Monday, April 17, 2017

Historic Vehicle Association Registry -- Cars Designated to Date

This is what I have so far on the HVA list of cars to make their registry. It is eclectic to say the least, and seemingly scattershot in terms of relevance and impact on American life.  One big question is how are these cars chosen?  Is there any system to these decisions? How does personalities, power, influence and possibly investment come into the equation?

This list takes on importance beyond just a list established by an organization funded by Haggerty Insurance when the Department of the Interior and the Federal Government gets involved. Senate Bill 3381 makes the beginning of taking this activity to an entirely higher level.  Who will be entrusted, if this bill is passed, to write narrative descriptions of each vehicle, collect photographic records, 3D scans, line drawings and engineering drawings that will be archived at the Library of Congress?

Here is my take on these cars.

1. 1907 Thomas Flyer -- well it was a product of a fine company in Buffalo, NY, and winner of the race around the world.  Plenty of recent promotion by the grandson of one of its drivers, George Schuster. More important but unanswered is the role of French engineers who worked at Thomas at this time.

2. 1918 Cadillac Type 57 -- I saw this car in Allentown last October. A representative Cadillac perhaps, but what makes this Cadillac more significant than many other years and models?

3. 1938 Buick Y-Job -- OK, Harley Earl's longer, lower, chrome light-value demonstrator. I agree on this one.

4. 1920 Anderson Convertible Roadster -- Yes, I know this was manufactured in Rock Hill South Carolina and thus is distinctive for that reason alone. Did this car have much impact on American life?  I doubt it.

5. 1940 Ford Pygmy (Precursor the the Jeep) -- Sure.  But one should stress the imacpt on the home front as well as in WWII -- literature, film, song.
6. 1947 Tucker "48"-- no quibble with this choice.

7. 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe -- maybe from the standpoint of racing history.
8. 1964 Myers Manx "Old Red" -- on a scale of 1 to 10 a 5.
9. 1911 Marmon Wasp -- yes, because it won the first Indy 500.

10. 1967 Chevrolet Camaro -- why not a number of other choices, including the GTO, Barracuda, Mustang?
11. 1938 Maserati 8CTF -- the Mike Boyle special.  Read Brock Yates book on this car.

12. 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL -- it captivated the automotive imagination of many Americans.  Germans were maybe not as bad as thought previously.
13. President William Howard Taft's 1909 White Steam Car  -- yes, presidents and their cars.
14. 1962 Willys Jeep CJ-6 -- Why?
15. !940 GM Futurliner -- Motorama had a vision of a future of American automoblity that was patricianly realized with unintended consequences we live with today.

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