Wednesday, June 22, 2016

We have been in Fairbanks Alaska for two days now. Fairbanks is the second largest city in Alaska and has many of the major merchants we have become accustom to. Of course everyone has made trips to Walmart, Fred Meyer, and Sams Club. Yesterday the girls went to the North Pole, an actual town and suburb of Fairbanks, to take in the Christmas store and see the raindeers. The town theme is Christmas and the streets have names like Santa Clause Lane, etc. The guys were not drawn to that venue and decided to visit an old car museum in Fairbanks.

The car museum had 87 rare cars and the newest was from the 1930's. There were many cars we had never heard of and almost all of them were restored to a like new condition. All but two actually ran and the museum periodically took them out for a drive. One of the rare cars was a 1917 Owen Magnetic which amazingly was a predecessor to the modern hybrid car. Not only was the transmission continuously variable, akin to a CVT transmission, the Owen had regenerative brakes and would charge the batteries while braking. Granted this was not automatic and the driver had to move a lever to the regenerative position. Early cars had straight tooth gears which made changing gears difficult. The Owen was cherished by those that could afford it because it was quite and there were no gears to worry about. Unfortunately the high cost of this automobile led to its demise. Googling this car did not find much information but did reveal that Jay Leno has one in his garage.

1917 Owen Magnetic

Another interesting car was what one might call an early "muscle car", a 1917 Pierce-Arrow. This car had an inline 6 with 825 cubic inches.

1917 Pierce-Arrow

We were not aware that early cars had V-16 engines in them but it turns out there was a cylinder war between a few of the manufactures started by the 1932 Cadillac pictured below. Cadillac introduced the worlds first V-16 engine in this car. It is a real beauty and I would gladly trade all three of my vehicles for this one. Imagine going for a Sunday ride in that baby.

1932 Cadillac V-16

Up close of V-16

Information plaque

My new ride - they wouldn't let me sit in the Cadillac

No comments:

Post a Comment