HomeCar CultureBueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang among cars to be displayed on National Mall

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang among cars to be displayed on National Mall


“Bueller? Bueller?” While the whereabouts of the most famous truant of the 20th Century was a mystery to Ferris Bueller’s teacher, the replica 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California used in the movie will be on display for all to see March 30 through April 2 when the Historic Vehicle Association launches its annual Cars at the Capital exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

This will be the fourth annual Cars at the Capital display, and this year it will stretch throughout the month of April, with five vehicles taking their turns being displayed in a glass garage that will be lit at night for round-the-clock viewing by Mall visitors.

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang to be displayed on National Mall
The Hirohata Merc took its turn in the glass-enclosed display on the National Mall | HVA photos

In recognition of their significance to American automotive history, the five vehicles selected for display include four that are the latest to be added to the National Historic Vehicle Register, which now includes 24 vehicles.

“These cars are some of the most important automotive and cultural examples that reflect the early days of our American automotive history as well the role automobiles have played in film history,” Mark Gessler, HVA president, said in a news release.

“They all tell a uniquely American story and reflect the broad impact the automobile has had on our culture.”

The cars, with their dates on the Mall, are:

1985 Ferrari Modena Spyder California

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang to be displayed on National Mall

Rather than risk destruction of one of the world’s most expensive sports cars, John Hughes, director of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, had Neil Glassmoyer and Mark Goyette of Modena Design and Development turn a Modena Spyder into a replica of the 250 GT California. Actually, this is just one of three replica cars created for the movie. Among the others was the one that crashed backward out of a glass-walled garage of a mid-century modern house and flew to its destruction in a ravine. On display March 30-April 2.

1927 Ford Model T

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang to be displayed on National Mall

And not just any Model T but the 15 millionth one produced. VIN 15000000 was among the last of the Tin Lizzys produced over a 19-year run; it was driven off the Highland Park assembly line by Henry and Edsel Ford. On display April 3-9.

1984 Plymouth Voyager

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang to be displayed on National Mall

This was the first Chrysler minivan and is a 12,000-mile unrestored people mover that came off the assembly line in Windsor, Canada, on November 2, 1983. Minivans had a huge impact on American families and were so popular that every major automaker created its own versions until they fell out of fashion, largely replaced by crossover sport utility vehicles. On display April 10-16.

1968 Ford Mustang “Bullitt” fastback

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang to be displayed on National Mall

This is the hero car driven by actor and motorsports enthusiast Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt. Thought by many to have been lost, the car re-emerged earlier this year from the family that has owned it since 1974. On display April 17-23.

1918 Cadillac Type 57

Bueller’s Ferrari, McQueen’s Mustang to be displayed on National Mall

This car, known to the U.S. military as U.S. 1257X, was the fourth vehicle added to the historic register and is the only known survivor of the vehicles used by the U.S. military in World War I. It was put into service in France to help set up rest areas for soldiers. On display April 24-30.




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, 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. "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" is an absolute classic, and if it’s stars never made another decent picture between them, it wouldn’t matter – they nailed it here.
    The car, though is really quite poor – and one glance at the side-view above tell you why; to avoid hassles with Ferrari over pinching it’s body-shape, the proportions have been altered so that it loses most of the bunched-up aggression of a genuine Ferrari 250 SWB California – the cockpit is too long – (which at least made it possible for Cameron to hide in the back) – the nose is too short and droopy-looking etc etc.
    John Hughes had a real one on-hand for some static shots, and it’s a great pity that he didn’t just stick the real Ferrari on rollers/stands etc and blip it in top-gear to get the on-board shot of the genuine Ferrari speedo and rev-counter with the needles well over at speed to use for the scene when the car-park attendants "borrow it from the borrowers" and get it airborne over hump-backed bridge – the sight of two totally wrong Smiths gauges liberated from a Jag are a real giveaway and a downer for anyone still wondering if it might be a real one.
    Ditto with the shots where you see cheap glitzy chrome wire-wheels instead of the proper Borrani/Rudge alloy-rims.
    (And they’re called "Spiders" btw, not "Spyders" – English speakers change the spelling of the Italian word for "convertible" because the Italian spelling gives them the creeps. Though as there’s no hardtop version anyway, there’s no need to use either spelling))
    Does anybody know anyone who makes a dimensionally-accurate shell in fibre-glass ? I have a rolling Ferrari chassis that is just begging for 250 California body to plonk on top…..

  2. Hello,
    I am hoping you can help me find the manufacturer of the Glass enlcosure used to display those cars at the capital?
    I have been trying to reach the Historic Vehicle Association with no luck in reaching a single person by phone or email.
    I represent the man who owns the original 1966 Cadillac Superior Coach hearse used for Dr. Martin Luther King in Mephis on the day of his assassination 50 years ago, on April 4, 1968.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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