars at local and national shows, and have enjoyed the friendship of the people in this hobby. Here are things that impressed me so much about Fountainhead.
    The antique cars were not displayed in the typical “straight line, close together, rear of cars pushed up against the wall” layout. Rather, we were able to walk around most of the cars to easily see the whole car, not just the front grille. This unique layout allowed the viewer to see the important features of a particular car.
    Large photographs mounted on the walls near the cars were related to those nearby cars, allowing for a more meaningful learning of each automobile. A pleasant surprise not seen too often were placards giving very thorough explanations of each and every photograph.
    The quality of the restorations of every automobile on display was of a very high quality, even under very close inspection. I noticed that some of the cars held prestigious national awards in the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), indicating the high standards of restoration of that car.
    Speaking of the automobiles on display, I noticed that each of the cars had a special story to tell, either due to its history of ownership, novel styling or design, or advance engineering for its time. Much planning and research seemed to go into selecting the automobiles on display--this is not a random collection of antique autos! We learned a lot about the early days of the automobile and how the automobile had a big effect on shaping the early 20th Century America. The Alaska room featured automobiles that had an integral part in the history of Alaska. I learned little known historical facts of Alaska through the story of these cars on display!
    The vintage clothing displays were a great supplement to the automobiles on display. The clothing matched the vintage of the nearby cars on display. A real treat were the information cards posted next to the outfits, explaining its importance to the nearby cars, and that particular era of the early 20th Century. These clothing displays could be considered a whole area of interest within the museum of automobiles!
    The staff of the museum went out of their way to make our visit pleasurable. Everyone was accommodating and informative. By chance, we happened to meet the manager of the museum, Willy Vinton, during our visit. I’d like to thank him for sharing his time and knowledge of antique automobiles with us while there. After talking “old cars” with him, I could tell that he loves antique automobiles, and really knows antique automobiles. The Fountainhead Museum is very fortunate to have Willy working there.
    This is one antique automobile museum that we will definitely plan visiting again in the future! We highly recommend this museum to all as a destination when in Fairbanks.

    Gary Klecka
    Kathryn Dunn
    Model A Ford Club of America (MAFCA)
    Buick Club of America (BCA)
    Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA)
    Various local chapters of antique automobile clubs

  4. Woooh! Wish I could have attended this car show. I can see that everyone did enjoy viewing vintage cars there, huh? I've never been into a car show, actually, because I'm just traumatized with my auto accident in Bay Area a few months ago. It's a great thing my attorneys and my family are helping me solve my case. I'm just hoping that I'll get back to normal again, soon.

  5. What a fine collection of vintage cars! Each car represents a distinct phase in the history of car production. It is also worth noting the advances in terms of safety achieved by modern car manufacturers.


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