Since the 1930s, the Department of the Interior has been working to document historic buildings and other historic sites throughout the United States. These efforts were bolstered by the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966, and since then the National Register of Historic Places has grown to include a multitude of buildings, landmarks, ships, aircraft, etc. Although the National Historic Preservation Act made it possible for automobiles to be included in this database, none have yet been documented.
The HVA is working with the National Park Service’s Heritage Documentation Programs to begin creating a comprehensive record of our most historically significant vehicles, which will reside in the Library of Congress. This partnership leverages decades of thoughtful consideration of buildings, airplanes and vessels, which now can be applied in a unique way to our automotive world.
The National Historic Vehicle Register will help document historic vehicles as they exist now, preserving their information for future generations. It is by no means a directive as to how these vehicles should be used and maintained, but rather a chance to take inventory of the historically significant vehicles that are of our history or within our care.