Groundbreaking: CSX2287 Becomes First Automobile to Achieve National Heritage Status

What does the iconic 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (also known as CSX2287) now have in common with the Statute of Liberty and the Space Shuttle Discovery? In a landmark achievement, CSX2287 will join these national treasures within the Library of Congress by becoming the first automobile to be recorded under the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation.  The documentation will be part of the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) administered by the Heritage Documentation Programs of the U.S. Department of Interior. 

CSX2287 Line Drawing

Historic places, buildings and culturally significant objects have long been officially recognized through the Department of Interior’s Standards for Heritage Documentation. But until last month, no such criteria existed for evaluating historically-significant cars.

That all changed at the Washington Auto Show on January 22nd when HVA president Mark Gessler presented the first vehicle to be listed on the National Historic Vehicle Register—the 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, otherwise known as CSX2287.

CSX2287 Display at the Washington Auto Show

Why CSX2287?

Working with the Department of Interior, the HVA has helped establish the following criteria vehicles must meet to be selected for the NHVR. The criteria are based on the stringent guidelines set by the Interior Department’s standards for heritage documentation. To be eligible for registry with the NHVR, a vehicle must meet one of the following criteria:

  1.  Association with a significant event or events
  2.  Association with significant persons
  3.  Design or construction value
  4.  Informational value such as the first or last produced or among the best surviving examples

Peter Brock

Setting a high historic benchmark, CSX2287 met all the above criteria. While it is the first vehicle registered under the new NHVR, it’s only one of potentially thousands of historically significant vehicles that will qualify for recognition.

As the race winner that defeated Ferrari and helped secure the International Manufacturer’s GT Championship in 1965, Shelby’s Cobra Daytona Coupe broke more than 23 land speed records. Attached to names such as Carroll Shelby and designer Peter Brock, this automobile is associated with iconic and significant individuals. Built by hand in just 90 short days this treasure delivers unmistakable design and construction value. And finally, CSX2287 is the prototype and one of only six Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes built.

WAS Panel

More to Come in 2014!

The HVA will continue to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Interior to focus and refine guidelines and processes for automobile submissions. This means that at some time in the future, these efforts will support public submissions. Both domestic and foreign vehicles will be considered for the register, provided they have significant standing in American history. In addition, eligibility will eventually be open to trucks and motorcycles.

Road & Track, Hemmings, MotorTrend, AutoWeek and The Wall Street Journal are just a handful of automotive and mainstream media outlets that have already spotlighted this hugely important milestone for the HVA. Founded in 2009, the HVA is now a 360,000 (plus) member-strong organization with a simple mission: to celebrate national automotive heritage. While the documentation of CSX2287 will certainly go down as one of the HVA’s most significant accomplishments, there is even bigger news on the horizon:

Over the next year, the HVA is seeking to document additional automotive treasures that helped shape American history. Details on the top contenders will be revealed throughout 2014. So stay tuned and, in the meantime, check out the HVA’s website at to learn more.

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