Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fageol Coach Update

by Willy Vinton
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum


We finally started working on the ca. 1924 Fageol safety coach that belonged to the Mt. McKinley Tourist and Transportation Company. This once-upscale coach carried tourists on sight-seeing excursions in what is now Denali National Park. After the Park ended MMTTC's concession, the Fageol was brought to Fairbanks and parked outside where it set deteriorating for over seven decades. You can read more about it here

Last fall, we rescued what's left of the Fageol and moved it into the carpentry shop at Fountainhead Development. Last week Brad, Pete, and I began the task of pulling off all the remains of the body to evaluate what was left.  We found very few surprises. Most of the wood was pretty well rotted away, but the aluminum sheeting was still in decent condition. The roof is long gone.

We don't plan to restore the coach to its former glory. Instead, we are going to turn it into a historical exhibit that will be displayed outside the McKinley Chalet Resort. The Chalet is situated near the entrance to Denali National Park, and it will be nice to return this artifact to its original "territory."

The Fageol's interior and mechanical components will be left as is for now, but we will restore/rebuild the side panels and top. Stay tuned for progress reports.

3 comments:

  1. What are the canisters on the very front in between the fenders? They look like carbide cans for old lights.

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    Replies
    1. Those are air-filled shock absorbers, which I believe were built by Cleveland Air Products, Inc.

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    2. That is a great piece of history look like a lot of work. good luck! I would have never guessed air shocks.

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