How do you celebrate the 100th birthday of a 1908 Buick roadster? If you are Marl Brown, you drive it on a 1200-mile round trip from Fort Nelson to Whitehorse.
The Fort Nelson Heritage Museum was closed for the season, but the outdoor exhibits hadn’t been stored, so we wandered among 1942 army vehicles, remnants of wooden culverts, pioneer washing machines, and farm equipment. We were met by Marl Brown, the owner and driver of the 1908 Buick. Marl opened his car barn and gave us a private tour; the barn is packed with cars, trucks, and a bicycle that swivels at both ends. He told us the major problem on that “birthday” car trip was driving in the rain in a topless vehicle, and he soaked a pile of coats.
The double-jointed bicycle? He admits it takes a good deal of skill to ride it at all. I’m not an antique-auto person—I don’t think it’s usually a woman thing–but this tour was delightful and it was a privilege to hear Marl Brown talk cars with Skus, who recognized a 1950’s Packard like the one his father had, and a 1939 Packard, the model that Skus once coveted. We were both impressed by the one-cylinder 1908 Busch with wooden frame and axles—still in running condition!
We failed to find information on the Internet about the Busch (Bush?) auto—if any reader has more information, please let us know! There can’t have been many autos with wooden axles!
This museum, across the highway from the Visitor’s Center, is the primary attraction of Fort Nelson and well worth a several-hour visit. It’s major focus, besides automobiles, is Fort Nelson history and the Alaska Highway.