by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
When January arrives in Fairbanks, it's a good idea to take a little time and head for some sunshine to enjoy. So, last month Wilma and I left town on the good old red-eye flight to San Diego for a few days of rest and relaxation, and to check on some cars we have at Allan Schmidt's Horseless Carriage Restoration shop in Escondido. We spent a couple days visiting my nephew and touring a few museums (auto related). Unbelievably, it snowed a little in San Diego.
We spent some time with Allan and his wife, Beth, and did a little touring with a 1927 Pierce-Arrow limo (above right). We drove to a resort that was rather nice, and being rebuilt after the fires of 2007. This copper piece of art there was rather impressive to see and obviously took a lot of work to put together.
We also joined the local Horseless Carriage club for a tour with a 1908 Great Western touring car that Allan was working on for one of his customers. This car had just returned from a 2600-mile cross-country tour in Australia, and was brought in to the shop to get it ready for another overseas tour. It is a rather large 2-cylinder mid-engine car that runs rather well, and like all old cars, can and will make you spend a few moments tinkering on it, just to keep you up to speed.
While heading to the tour, the timer decided to part company with the attaching point, thus rendering us sitting in the middle of the intersection. We quickly figured out what was wrong and made a phone call to get some wrenches to make the repairs, and were soon on the road again.
At right are some of the cars that showed up for the tour. We met a great bunch of folks and enjoyed good food, followed by a show of sheep and cattle dog competition.
Notice that all the folks are dressed in their winter coats, as it was rather cool for that area. The night before it got down to 19° F in the valley where we ended the tour, and for them that is downright cold. It did get up in the high 50s by the end of the day, which wasn't too bad for us northern folks.
Oh, yea, I almost forgot--I was working as well, and did get a few pictures of our American Underslung in the current stage of restoration at Allan's. That's another story to follow.