Classic Cars

Bill Would Make Historic Vehicles a Federal Designation

Peters’ Legislation Extends Landmark Designation to Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles

Historic automobiles, trucks and motorcycles would get the same treatment as landmark buildings recognized by the National Register of Historic Places under legislation U.S. Senator Gary Peters, D-Michigan, introduced Thursday. The bill would lend an official federal government stamp of approval to the Historic Vehicle Association’s (HVA) growing list of such cars and trucks. Peters’ bill also recognizes similar work on historic cycles by the American Motorcyclist Association. The insurance company Hagerty also was involved in the legislation.

The U.S. Interior department already works with the HVA to identify and honor such vehicles, and the federal agency together with the private organization, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, have worked for such legislation in recent years. The HVA’s latest honoree was the first production 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which was displayed in a large glass box on Woodward Avenue during the Dream Cruise in August.

“This legislation will ensure records of the historic vehicles will be available to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers and celebrate the accomplishments of the automotive industry that continues to be a vital part of our economy in Michigan and across the United States,” Peters said in his bill’s introduction.

The HVA recognizes specific historic vehicles, such as the first production Camaro—not all ’67 or first-generation models. Its first inductee, named in January 2014, was CSX 2287, the 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe prototype.

“Cars, motorcyles, and trucks chronicle our past and help us understand who we are, where we have been and where we may be headed, and the Historic Vehicle Association is focused on ensuring this history is carefully preserved for future generations,” HVA president Mark Gessler said.

The HVA’s 12 other vehicles on the list, so far, are:

1964 Meyers Manx – (“Old Red,” Bruce Meyers’ first dune buggy, and the first with a fiberglass body).

1938 Maserati 8C TF ‘Boyle Special’ – Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.

1918 Cadillac Type 57, U.S. 1257 X Served in World War I as support for the American Expeditionary Forces, later served the Young Men’s Christian Association.

1947 Tucker ’48 Prototype

GM Futurliner Number 10

1954 Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL – First Gullwing Benz imported to the U.S. Sold by Max Hoffman to Briggs Cunningham.

1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 “Pygmy” – Ford’s entry in the U.S. Army’s general purpose vehicle request for proposals.

1909 White Steam Car – First official White House car, under the Taft administration.

1962 Willys ‘Jeep’ CJ-6 – President Reagan’s personal Jeep.

1911 Marmon Wasp – Winner of the inaugural Indianapolis 500 race.

1907 Thomas Flyer – Winner of the 1908 New York-to-Paris race.

1938 Buick Y-Job – General Motors design chief Harley Earl’s first “dream car,” believed to be the first concept car from any automaker.