Thursday, July 14, 2011

Old cars, great friends

We finally crossed paths with our friends, Sharon and Don, who are also "doing" Alaska this summer, but they started earlier in the year and are going the "other way" around the circle-like path through the accessible parts of Alaska. We had to cross paths at some point, and it turned out to be Fairbanks.

Before dinner, we took a trip to the Fountainhead Antique Car Museum -- mostly because we had a two-for-one coupon, but it turned out to be a really fun, informative place that we highly recommend to anyone with a few hours to spare in Fairbanks. The cars were not merely old, but special (and often rare) in one way or another, and the placards described each car's contribution to automotive history in a way that even my non-mechanical mind could comprehend.

Do check out their blog, Gypsy and the Mariner's RV Adventures for pictures of a some of the more interesting cars. In addition to cars, trucks, and bikes, there were period costumes to admire and vintage films to watch:

Here are John and I wearing period headgear for a photo in a vintage car:
And Sharon and Don recreated Sharon's RV driving style:
One of my favorites cars was this "1905 Sheldon."
Never heard of a Sheldon? Here's the story from the museum:
Skagway resident Robert "Bobby" Sheldon wanted to win a young lady's favor and believed having an automobile would give him an advantage over her other suitor -- a doctor's son who drove a horse and fancy carriage. Although the 18 year-old Sheldon had only seen pictures of cars in magazines, he believed he could build one that would "dazzle the young lady."

Sheldon built a wooden frame, attached four buggy wheels and barroom chairs, salvaged a Gray marine engine from a sunken boat, added gears and built a chain drive. He made the tiller from sections of gas pipe. Tin and oilcloth were used for a hood and trunk cover.

Sheldon took the girl for many rides in his runabout. Did he marry her? "No," he said a number of years later, "but three other fellows have married her since then."

After the museum, we had a wonderful time catching up at the Pump House Restaurant. Sharon and John bring new meaning to the phrase, "pulling my leg!"
Great seeing you guys! We'll see you again down the road.

1 comment:

Sharon Del Rosario said...

It was great seeing you two! Safe and fun travels. I'll treasure the memories we made together in Fairbanks.