Between hockey tournaments, we stopped by the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. The museum is one of Fairbanks’ lesser known gems. It is quite the collection of classic vehicles. The Curator, of course, wanted to see the three midget cars, and I pretty much wanted to see everything.
The three midget racers include a 1934 Wetteroth-Offenhauser, a 1937 Winters-Ford Midget V8-60, and a 1938 Southwest Chrome Special Elto. The Offenhauser had been driven by Bob Swanson.
One wing of the museum has a collection of cars with Alaska ties. It includes a 1906 Pope-Toledo, which was the first production car to arrive in Fairbanks. Also included is the Sheldon Runabout, which was the first car built entirely within Alaska. It was “manufactured” by Bobby Sheldon in 1905 to impress a young lady. The Sheldon Runabout is on loan from the University’s Museum of the North.
The ’32 Chrysler is one, absolutely beautiful car. I bet it’s damn fun to drive as well.
As I’ve posted on here before, I’ve had a life-long, yet sadly, long-distance love affair with Stutz. Look at those lines. Beautiful.
The McFarlan was once owned by actor Walter Reid. Reid, who starred in over 180 films during the silent film era, was obsessed with cars and racing. Sadly, the actor died in 1923 at the age of 31. The vehicles, especially in this wing of the museum, have been moved closer together to accommodate the private events that take place during the fall and holiday seasons. Unfortunately, some of the vehicle locations did not provide outstanding cameos. This was one such case.
Due to the tight schedule we were on, we stopped by the museum on a day that they were closed because of winter hours. Luckily, we ran into the Fountainhead mechanic, and he gave us a quick, private tour. For which, we were both extremely greatful. The Antique Auto Museum is well worth checking out when in Fairbanks. I can not say enough, and will certainly be paying them another visit. Probably during regularly, scheduled hours.
Fountainhead is a working museum. In other words, the vast majority of the cars here, are operated at some point during the year. There are only a few exceptions to that rule. In all, the collection has over 80 vehicles at this point.