“What is your all-time favorite piece in the museum?”
I knew this question would be difficult for the staff of the Frontier Auto Museum. I received the same answer from everyone. “Oh that is tough!” This is no small question since the museum started in 2016, we are currently going into our second expansion. The Museum started out with a mere 5,000 sq ft with a 1500 sq ft antique store. Expanding in December of 2017 into 9,000 sq ft and 4,000sq ft antique store, the museum is going to be expanding again this winter another 3,500 sq ft totaling 12,500 sq ft. With items going from ceiling to floor there is just so many choices. Let’s see what their choices were; starting with the owner himself.
Jeff: 1949 Hudson
“I have to say the 49 Hudson convertible for sentimental reasons. It is the piece that started it all, it was the family restoration project. I was 10 when my dad (Leon Wandler) got it and it was a complete wreck. It was full of leaves and it probably would have been easier just to crush it, but It was my dad’s pride and joy. I remember when we tore it down to the frame and sand blasted it. We worked on it little by little, my siblings and I were all out of the house by the time it was done. So at least 20 years before it was complete.”
Tammy: Perfume night light. Have you ever seen one? This is Tammy’s favorite item in the museum. “ Not many people know what they are, they have a little ceramic well in the back to put the perfume in then you plug them in. The cutest one I have ever seen was a cocker spaniel with a bee on his nose and he was cross-eyed, I didn’t get it and I have not seen one since.”
Briana: 1965 Mercury Pickup
“It was my very own classic truck that I got when I was 18. My dad and I drove to Montana to pick it up, but it came from Canada. I was so excited when I got it that I had to enter it into car shows. I got the “Most Unique” in show. There was only Ford or Mercury dealerships in Canada due to the size of the towns. So Ford wanted to increase their truck sales so they produced a Mercury line of trucks. The first line of Mercury trucks was in 1946 and was a complete failure, there were a lot of problems. It was a relaunched version of the Ford F series. There were 500 trucks made in the same year as my truck, very few exist today especially in the United States.”
Lori: 1954 Nash Metropolitan
“My favorite item in museum is the 1954 Nash Metropolitan. My children’s Great-grandfather, Floyd Foil, owned one and I have fond memories of sitting in the driver’s seat pretending to drive. These cute little cars were built in England between 1953 to 1961. They were smaller than their competitors, the Volkswagens, and were nicknamed “baby nashes” due to their size and cuteness. This little dream could do 0 to 60 in 30 seconds, averaged 40 mpg, and could hit a top speed of 75 mph. She has curvy lines and a lovely Caribbean blue paint job. She sports a 42 horsepower straight 4 Austin engine and a 3-speed manual transmission. She sold new for around $1500.00 and was marketed as an economical car perfect for commuting or running errands. Her teeny tiny back seat was just right for hauling kids or groceries. It’s a little car with a big personality. My kid’s grandpa Floyd kept every car he ever owned. When a car would quit running, he would add it to the orderly line of automobiles resting in his cherry orchard. There were Studebakers and Edsels, cars of every kind but his Metropolitan was the car that charmed my heart.”
Ryan: “In a museum full of large, elaborate, colorful neon, one of a kind signs and ultra rare globes, and stunning iconic mid centuryvehicles, one of my favorite pieces can be found hiding in the furthest southwest corner. On the bottom shelf in the library. 10 BOOKS MEASURING 10X12 AND ABOUT AN INCH THICK. University OfWyoming Yearbooks. Dates on the spines ranging from 1925 and up to 1959.
What fascinates me the most about the past is both the similarities and the differences of people's lives, personalities, and emotions.
Everyone knows the excitement of looking through their brand-newyearbook at the end of the school year. Seeing everyone's faces, remembering the years events. Then within a few years you're already embarrassed by the pictures and styles of the time.
Here in the library, nearly 100 years later we can look back and catch a glimpse into the everyday lives of people eagerly pursuing their futures.
All the classic yearbook sections are here. Class photos, athletic teams, basketball, football, drama club, debate teams, swim team, women's volleyball and hockey. As well as prom and formal balls. Even advertisements for local businesses. All in black and white.
The pictures of hairstyles and clothing long abandoned. Belonging to people who have long past. The interior pictures of buildings are sometimes dark and ominous, yet intriguing. Athletic uniforms are comically small.
Yearbooks, also known as annuals, are getting smaller in size and fewer in quantity. With the advent of social media the yearbook's significance has decreased and more and more institutions areforgoing the tradition.
Makes you wonder in 100 years who might be looking at your yearbook? What will they be saying about our clothing and style choices? Will they even have any yearbooks anymore by then?
What other windows into the long forgotten are lying away on a shelf or in an attic, waiting for their memories to be discovered?”
Falan: My favorite is the Fearless Ferris Stinker sign. There are so many great pieces in the museum that I appreciate for one reason or another. The Fearless Ferris sign has just always made me smile. I assumed it was named the Stinker because of the smell of gas, but I was wrong. I decided I needed to know more about this sign, so I started my research on it. I’m so glad I did. Little did I know how rare this sign truly was, there was only one of these stations in the state of Wyoming. The Fearless Ferris station was a company founded in Idaho by Ferris Lind and he was selling gas at such a low rate that local oil retailers despised and gave him the nickname “The Stinker”. Ferris Lind embraced his new nickname and decided to name his service stations after his newly embraced name. There was a book written about his story, so you know I had to get my hands on one, they are available through Amazon. Now we have a copy that we will be placing next to this gem of a sign.
Have you visited our location? If so, what is your favorite piece in the museum? Please leave a comment.