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Robert_Photographer

Trying to identify an antique car

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The attached photograph shows a car I'm trying to identify. I'm working on a history of the building in the background (from Skagway, Alaska) and this photograph is undated. A date on the car would at least give me an earliest possible date. Thanks for any help!

Kind of funny to have cars there, total road mileage couldn't have been much, you couldn't drive out of Skagway until the 1970s or 1980s.

Bob

post-68941-143138251154_thumb.jpg

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Bob, could be one of several cars, but as to year it sure looks like mid to late 20s. We will see what other have to say.

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I don't recognize it either but it could be as late as a 1931 or even 32 model.

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It seems to me that the radiator has been removed, as the hood sure seems sloping to the front. I also note what seems like some interesting white wall tires. And also there is no spare on the rear or sidemounts, so I think we agree, the car may have been there for some years before the photo. At least we know it is not older then mid-20's to early 30s.

John

Edited by jscheib
spelling (see edit history)

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White wall tires on what looks like an abandoned car sure look odd. I'd guess the vehicle was built 1930-32. If you could post an enlarged photo maybe we would have more details to pin point the ID.

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Looks like a big luxury model... '28-'32 vintage ?

The wheels look a little strange ( from what I can see of them )...

They look like Checker wheels.

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My best guess....'32 Packard Model 900 with disc wheels...very similar lines

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I can't help you with the identification, but I can share one story about automobile history in Skagway. The landlocked town actually had the distinction of hosting Alaska's very first automobile, a little runabout built in 1905 by 22 year-old Robert Sheldon. There's a great story behind the car (see Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum: Alaska's Most Treasured Car), and we're honored to have this historical treasure on display in our museum.

During the Gold Rush, a number of autos passed through Skagway on their way to the Yukon Territory by way of the White Pass Railroad -- perhaps even before Sheldon built his car. A mystery I'm still trying to research. I have a photo of the Abbott-Detroit Bulldog used in the 1911 100,000 durability that was shipped to Skagway, but have no other photos or newspaper articles about other automobiles that made it there.

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My best guess....'32 Packard Model 900 with disc wheels...very similar lines

On first look I thought Packard but I suggest 28-29 lincoln because the front fender has the same shape as the 28-29 Ford,staying closer to the back of the tire before it swoops back than the 30-31 model or a Packard

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I'm thinking big eight cylinder Marmon or Studebaker. The sloping roofline should help identify.

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In 1991 we drove to Alaska as far North as the Arttic Circle. As we toured we headed South and drove into Skagway and as we drove around town I saw a blue 4 door sedan which appeared to be a Studebaker I would guess to be a 1928 to 1931. It appeared to be in nice condition and driveable. Some where in my collection I have a picture of the car , but it may just be on my video. Right now I don't have the engery to look for it, sorry.:(

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Bob,

Good photo. Regarding your surprise at cars being in Skagway before the 70's and no roads out; it didn't stop my family from showing up there in 1964 with two cars! We drove there from Kansas in February.

Re: make of car. My vote is for one of the rarer and more elegant Peerless models: a 1929 Model 8-125 with a 138" w.b. and a 322 cu. in. straight 8.

Nancy,

I once saw an online reminiscence of a soldier stationed in Skagway during WWII who bought an early 1920's Franklin there & drove it around in his spare time. Have you ever heard of one of those in Alaska during the 40's?

----Jeff

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

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Someone mentioned Studebaker... those could be disc wheels such as Stude used in the late '20s...

Nash also used disc wheels through-out the '20s, and built some big sedans...

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Perhaps knowing when Skagway got wired for electricity would be a good clue?

A poor strictly intuitive guess for the photo.....1960s early.

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Robert.

I just googled Skagway Aklaska History. Found the following interesting if not the whole web site:

Quote: " Bobby Sheldon, 14, builds first automobile in Alaska for 1905 Fourth of July parade. He will later drive first car and run tours over Alaska's first highway between Valdez and Fairbanks, where the Skagway car will end up in the University of Alaska museum. In December, a meeting is held in Skagway about building a road from here to eventually connect with the Valdez road."

If the Skagway car is in the University of Alaska, possibly the trail of inquiry may be better defined.

(Maybe I have too much time on my hands today but I must admire whomever wrote the very detailed chronoligical history of Skagway...really interesting. References the first roads built into Skagway although your photo vehicle is a later model.)

Re: Skagway History

Regards,

Peter.

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This photo was taken off the Marmon section of this forum. Compare to the car in question. This is a 1930 Marmon. The roof on this car is sloped like the one in the picture.

marmon.jpg

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Ok I am bias but I am going to go with a 1929 Graham 827 Sedan with disk wheels. I agree it is a disabled car, looks like the hood is open, and I believe the reason the car looks strange is the building has fallen on it! Let’s go back to the photographer....what is he/she taking a picture of? ... not the car, too far away, must be the building....maybe because it fell on the car? storm damage?

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The building has not fallen on the car, though I'll agree it looks like it. The building, which was the first YMCA in Alaska, is still there. We found some of the original exercise equipment, and the floor still had paint on it for games--haven't figured out which games yet. Interesting structure, though the outside looks like crap. The National Park Service is stabilizing it so it doesn't fall down and will eventually restore it, along with the neighboring structure. They were donated to the NPS, along with the money for at least the initial work. Right now, the YMCA is jacked up so archeologists can get at the ground and a new foundation put in.

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