National Historic Vehicle Register
Daily Activities at National Historic Vehicle Register
Explore a rotating collection of culturally significant vehicles from the National Historic Vehicle Register, powered by the Hagerty Drivers Foundation, at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
The National Historic Vehicle Register was created in 2013 in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record. The register is a thorough record of the nation’s most significant vehicles based on the association of four criteria at a national, regional or local level. Archived in the Historic American Engineering Record at the Library of Congress to ensure the perpetuity of our automotive past, the register is comprised of four major components:
- Written histories detailing significant provenance and condition
- Detailed photography
- 3D scanning
- Documentary videos
How are 3D scans of each vehicle on the National Historic Vehicle Register created? Watch this Innovation Nation clip to find out.
Current Featured Vehicle:
Added to the National Historic Vehicle Register: 2022
Hudsons began dominating the burgeoning stock-car racing circuit in 1951 upon the release of the Hornet model. Though Hudson didn’t originally intend for the sporty Hornet to go racing, thanks to a bulletproof, 145-horsepower L-6 engine, class-leading handling from the “step-down” unibody chassis, and the talent of top drivers, the “Fabulous Hudson Hornets” captured 81 NASCAR race wins and multiple championships from 1951-1955.
This particular car, prepared by legendary race mechanic Smokey Yunick, was provided to NASCAR-champion Herb Thomas by Hudson halfway through the 1952 season. Thomas was the most prolific Hudson driver in NASCAR, with 78 total podium finishes at the wheel of the Hornets, and holds the record for highest win percentage in the sport. This is the only Hudson campaigned in NASCAR known to exist. Thomas and the Fabulous Hudson Hornets were immortalized by Pixar’s Cars movie in 2006.
Photos courtesy of Hagerty Drivers Foundation and Souers Collection.