This article originally appeared on upmatters.com on September 22, 2016
U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today introduced legislation to help preserve the legacy of American automobiles and motorcycles and the vital role they play in American culture and history. The National Historic Vehicle Register Act will authorize the Department of Interior to establish a federal register of historic vehicles to document and preserve records of American automotive and motorcycle history.
“Few engineering innovations have had the same impact on American society as the automobile, and it is important for us to preserve the stories of vehicles that have played a critical role in American history,” said Senator Peters. “This legislation will ensure records of the historic vehicles will be available to inspire the next generation of automotive engineers and celebrate the accomplishments of the automotive industry that continues to be a vital part of our economy in Michigan and the United States. I am proud to work with the Historic Vehicle Association and the American Motorcyclist Association to support the preservation of America’s rich and unique automotive history.”
“Cars, motorcycles and trucks chronicle our past and help us understand who we are, where we have been and where we may be headed, and the Historic Vehicle Association is focused on ensuring this history is carefully preserved for future generations,” said Mark Gessler, President of the HVA. “We thank Senator Peters for introducing the National Historic Vehicle Register Act to broaden awareness of America’s automotive heritage.”
“As a long-time motorcyclist, Senator Peters knows there are few things better than the freedom of two wheels on the open road,” said Wayne Allard, Vice President for Government Relations of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and former U.S. Senator. “Whether traveling cross country or just across town, motorcycles are a part of America’s automotive culture, and the American Motorcyclists Association is pleased to support the National Historic Vehicle Register Act to help highlight America’s motorcycling history.”
“As the largest company focused on the classic car market, Hagerty understands the value of not only protecting classic vehicles, but celebrating the memories and enjoyment that come with them,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, a global company specializing in products and insurance for people who love cars. “We applaud Senator Peters for introducing the National Historic Vehicle Register Act, which will help enhance the value of our customers’ cherished vehicles.”
The National Historic Vehicle Register will preserve records of selected historic vehicles and motorcycles which will be archived in the Library of Congress. Vehicles must be connected to a significant person or event in American history, or have a unique design or rarity, to be eligible for the register. Each vehicle’s record will include a narrative describing the vehicle and its historical significance, a photographic record, and line drawings or engineering drawings of the historic vehicle.
There are currently fourteen historic vehicles recognized by the Historic Vehicle Association that have been documented through the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record. The Historic American Engineering Record recognizes a broad range of historical engineering related sites and structures, including bridges, ships or roads. The National Historic Vehicle Register Act would authorize the creation of a standalone register for historic vehicles to preserve and highlight their unique contributions to American culture. Recent vehicles added to the register include President William Howard Taft’s 1909 White Steam Car, President Ronald Reagan’s 1962 Willys ‘Jeep’ CJ-6, the 1938 Buick Y-Job, and the very first 1967 Chevrolet Camaro to ever roll off the production line.