Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

Extreme Motoring – Alaska’s First Automobiles
Our collection features over 80 vehicles, including horseless carriages, steamers, electric cars, speedsters, cyclecars, midget racers and 30s classics.  These include such rarities as an 1898 Hay Motor Vehicle, 1906 Compound, 1920 Argonne and 1921 Heine-Velox Victoria.  Remarkably, all but a few of the automobiles are driven, making this a true “living museum.”  Be sure to bring your camera – there’s even an automobile you can climb into for photos!


Alaska’s rich and colorful automotive history comes to life at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.




Alaska’s rich and colorful automotive history comes to life at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum.

Young Robert “Bobby” Sheldon built Alaska’s first automobile in 1905 to “dazzle a young lady in Skagway, Alaska.” Although he had never seen an automobile before, Bobby Sheldon assembled buggy wheels, a marine engine, some tin and two bar stools into a functional runabout that could travel 15 miles per hour. Did he win the young lady’s attention? Good question! Visit the museum to find out, and enjoy all the early 20th century Alaskan motoring transportation stories.

The first production automobiles reached Alaska by steamship in 1908. Initially, these “devil wagons” provided much excitement and entertainment. Most new owners had never driven a car before, accidents were frequent and some terrified passengers demanded to be let out after only a few miles. Extreme cold, deplorable road conditions and an absence of repair shops meant that Alaskan motorists required tremendous ingenuity and resourcefulness.

Historic motoring photographs decorating the auto museum’s walls illustrate the north’s unique transportation challenges, including the navigation of glacial streams, avalanche chutes and extremely deep snow. Other photos and archival movie footage depict the utility of automobiles for passenger transport, hunting, freight hauling, woodcutting, racing, tourism and leisure throughout the vast territory.

The Alaska gallery features a special exhibit on the historic Valdez-Fairbanks Trail, which opened up access to Fairbanks and Alaska’s interior year-round. Our most popular display is a replica of the original Sourdough Roadhouse, where you can dress up in historic fashions, climb into an antique automobile and have your photo taken using your own camera. The auto museum is also home to a variety of Alaskan artifacts, including an antique Tokheim gasoline pump, Ford Model A sawmill, and a Fairbanks-Morse engine that once powered Alaska’s first telegraph system.

Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
212 Wedgewood Dr
Fairbanks, AK 99701
(907) 450-2100

Winter Hours
Mid-September through mid-May
Sundays only – Noon to 6PM
Closed Monday through Saturday

Summer Hours start mid-May 2016
Sunday through Thursday 10am to 8pm
Friday & Saturday 11am to 6pm