"We stayed at Wedgewood Resort & it was recommended that we walk over to your museum. We are not really into antique cars, but the museum was so impressive from the display of antique cars, to the women´s attire from the same era, movies & history throughout the museum, and cleanliness. We were so impressed. Also, we enjoyed the employees which made it a perfect visit. It would be wonderful if so much care & love were put into everything in this world." - June 2012, Cook´s from Connecticut
The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum collection in Fairbanks, Alaska features over 84 American made antique automobilesand showcases the interesting heritage of the automobile during Alaska’s post-Gold Rush era. The collection includes rare gems like a 1899 Hertel, 1904 Stevens-Duryea, 1917 Owen-Magnetic, 1921 Heine-Velox, 1933 Auburn V-12 dual ratio custom speedster and 1938 Elto Midget.
Several autos are the only models of their marques known to remain, including an 1898 Hay Motor Vehicle, 1906 Compound, and 1920 Argonne. Twenty-three autos previously resided in the William Harrah, Parker Wickham, Henry Austin Clark and Al Garganigo collections.
The museum book features these autos and an outstanding collection of historical fashion clothing; "Alaska´s Fountainhead Collection: Vintage Treads and Threads."
While a few of the autos are in unrestored condition, most look like they just rolled off the showroom floor. According to Willy Vinton, antique auto museum manager, “Our goal is to maintain all, but our most fragile autos, in running condition, and visitors will be able to view repair projects taking place in the Fairbanks museum’s shop.” On most summer evenings, one of the autos are driven around Wedgewood Resort. “To be able to see these rare autos is great,” says Vinton, “but to hear them run and see them operate is priceless.”
The antique auto photos of Alaska motoring history on the museum walls are alone worth a visit. More than 70 antique photographs depicting the first automobiles to reach Alaska and its mining camps are on display, including antique the Thomas Flyer that reached Valdez during the famed 1908 New York to Paris Race. Along with this impressive display of antique photographs, the museum includes exhibits and antique movie footage that illustrate the extraordinary challenges faced by Alaska’s pioneering motorists. You’ll see examples of how Alaskans modified vehicles to travel on snow, cut firewood, ride the rails, and even power a paddlewheel boat down the Yukon River.
Visitors can also view the museum’s historic fashion collection, which traces the progression of fashion from the Victorian through early Swing eras. The changes in clothing styles are as dramatic as those in automotive design. The museum’s historical fashion clothing collection includes more than 130 vintage dresses, coats, hats, men’s suits, shoes, and accessories spanning eight decades. Approximately 60 displays colorfully illustrate how and why styles changed with the times and how the popularity of the automobile influenced fashion.
The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is located at Wedgewood Resort, minutes from downtown Fairbanks. The on-site hotel and suites, seasonal restaurant, meeting facilities, banquet services and adjacent wildlife sanctuary make this American made antique automobilemuseum a perfect destination for all those who venture to Fairbanks Last Frontier.
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