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December 21, 2010


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Love this. Gotta go with the Sunyracer and EV-1. They are to electric cars what the Olds runabout above it to gas power cars. Just wait until we look back at them in another 20 years (with any luck at all). They'll be true antiques. In the mean time, it helps to put them on display now to raise interest in electric vehicles.


How soon will the results be posted?

Brenda B Benzar

The Front Wheel Drive Miller, commonly referred to as the Packard Cable Special should be placed on PERMANENT exhibition at The Smithsonian, not temporary exhibition.

According to automotive expert /restorer, Chris Leydon, this car was the first front wheel drive to race at Indy, it broke the 1.5 liter speed record at Montlhery, France and was subsequently sold to Bugatti at Monza that same year. Bugatti disassembled the car and copied much of the engine design to produce the Type 51 grand prix car.

At a time when much of the technical automotive prowess came from Europe to the United States, this is a SIGNIFICANT EXAMPLE of an AMERICAN designer, Harry Miller, and his creation, the Packard Cable Special influencing automobile design in Europe.

Chris Leydon restored it years ago for Robert Rubin who orchestrated its admission into the Smithsonian. Photos of the restoration can be seen at:




I think that the Tucker an the Glasspar would attract the most visitors to the museum. Those are the two cars that I would want to see.

dotty s.

I too wish tht all fouteen cars were swiched out. Old cars are slowly fading away and thus goes our historic significance. I would think about donating my cars to the Smithsonium, however I would never want them to just sit collecting dust, covered up.


My first impression was, "where's the 64 Mustang?" I know it's hard to include all "dream machines". Detroit was about mobilizing the Average American. So I guess we know which direction my vote will go ...

Roger White, Associate Curator, National Museum of American History

Peter, the National Museum of American History owns four examples of Ford Model T automobiles: a 1913 touring car, 1924 coupe, 1926 roadster, and a 1927 sedan converted to a railroad inspection car. The roadster is in the museum’s transportation gallery, “America on the Move” (see http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthemove/collection/object_5.html), and the sedan is on loan to the Sam Wilhite Transportation Museum in West Point, Mississippi (http://www.mississippibeautiful.com/pines/sam-wilhite-transportation-museum.html). Both automobiles are on long-term display and may be seen during public visiting hours.


I will add my voice to those saying the Model T and 1964 Mustang should be included. Since they aren't my vote goes for the Tucker and 1903 Olds. While the Miller race car and Sunraycer are interesting, they aren't the kind of vehicle the "average" person could ever purchase to drive the streets and highways of America.

Lou V.

I'll vote, but why stop at EIGHT? Why not swap out all 14 for a special event? Or regularly rotate the display? This would encourage REPEAT visits and perhaps more donations. The Garber Facility was PACKED FULL of very unique, interesting, and historically signifiant cars and other vehicles that would really WOW the spectators, even in (or maybe ESPECIALLY in) non-restored, used/as-is condition.

The Chrysler Turbine car, that big bad '20s or '30s Stutz sedan that was owned and driven by a couple of elderly sisters well in to the 1980's, or maybe a contrast of the EV1 and that 1890's or early 1900s electric "stage coach" or even the Hydrogen fuel cell TRACTOR from 1960 or so, showing that even then people were thinking of alternative fuel?

Barring that, re-open those facilities for tours. Or PAID catered events! I know plenty of people that would pay to see those gems that were/are locked away in Suitland (or has Udvar-Hazy rendered it obsolete/unaccessible? )

Alan Hansen

The primary cars that would get me to come into DC for a viewing would be racing cars. A few representing: off road racing, drag racing, monster truck, Can Am and Formula 1 would be at the top of my list. The engineering of these cars is fabulous.

Secondarily, hot rods and boulevard cruisers, even low riders (1980's and 90's) of the 1950's and '60s are always exciting because of their raw creativity.

Eldridge Onezne

Shame the first tesla car or the Model T indeed is not on this list. But besides that it's a great list and i would choose the Tucker Sedan.

Rich Hronik

I'd toss in my $0.02 for the EV-1 and the Rauch and Lang electric that's stashed away at Silver Hill.

Lee Raskin, Baltimore, MD

More importantly than just seeing the cars....it's the engine sounds that are the lifeline of all automobiles. Why not display a video of these famous cars as they were advertised or raced...vrooom, vrooom!

Lee Raskin, Porsche and James Dean historian and author


I totally agree with Peter. The choice should be the "ALL AMERICAN FORD MODEL T" for way too many obvious reasons.

Peter W. McTigue

My first choice would have been the Model T.

Clinton F.

How I hope that the EV-1 will be one of the two. This would definently draw me to DC just to see the exhibit


So you're asking which 2 of these cars should be on display?

That's tough, you have some of the earliest cars the trike and the Balzer. But you have some historically significant cars too. The Tucker for introducing many safety innovations that took years for the big 3 to add to their products.

The Glasspar and the Miller are interesting but I don't see their influence being that large. (if miller didn't make hand crafted cars for racing someone would have, that's basically playing with the rules until you win) And the glaspar while interesting in the history of the Corvette is relatively minor.

The Olds on the other hand is very important because of it being the first assembly line car.

The GM Sunnyracer, I remember when that won. It was a major milestone and I think that it is incredibly important because it created a lot of publicity about what is possible with solar power. So maybe not in the Auto display, put this one in an energy display.

The EV-1 that's easy, because it was the first production modern EV. And even now it still looks fairly stylish and advanced. (Just saw one in the Shanghai auto museum.. I mean if you can see one in China... and not the Smithsonian?? something is DEFINITELY wrong.)

I'd like to see the Sunnyracer, the EV-1, The Olds and the Tucker on display. Unfortunately you won't accept 4. So I'm making my vote here, in no particular order.

Anyway, thank's for asking for thoughts from the public on this.


I think you missed one. The 1964 Ford Mustang, which started the Pony car revolution in this country and spread it around the world. The Mustang has been in continuous production since that year.


I was hopeful til I saw the list of finalists, because the Chrysler Turbine is not on it. One of my lifetime quests is to personally see all 9 remaining 1963 Chrysler Turbines. I'm up to 4 presently. I figure that one of the hardest is going to be the one in the Smithsonian collection because it is not on public display.

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