Monday, February 24, 2014

Museum Wins Prestigious AACA Award

Every year the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) presents national awards to recognize exceptional achievements and contributions to the AACA and the preservation of collector cars. At their annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in early February, the AACA Plaque for Outstanding Achievement in the Preservation of Automotive History was presented to the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.

The AACA is the world’s largest special-interest automobile club, with over 60,000 members in more than 400 chapters across the U.S., Canada, and over 50 countries. “We are honored that the AACA recognizes not just our commitment to preserve and exhibit antique vehicles,” says museum owner Tim Cerny, “but also the immense effort we have dedicated to researching, archiving, and sharing automotive history.”

Cerny believes that his museum has a vital responsibility to document and preserve such history for future generations. Nancy DeWitt, the museum’s historian, has spent countless hours researching their most rare cars, including several one-of-a-kind and sole-surviving models. Her research also focuses on the colorful stories behind Alaska’s first automobiles and motorists. 

Nancy DeWitt and museum manager Willy Vinton
with the award.
“Until our museum opened in 2009, Alaska’s automotive heritage was completely overshadowed by our aviation, rail, and riverboat history,” says DeWitt. “We have worked hard to change that, at the national as well as local level.” She has published several articles in national magazines, writes a history column for the museum’s blog, and recently authored a book about the museum collection.

DeWitt’s research also forms the basis for the signs, interpretive exhibits, and historic photos and videos displayed in the museum’s galleries. “Our goal is to present automotive history in an informative, engaging format.” Feedback from museum visitors indicates they are on target, with this comment being typical: “The signage was readable and informative, and full of stories to help you remember these unique cars. Neither of us are car enthusiasts, and we LOVED it.”

Thank you, AACA!

Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!

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