Spurred by the success of the Historic Vehicle Association’s National Historic Vehicle Register here in the United States, the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens has started to consider a similar registry for Europe-based cars, trucks, military vehicles, and motorcycles.
FIVA, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary and which has stood for the preservation and continued use of historic vehicles, last year handed out the first of its new preservation awards, but has yet to initiate its own historic vehicle registry. That’s due, in part, to the lack of a central state-run repository for the registry and the information collected for it, such as the U.S. Library of Congress, which houses the records obtained for the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register.
However, with the growth of Europeana, a Eurocentric online archive funded in part by the European Union, FIVA officials believe they have found a suitable digital archive to host a registry for vehicles of historic significance, according to FIVA’s website. “Preliminary discussions were held and providing FIVA will be able to come with regular additions to the collection, a project team leader of Europeana indicated that he is willing to cooperate with FIVA to bring this initiative forward both within his own organisation and in Brussels,” the site noted.
The guidelines for FIVA’s registry follow closely the guidelines for the National Historic Vehicle Register – not much of a surprise, given that the HVA serves as FIVA’s designated North American representative. FIVA’s registry would select vehicles according to four criteria: their association with an event of historic significance, their association with people of historic significance, their design or construction value, and their informational value. Vehicles would be fully documented and all of the documentation would enter the public domain through an online archive.
Inclusion in the registry would not restrict the owner of the vehicle from restoring, modifying, or using the vehicle, though as the FIVA website notes, “Considering that inclusion into the select digital library will have a positive effect on the vehicle’s value, it is anticipated that the owner will indeed continue to preserve his/her vehicle even better in the future.”
While FIVA has yet to select any vehicles for its registry, a list of vehicles that the organization would consider for the registry includes the oldest Saab 99 Turbo the group can find as an example of the company’s pioneering work in production turbocharged vehicles, along with a Citroen 2CV that participated in the 1972 Paris-to-Tehran rally. However, as the organization has pointed out, it does not consider just any old vehicle as historic.
“(Historic) vehicles are part of our technical and cultural heritage and, in our opinion, should not be lumped together with old, badly maintained cars that are used as cheap, everyday transport,” FIVA President Patrick Rollet wrote earlier this year.
The HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register, instituted in 2014 with Shelby Cobra Daytona CSX2287, has to date documented 11 vehicles in collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
FIVA has yet to announce when it expects to establish a registry and to begin adding vehicles to it.