Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Replica of Alaska's First Winning Race Car

by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

The replica we've been building of Bobby Sheldon's first race car is almost finished, and the crew that has been working on it took it out yesterday for a spin.
Most of the parts that we used to build this replica were ones I gathered from around the state, so all the parts are of Alaska origin. A good portion came from the Nome area. Nome had a Ford dealer in the early days, and had lots of unsold new parts as well as a large assortment of used items. 

Long-time Fairbanks resident George Clayton flew for Wein Airlines, and he would collect and haul all kinds of items back to town from various villages. George always kept a good inventory of what and where the items originated. He would love to talk about them but would never sell any! Prior to his passing, though, he held an auction and a good amount of his Ford parts were sold to Bruce Campbell in Anchorage. Bruce passed all his collection of Model T parts on to me, and this is where most of the pieces came from for this project. We are grateful that George Clayton collected and saved these parts, and also thank Bruce for allowing me to be able to keep them in circulation to help others with their projects. If you need any T parts, let me know.

Photo of Bobby Sheldon before winning the first
automobile race in Fairbanks in 1917.
Photo courtesy of Frances Erickson
We still need a hood from a Model T to complete the replica, so if you have an old “rough” one, please get in touch with me.

Many thanks to the gang of docents that have been involved in the building of the replica from old and sometimes rusty pieces that I hauled in to the museum. Watch for this fun car driving around Wedgewood Resort this summer.

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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