The only car ever manufactured in Alaska

… is on display at a museum in Fairbanks.


There were a lot of shed tinker-inventors working on automobiles back in the late 1800s into the early 1900s.

Pretty credible effort with very limited resources.


Yes, the Skidoo was invented by a rural doctor (Dr. Armand Bombardier) who wanted to get to his patients. They still made house calls then.

Never heard of it but what a fascinating story. A 360 miles trip on that thing considering the roads back then. Ouch.

The article said he was the first to make the trip that tells me there would not be any gas stations along the way makes me wonder how he got the gas it don’t look like the car would have a very big gas tank.

Back in the very early days of motoring, there weren’t any gas stations–as we know them.
Gasoline had to be purchased (in relatively small amounts) from hardware stores and general stores.


I understand that but in that part of the country and that distance at that time and how many towns could there be what reason would the stores have it in stock I am not trying to argue with you I am just curious and trying to learn something new.

All I can tell you is that motor trips had to be planned VERY carefully in those days.
Somehow, the inventor must have done enough fuel-related planning, I guess.

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It would have been nice it he would have kept a journal of some kind it would have made interesting reading.

… and, for the folks who say that they would NEVER own a car with… power windows, A/C, automatic transmission or CVT, electronic stability control, ABS, backup camera, disc brakes, or any other modern features, this would be the ideal car.



That or the ford model T we know what the transmission was in the model T but they did not say what the transmission was but from what I can see it the picture whatever it was it was chain drive to the axle.

Lots of cars of that era were chain drive. Generally dual chains. The differential was solid mounted to the frame and each wheel was driven by a chain.


I remember seeing some trucks from the late 40s to the early 50s with chain drive.

As recently as the '80s, there was a NJ business, whose property was visible from I-78, and was still using chain-drive Mack trucks from–I think–the 1930s only on their property. These vehicles would have never been able to pass a modern safety inspection, but they served that business very well for many decades.

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My assumption on the gasoline situation, right or wrong, is that he may have taken along a number of gas containers.

I don’t know if they still have it or not but the historical society here in OK has a 1906 Oldsmobile with a single row chain drive. Given the dirt, totally exposed chain and proximity to the ground I can’t see a chain lasting very long.


The story says “In 1913, Sheldon became the first person to drive a gasoline-powered automobile on the Valdez Trail, the main artery from the port city of Valdez to Fairbanks, more than 360 miles away”

It doesn’t say he drove it in this car, which was built years earlier, in Skagway. I’m betting he drove some other car to Fairbanks.

Still quite an achievement.

Thanks for clarifying that. i never thought of it that way.

I want one.