Calling all antique car enthusiasts; Jay Leno is not the only one who has an impressionable car collection in his garage! Recently on a trip to Fairbanks my family and I visited the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. This is a great activity for families, as well as those visitors that are interested in early 20th century post-Gold Rush Alaska history, or just love old cars!
With more than 75 exceptionally rare and beautiful antique cars on display in North America’s northern-most auto museum, the Antique Auto Museum is a great addition to any visit to Fairbanks. The museum shares stories and hardships faced by Alaska’s automotive pioneers. Alaska’s pioneering motorists faced many challenges like severe climates as well as horrendous road conditions. From pre-1900 horseless carriages to magnificent ’30’s classics, nearly every one of the autos are in running condition.
You will also find an extensive collection of period formal wear worn by Alaska’s pioneers displayed throughout the museum. Over 80 outfits are on display. This collection is an excellent mix of garments including motoring clothing, everyday fashions and formal dresses from the late Victorian period through the Swing era. If you’re adventurous, you can step back in time and try on some of the period fashion and take your picture in a classic car – a fun festive experience for the whole family.
Other interesting features are archival movie footage showing Alaskans using, hunting, freight hauling, wood cutting, racing, tourism and leisure throughout the vast frontier and there is an area where you can take a windowed look into “garage” where you can observe the Museum’s staff restoring or maintaining cars. During the summer the museum allows some vehicles to tour around Fairbanks so keep your eye out as you might just get to see one of these rare gems roadside while strolling through town.
Growing up on the East coast my Dad and I always stopped at various auto museums but I must say again that this is one of the top ones I’ve been to. I make sure that each time I am in Fairbanks, I visit and I am continually in awe at the amazing collection in all places – Fairbanks, Alaska!
The Museum can easily be fit into your summer visit due to the long summer days. Sunday through Thursday the museum is open from 10:00am to 8:00pm at night, Friday and Saturdays they are open from 11:00am to 6:00pm.