Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fast Times at the Auto Museum

You've probably noticed that we haven't posted anything on the blog for awhile. We've been quite busy at the museum the past few months, with many visitors and lots of projects. The glorious summer weather has allowed us to get many of the museum cars out for some exercise, so Brad, Willy, and the pit crew have been very busy rotating cars through the shop and taking them for drives.

The guys also finished up structural restoration of the old Fageol Safety Coach, which we transported to the the entrance of Denali National Park a few weeks ago. It is presently on display at the McKinley Chalet Resort. You can read about its rescue and preservation here and here.

Our latest acquisition is a circa 1928 Edwards Pioneer Road Grader. John Hoegberg discovered the pull-type grader frozen in the tundra while mushing his dog team near Central in 1998. He used his Belgian draft horses to pull the grader to smooth out his mile-long driveway each spring. Sadly, John died suddenly last winter and we purchased this rare grader from his estate in May. We plan to spruce it up a bit and display it outside the museum.

Our historian, Nancy DeWitt, recently finished up another book for the museum. Titled Extreme Motoring: Alaska's First Automobiles and Their Dauntless Drivers, this books brings Alaska's colorful automotive history to life in a charming collection of stories and more than 75 rare photographs. We expect the books to arrive in mid-September. If you would like to be notified when they do, please let us know.

Speaking of books, we've got another one in the works. This one is on our historic fashion collection and will feature a few hundred photographs of our most loved dresses and accessories. We have been working with Greg Martin Photography to capture high-quality images of the garments, and visitors have enjoyed watching the photo shoots. We will have the books designed and printed this winter. Again, if you would like to be notified when they arrive, let us know.

Next month, we will bid good-bye to Nancy when she and her husband move to Boise, Idaho. She will be working on our fashion book and perhaps a few other projects from afar, so she isn't done with us yet. If you're lucky, you might catch her at the museum over the next few weeks, overseeing the clothing shoots or going for a few last rides in some museum cars.