It may be hard to believe, but one of the world's best vintage auto museums is not in Phoenix, but in Fairbanks, Alaska. With more than 100 cars dating back to the 1890s, including some original prototypes, steam-powered cars, and a Ford Model -T that converts into a snow cat, the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is an impressive place.
But local car enthusiasts--and there are plenty here; just look at the Barrett-Jackson collectible auto auction turnout--need not travel 3,500 miles and endure 40 below zero temperatures to marvel at some amazing automobiles.
Instead, head over to the Metrocenter Mall where a new lease brings Arizona's largest vintage car museum under its roof, beginning Monday, February 11.
In a new deal inked with the Scottsdale International Auto Museum, classic and one-of-a-kind cars and trucks will sparkle among more than 7,000 square feet of mall space.
"We hope it serves as a prototype for mini-museums that we can duplicate in malls across the U.S.," says Tommee "Vegas" Ranger, museum co-founder (along with auto industry icons Jack Gartley and Leo Gephart), in a press statement.
The museum opens with 20-30 rare cars, possibly including the 1950 Kaiser Deluxe "Virginian" 4-door hardtop, 1931 Duesenberg Model J, 1934 Nash Ambassador Brougham, 1966 Ford Mustang GT-350, 1968 Dodge Charger, and others from the museums deep inventory. Expansion plans already in the works to bring more collectible cars to the mall.
As part of a community outreach program, the museum host frequent car shows and quarterly auctions. The next auction is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17. The auction will feature Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder #51 Mello Yello 1988 Chevy Lumina, and Howard Hughes' 1936 Lincoln Model K limousine sedan meticulously remodeled for added speed and aerodynamics by the wealthy recluse.
Museum hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5. Children 12 years old and under are free.
Visit Scottsdale International Auto Museum for more information.