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Open Diff – What other vehicles should be on the National Historic Vehicle Register?

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Photo courtesy NASA.

In two years, the Historic Vehicle Association has placed or announced that it will place more than a dozen cars and trucks on the National Historic Vehicle Register, which should by now give us a pretty good pattern to go on for prognosticating what other vehicles could make the list.

Anything unique certainly has a shot, but more than that, the car or truck has to have some measure of significance, and as we saw this week with the selection of President Reagan’s Jeep CJ-6 and President Taft’s White steamer for the register – both mass-produced vehicles with nothing other than their ownership to set them apart from other assembly-line examples – significance beats uniqueness. It also sorta helps that the vehicle in question has a document trail a mile long and has been well preserved.

Fortunately, American automotive history is littered with unique and significant vehicles with provenance, and our readers this week already took to suggesting future additions to the register. Over on our Facebook page, Michael King suggested NASA’s “Astrovan” Airstream, above, which transported shuttle crews to and from the launch pad for 27 years.


Photo courtesy The Henry Ford.

And in the comments on the CJ-6/White steamer story, Jim Benjaminson suggested the Hess and Eisenhardt-built 1963 Lincoln Continental limousine codenamed SS-100-X that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in.

That vehicle led us to consider a number of other vehicles on our Not For Sale top 10 list, including the GM Le Sabre concept car, the 1911 Marmon Wasp, Carroll Shelby’s CSX2000, and Craig Breedlove’s Spirit of America land-speed record-setter, among others.

But there’s plenty more out there, so tell us what vehicles you think the HVA should put on the National Historic Vehicle Register?