HomeThe MarketSenate bill would endorse National Historic Vehicle Register

Senate bill would endorse National Historic Vehicle Register


Shelby Daytona Coupe was the first car to achieve status on the Historic Vehicle Register | HVA photos

The Historic Vehicle Register launched by the Historic Vehicle Association will become the National Historic Vehicle Register if legislation introduced by Michigan Sen. Gary Peters wins congressional approval. The bill would authorize the Dept. of Interior to establish a federal register of historic vehicles, basically giving federal approval to the HVA effort.

“Few engineering innovations have had the same impact on American society as the automobile, and it is important for us to preserve the stories of vehicles that have played a critical role in American history,” the senator said in introducing his bill.

“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 the United States. I am proud to work with the Historic Vehicle Association and the American Motorcyclist Association to support the preservation of America’s rich and unique automotive history.”

Peters’ bill also would include trucks and commercial vehicles in register eligibility.

“Cars, motorcycles 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,” said Mark Gessler, HVA president, who thanked the senator for his effort “to broaden awareness of America’s automotive heritage.”

“As a long-time motorcyclist, Senator Peters knows there are few things better than the freedom of two wheels on the open road,” added Wayne Allard, vice president for government relations for the American Motorcyclist Association.

President Taft’s 1909 White steam car

“Whether traveling cross country or just across town, motorcycles are a part of America’s automotive culture, and the American Motorcyclists Association is pleased to support the National Historic Vehicle Register Act to help highlight America’s motorcycling history.”

To date, the HVA has documented 14 vehicles for inclusion on the Historic Vehicle Register, which has been created in conjunction with the Department of Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record.

So far, no motorcycles have been included, but Peters’ legislation may be the impetus for that to change.

“As the largest company focused on the classic car market, Hagerty understands the value of not only protecting classic vehicles, but celebrating the memories and enjoyment that come with them,” said McKeel Hagerty, chief executive of the Hagerty insurance and vehicle valuation-tracking company. Hagerty was instrumental in launching the HVA.

“We applaud Senator Peters for introducing the National Historic Vehicle Register Act, which will help enhance the value of our customers’ cherished vehicles,” Hagerty added.

Vehicles included on the register “must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, or have a unique design or rarity,” according to an HVA news release. “Each vehicle’s record will include a narrative describing the vehicle and its historical significance, a photographic record, and line drawings or engineering drawings of the historic vehicle.”

The 14 vehicles already on the register are:

Sen. Peters announces legislation
  • 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe prototype (CSX2287)
  • 1964 Meyers Manx “Old Red”
  • 1938 Maserati 8C.T.F. “Boyle Special” Indy 500 racer
  • 1918 Cadillac Type 57 (World War I survivor)
  • 1947 Tucker 48 “Tin Goose” prototype
  • GM Futurliner No. 10
  • 1954 Mercedes-Benz Type 300 SL (198 040 4500003)
  • 1940 Ford Pilot Model GP-No. 1 “Pygmy” (military Jeep prototype)
  • 1909 White Steam Car (formerly owned by President Taft)
  • 1962 Willys Jeep CJ-6 (formerly owned by President Reagan)
  • 1911 Marmon Wasp (winner of the first Indianapolis 500)
  • 1908 Thomas Flyer (winner of the New York-Paris race)
  • 1938 Buick Y-Job (first concept car)
  • 1967 Chevrolet Camaro (first Camaro off the assembly line)
Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
  1. OldIron:
    This legislation was offered with support from the classic car community. It merely instructs the Dept. of Interior to make the register an official record, thus preserving it.
    PS: Government already governs your classic car by issuing license plates and requiring you have insurance.

  2. Just another opportunity for Government to know what you have. Have you considered this as a means of tracking what you do with your vehicle?? Hagerty should spend more time helping his insured protect their vehicles with low-cost GPS monitoring, rather than this pie-in the sky stuff! Give us something more than an elevated premium, Mikael!!

  3. this is the way our government starts to get bigger and bigger. Just a snippit and then a registration. Why do they require this information anyway? The government does NOT need to know how many cars are classics?

  4. Ideally, we, as owners of classic cars, are mere custodians, care takers; ‘curators’; and the cars will survive us and pass to future, hopefully equally appreciative care takers. The idea of a national registry, in that context, helps preserve the memory and significance of these wonderful machines as a legacy for future generations; not as well as an actual museum, but definitely better than no measure being taken. It is a very appealing concept, if you ask me

Recent Posts