Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Get Around

by Willy Vinton

The rather short window of warm weather for driving antique cars in Fairbanks is slowly closing. As a result, there's been a flurry of activity in the museum shop to get the rest of the cars outside for some exercise. In addition to the Stanley & Buckmobile featured in recent posts, we've taken out the following in the past few weeks, either for short drives around the Wedgewood Resort campus or for runs around Fairbanks with the Vernon L Nash Antique Car Club:

1932 Chrysler Custom Imperial Series CL convertible sedan (coachwork by LeBaron)

This is a very impressive car to drive and see operating--very smooth and it is stunning to see up close. It has one of the finest restorations you will ever see.

1921 Daniels Model D 6-passenger touring (our star mechanic Charlie Jergens at the wheel, with docents Ron and Nancy Allen along for the ride).

This car has a very strong presence--a very striking car to drive and see. It is an original car with a 1960s paint job. We rebuilt the radiator and did some minor engine work, so it is good for another 50 years.

1907 Franklin Type D landaulet

This is a 4 cylinder, air-cooled car. It's a little temperamental and requires lots of attention. It smokes a little (okay, a lot), but that keeps the operator from getting mosquito-bit, as the bugs stay clear of it. In spite of its little issues, it is a fantastic piece of history.
Our new 1923 Mercury-bodied Ford Model T speedster.

Okay, now we're talking fun. This was the ultimate in a poor man's sports car. If you could not afford a Bearcat or Mercer, you just stripped down a T, got a Mercury speedster kit, hopped up the engine and you had this. What a kick to drive!
1911 Ford Model T open runabout

We just finished a full rebuild on the transmission of this car, so it was good to see it outside in operation again. If you were in the museum the last month, you saw the car on display, completely disassembled while we waited for parts (the transmission drums were the hold up). Runs like a charm now! Photographed at Creamer's Field by Ronn Murray Photography.

1905 Curved Dash Oldsmobile

This was the second time this season we had this cute little automobile out for some exercise. It is a very fun car to operate. You really don't need a speedometer, as you know when you're going fast enough! The "CDO" was one of the most popular cars of the day.

1936 Packard V12 Series 1408 

What a car! Charlie had it out for a test drive on Wednesday, and we are now working on the vacuum brake system. Once the brakes are up to specs, we'll put a few more miles on this impressive car.

1929 Ford Model A deluxe coupe

We just moved this to our corporate office for staff to use for errands. Like all old cars, this one requires a little TLC from time to time. We had to replace the ignition switch and put a head gasket in to make sure that it runs trouble free. If you see her cruising around Fairbanks, wave and smile, because she looks pretty good for her age.

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