In 2013 the Hagerty Drivers Foundation initiated a collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Interior to include automobiles in the Historic American Engineering Record through a National Historic Vehicle Register program. The purpose for the register is to record "the important history of America's significant automobiles, preserving their information for future generations in perpetuity at the Library of Congress." Hot rods, muscle cars, antique cars, customized vehicles, minivans and more make up the 30 vehicles so far included in the National Historic Vehicle Register and each year some of the cars are displayed on the National Mall in Washington DC.
One of the cars included is a 1951 Mercury Coupe, customized by Barris Kustoms in Los Angeles. Originally ordered by Masato (Bob) Hirohata (and since then known as the Hirohata Merc), this award-winning vehicle is emblematic of the custom car culture that arose in southern California in the early 50s. While still being included in the National Historic Vehicle Register, the car will be sold at auction in Florida next week by Mecum Auctions, with bidding expected to go north of $1 million.
1951 Mercury Coupe - Hirohata Merc - photo credit: National Historic Vehicle Register
1984 Plymouth Voyager - photo credit: National Historic Vehicle Register
1964 Meyers Manx - photo credit: National Historic Vehicle Register
1979 Lamborghini Countach - from the movie 'The Cannonball Run' - photo credit: National Historic Vehicle Register