© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
Among the rare cars in our collection is a 1913-1914 Henderson Model 66, made by the Henderson Motor Company of Indianapolis. It has been in storage since the day it arrived in Fairbanks back in May of 2009. The car needs a lot of work to make it presentable, but we haven't decided just what that work will entail. Our challenge focuses on the body (from the doors on back) and rear deck of the car, neither of which are correct. With some sleuthing we found out why.
The car originally had a touring body that apparently was destroyed when the owner's son lit the back seat on fire. The damaged Henderson was then acquired by a farrier who cut off the back end and made the car into a pickup. Fewer customers had been bringing horses to him for shoeing, but now he could travel to his clients and maintain his business.
David Robert Kniskern later found the Henderson, complete with the farrier's equipment, in an area called Fish House near Johnston, NY. According to Kniskern's daughter-in-law, it was sold by a dealer named Bob Smith who handled used and obsolete autos. Kniskern, whose initials are on the car's doors, later sold the Henderson to Walt Myers, owner of the Bridgewater Automobile Museum in NY.
Last week, Bill and Sharon Henderson visited Fairbanks during the start of their Alaska cruise tour. I picked them up at their hotel and took them to the warehouse where our Henderson is stored. Looks like I should have dusted it first! Regardless, we had a great visit and I enjoyed seeing photos of Bill's restored Henderson and the other cars in his and Sharon's collection.
I'm told that there is only one other known Henderson besides ours and the three others shown here. Does anyone know where it is located?
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!