Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Midnight Sun Cruise-In Was a Wet One

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

Fairbanks is experiencing one of the rainiest Junes on record, but we managed to pull off most of the Midnight Sun Cruise-In events in between showers. Friday actually started out hot and sunny, which gave Willy and the crew a window to try to get the Stanley steamer running (to no avail).

Fred and Judy Keller from Wasilla showed up in their Radio Flyer wagon car that afternoon, and Fred graciously gave me a ride around downtown Fairbanks. That car definitely turns heads and makes people smile!

We officially kicked off the weekend on Friday evening with a cruise to the Salmon Bake. Despite a hard rain that afternoon, the clouds were clearing as the cars gathered. In fact, the weather looked so promising that Wilma Vinton put the top down on her '68 Mercury Parklane convertible before departing. A good decision, as the sun stayed out the rest of the evening.

Alas, we awoke to a cloudy sky Saturday morning and only had two hours of show time before the rain arrived. Just over 90 cars were entered in the show, with a good contingent from points south including Anchorage, Homer, Glenallen, Eagle River, Willow, Seldovia, Cantwell and Wasilla. Oh, and North Pole. I often forget that North Pole is south of Fairbanks!
The morning was certainly made more lively by Bruce Campbell's 1914 Model T calliope car, Kelley Rivers' juggling show from his 1973 VW "clown car," Kayla Rivers' unicycling and juggling skills, and Bub Larson's hay wagon. You can see more photos from the show here.

We had a good turnout of spectators, although many did their spectating from their cars once the rain started. We had to cancel the steam and electric car demonstrations, but the Fairbanks-Morse engine demo and the valve cover car distance contest went on as planned. Congratulations to Jim Brand, who "Red Ram" car (right) smoked the competition with a run of 124'.

To our surprise, the rain quit just as the hardiest drivers headed out for the Tour de Fairbanks. The evening ended with a banquet inside the museum that included the awards presentation and a slide show by Al Murray on forty years of car restoration.

Congratulations to the following People's Choice Award winners:

Pre-War Ford: Dale & Ingrid Dryden, 1931 Model A taxi
Hot Rod/Modified: Chuck Ice, 1923 T-bucket roadster
Muscle: Travis Lunney, 1973 Chevy Camaro
Vintage: K.B. Bettisworth, 1949 Buick Super
Baby Boomer Classic: Rod & Birgit Benson, 1958 Chevy Corvette
Millennial Classic: Paul Carlson, 1976 Toyota Landcruiser
Miscellaneous: Fred & Judy Keller, Radio Flyer wagon car

Many thanks to all who came to the show (especially our out-of-town guests!), the Vernon L. Nash Antique Auto Club, everyone who volunteered, and Seekins Ford for sponsoring the People's Choice Awards.

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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