“The Farthest North Auto Museum”

fountainhead-antique-auto-museum-alaska
Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

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.

Three Midgets
Fountainhead’s three midget racers

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.

1906 Pope-Toledo
1906 Pope-Toledo Type XII 7-passenger Touring

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.

1932 Chrysler
1932 Chrysler Custom Imperial Series CL Convertible Sedan

The ’32 Chrysler is one, absolutely beautiful car. I bet it’s damn fun to drive as well.

1927 Stutz
1927 Stutz Vertical Eight Custom Series Black Hawk Boattail Speedster

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.

1919 McFarlan
1919 McFarlan Type 125 Sport Touring

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.

Roaring Road
Walter Reid in “The Roaring Road”, 1919

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.

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

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