Monday, May 26, 2014

Our Fashionating Museum

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

If our name wasn't already so long, I'd suggest we change it to the Fountainhead Antique Auto and Historic Fashion Museum. For some time we've had more fashions than cars on the floor; in fact, we presently have over 100 outfits on exhibit! I'm told that we are now have the largest fashion collection on permanent display in the western United States. If you love fashion history and haven't visited us, you are really missing out!

Originally begun as a complement to the automobiles with about ten garments on display, the collection now encompasses an extensive array of costume history. Ranging from the 18th century to the mid 20th, the collection now includes everyday wear and formal dress from 200 years of American style.

The gem is our early 20th century collection featuring Edwardian elegance, Empire Revival chic (including "Titanic dresses"), and Flapper shimmer. We presently have a number of 1920s evening dresses on display, including richly beaded and sequined shifts. We are also fortunate to host pieces from designers like Fortuny, Callot Soeurs, Edward Molyneaux, and Maria Gallenga.

We also house a notable assortment of 19th century bustled silhouettes, includible some formidable leg-of-mutton sleeved dresses from the 1890s. Our 1930s garments include bias-cut, curve hugging gowns, daywear, and tailored outfits, including pieces from designers Ceil Chapman and Hattie Carnegie.

The fashion collection does not stop at clothing. We also have a wide range of accessories on exhibit, including shoes, purses, gloves and jewelry dating back to the 18th century. Of course, no exhibit would be complete without hats. You can see some of our most interesting examples in our current exhibit, "Beauty and the Bird: A Tale of Feathers, Fashion and Our Fowl Obsession." This exhibit, originally scheduled to close last March, has been extended by popular demand.

"We weren't expecting it, but this was a 'gold-star' attraction. The cars were superb, but the antique clothing collection was out of this world!"  TripAdvisor Reviews

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!

Monday, May 19, 2014

On the Road: Juneau Dipsticks Car Show

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

I traveled to Juneau, Alaska, a few weekends ago for a meeting and some sight seeing. I can't really say I was "on the road" since Juneau can only be reached by air or boat. Our capitol city, however, does have about 191 miles of roads (if you count all the side streets), with the longest stretch covering 41 miles "out the road" to Echo Cove. Not surprisingly, there is an active car club in Juneau, and I just happened to be there during the Dipsticks' annual auto and cycle show.

The club welcomes members with both old and new cars (or no car at all). There was a nice variety of cars at the show, but alas, no teens or 20s vehicles. The oldest automobile I saw was a 1939 Packard Super Eight, shown to the right of the blue 1946 Packard limo in this photo. Both are gorgeous cars.

There were lots of Chevrolets to be admired, including a '57 Belair, '53 pickup, and an orange '49 in the parking lot...

...along with a few Cameros, a Chevelle, and at least one Corvette.

Of course, there were some Fords and hot rods too.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the two MGAs, the Indian motorcycle, and "F-Rod," a modified 1950 Ford F-1 pickup.

It was great to see such enthusiasm for collectible cars in this southeast Alaska city. The show was well done and my only complaint is that no one I talked to had ever heard of the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Too bad I didn't have some brochures with me, and that I couldn't convince the few owners I spoke with to load their cars onto the ferry and then drive several hundred miles to Fairbanks for the Midnight Sun Cruise-In next month.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Classic Cars to Shine at the 2014 Alaska Midnight Sun Cruise-In

by Nancy DeWitt

Fairbanks puts on a fantastic Solstice celebration every summer, but Alaska's hottest car show only rolls around every two years. Don't miss it this June!

Corvettes, Cobras, Thunderbirds and hot rods will be heating up the streets during the 2014 Midnight Sun Cruise-In on June 20 & 21. Those out enjoying Fairbanks’ longest days can expect to see an eclectic mix of classic cars rumbling throughout the city. They'll be cruising through downtown Fairbanks on Friday evening and then gathering at Pioneer Park for dinner at the Salmon Bake. Saturday afternoon is the Tour de Fairbanks, where the cars will cruise out the Steese Highway and through the Goldstream Valley, University of Alaska campus, and downtown Fairbanks.

The highlight of the Cruise-In is the Midnight Sun Car Show, organized by the Vernon Nash Antique Auto Club of Fairbanks. Held on the expansive grounds of Wedgewood Resort, the June 21 show is expected to attract close to 200 pre-1985 cars ranging from Model Ts and Studebakers to Mustangs and El Caminos.

Admission to view the cars is free, and the crowd will choose the winners among several classes:
  • Hot Rods/Modified (2014 featured class)
  • Pre-war Fords (2014 featured class)
  • Muscle Cars (owner definition)
  • Vintage (1949 and older)
  • Baby Boomer Classic (1950-1972)
  • Millennial Classic (1973-1989)
  • Miscellaneous (tractors, military vehicles, motorcycles, etc.)

Show-goers can also enjoy free hayrides, watch an antique steam car demonstration, see a 100-year-old electric car in action, and peruse the eye-popping collection of historic automobiles and fashions inside the museum. The awards banquet for the show takes place in the Fountainhead Auto Museum Saturday evening and is open to the public (advanced tickets required).

One fun new event will take place during the car show: Valve Cover Car Races! It's similar to pinewood derby racing, but you make a racer from a valve cover from an internal combustion car engine. Anyone, no matter how young or old, can play and there is no fee to enter unless you'd like to rent a car. For more information about valve cover cars and the race rules, see pages 6-7 of the car club's newsletter here. You can also check out Fairbanks's inaugural valve cover races at the club's annual show at the Carlson Center May 31 - June 1.

The Cruise-In will stage at Wedgewood Resort, the host hotel for the event. They are offering a smokin' hot room rate at Bear Lodge for the weekend at just $99/night. Call 1-800-528-4916 and use code CRUIS14 to make your reservation. Rooms fill fast for Solstice weekend, so don't delay!

A registration form for the Cruise-In, car show, and awards banquet can be downloaded here.

Special thanks to Seekins Ford-Lincoln for sponsoring our People's Choice awards this year, and to Ronn Murray Photography for the use of his fantastic photos!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Prepping for Summer

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

It's been a busy week at the museum. We started moving vehicles into and around the Alaska Gallery to prepare for the opening of our "Extreme Motoring" exhibit. We couldn't find the key for the 1911 Ford Model T depot hack, so it didn't travel far.

Of course, since we had to temporarily move a few vehicles outside while we shuffled cars, it only made sense to fire them up and go for a drive. Willy and the pit crew attracted some curious looks when they drove the IHC auto buggy and Moline-Knight to the Bakery for lunch.

While the guys were playing with cars, Carolyn Mustard continued to install new photographs for the Extreme Motoring exhibit. This has involved shuffling a lot of the existing photographs around the museum--not an easy task.

The pit crew continued to make progress on the Bobby Sheldon replica race car. Looks like the frame is coming along nicely.

Willy got the 1929 Ford Model A coupe moved out of storage and into the garage at the Fountainhead Development corporate office, where it serves as a company car for staff during the summer. He also pulled the 1923 Mercury-bodied Model T speedsteer out of the barn and moved it back over to the museum for the summer.

Finally, the winter covers came off the Duplex truck and Advance steam traction engine outside. We saw our first motor home in the Wedgewood Resort parking, so you know that the summer season is about to hit!

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!