by Willy Vinton
One of the fun and rewarding things about working here is meeting descendants of some of the automakers whose cars are in our museum. Last weekend Gregory Prior and his uncle Stanton Prior made a trip to Fairbanks to visit the museum, specifically to see the 1906 Compound Model 7 1/2 we have on display. Greg and Stanton are the direct descendants of David Graham, who was the general superintendent for Eisenhuth Horseless Vehicle Company. Both men were in the past, and presently involved in the design of automobiles. Greg is currently working for Chrysler and had worked for GM in the past, designing cars and product. They have been tracking our Compound (the only one known to still exist) for several years and decided that it was time for them to see it, so they made a special trip up to Fairbanks, arriving on Friday night and leaving Monday morning.
Here are Greg and Stanton sitting proudly in the car with the engine designed by their ancestor and Frank Fox.
Since they had made the effort to come all the way to see the compound, I told them we would fire it up and give them a ride if we could get the weather to cooperate. Saturday was a gloomy day and we could not make it happen, but on Sunday we found an opening in the weather long enough to get the car out, spend 10 minutes getting it started and then taking it for a spin. That was a very special moment for both of them, and will provide many tales to be told around the campfires for years to come.
Greg and Stanton brought a mountain of knowledge, paperwork, photos, blueprints, articles, advertisements and original parts lists for the Compound to share with us. We thank them for making the journey, and for providing another tale for our campfires as well.