Since 2014, 30 vehicles have been added to the National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR), a program created in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and Library of Congress to celebrate and catalog the world’s most significant automobiles. The National Historic Vehicle Register is the only federally recognized program to document the historical and cultural significance of the automobile.
This year, one of the inductees is the iconic 1952 Hudson Hornet which will be live on the National Mall in Washington, DC on September 2nd. The “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” is the 31st inductee and the Chrysler Corporation Turbine Car is the 32nd inductee to be included into the NHVR.
“We believe the cultural significance of our automotive past is worth preserving”, explains Diane Parker, VP, Hagerty Drivers Foundation. “We support programs that help celebrate the unique impact cars have had on our culture ensuring these cultural icons will never be lost or forgotten.”
“This September we will be celebrating automotive culture in Washington, DC and it is one of the few times that cars are allowed on the National Mall,” states Jonathan Klinger, Executive Director of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation. “This is all about sharing America’s automotive heritage.”
On September 2nd Diane Parker, VP, Hagerty Drivers Foundation and Jonathan Klinger, Executive Director of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation will talk about the four cool and important cars that will be shown during “Cars at the Capital” this September.
We’ll be live on the National Mall in Washington DC where your viewers will get a chance to learn why this 1952 Hudson Hornet (featured in a stunning lighted glass enclosure) and Chrysler Corporation Turbine Car are being inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register.
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This interview is produced for Hagerty Drivers Foundation, a 501c3 Corp.
About 1952 Hudson Hornet – “Fabulous Hudson Hornet”
The “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” is owned by Al Schultz and is on display at the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The Hudson Hornet was the first factory backed race car in NASCAR and forever changed the sport. From 1951 until 1955, the Hudson Hornet dominated stock car racing just as the sport began to take off. Hudson was the first manufacturer to provide factory support and special race components that attracted early NASCAR legends. The factory support enabled the small company’s cars to outperform the Big Three automakers on the track.
This car, prepared by legendary mechanic Smokey Yunick, was provided to driver Herb Thomas by Hudson halfway through the 1952 season. Thomas was the winningest Hudson driver with 78 total podium finishes at the wheel of the Hornets and has the highest win percentage in NASCAR history and ranks 13th overall in wins. (drove Plymouth, Hudson, Olds, Buick, Chevy, Chrysler)
The “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” moniker and racing livery was cemented in modern popular culture when it was featured on the Doc Hudson character in Pixar’s Oscar-nominated 2006 hit, Cars. An entirely new audience was introduced to the Fabulous Hudson Hornet through the movie.
About Chrysler Corporation Turbine Car
Chrysler built just 55 of these cars as part of the company’s decades long effort to develop a mass-market gas-turbine powered automobile. Featuring jet turbine engines housed within Italian-built Ghia bodies, the cars were distributed to households across the country in a consumer research project that ran from 1963 to 1966.
After the consumer research test ended in 1966, Chrysler continued building prototypes and developing turbine technology until 1979. While a production turbine car never came to be, the company developed the M1 Abrams turbine powered tank still in use today.
This is one of just nine surviving cars from the consumer research program. The remainder of the cars were destroyed by Chrysler in the 1960s.
The Turbine Car is owned by Stahls Automotive Collection and is on display at their automotive museum in Chesterfield, Michigan.
The Turbine’s legacy is that of a manufacturer developing, testing and researching alternative power trains – much like the transformation taking place today as automobile companies around the globe are in the midst of changing over to fully electric vehicles.
ABOUT DIANE PARKER: Diane is Vice President and Board member of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation. She has judged at various Concours events including Amelia Island, The Elegance at Hershey, The Greenbrier, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, the Concours d’Elegance of America, and the Hilton Head Island Concours. She serves on several Committees including the Steering, Marketing, Scholarship, Grants and Education Committees for America’s Automotive Trust, as well as the Advisory Committee for the Petersen Business Incubator Program for Women in the Automotive Industry. Diane is passionate about automotive heritage and human-interest stories behind the horsepower.
ABOUT JONATHAN KLINGER: Jonathan is Executive Director of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation and a graduate of the Automotive Restoration Program at McPherson College. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at McPherson College. He is a judge at several automotive events and has competed in several cross-country competitive road rallies. Jonathan relies heavily on his background and passion in classic cars to help save driving for generations to come.
ABOUT HAGERTY DRIVERS FOUNDATION: Hagerty Drivers Foundation is a 501c3 corporation whose mission is to help shape the future of car culture while celebrating our automotive past. It does this by preserving the cultural significance of the automobile, promoting automotive industry innovation, and funding educational scholarships and grants. Hagerty is a global automotive enthusiast brand and world’s largest membership organization for car lovers, with a suite of offerings that enable our members to enjoy their vehicles to the fullest. Hagerty launched the foundation in 2021 to build upon the company’s two decades of philanthropic support for the automotive community.