Click above for a gallery of the 1941 Packard "Los Alamos Limo"

The car you see here may not look like much, but it helped carry us into the nuclear age. Or, at least some of the scientists who brought us there. This 1941 Packard Clipper limousine is one of three that are still known to exist (coachbuilder Fitzjohn built 100 of the stretch cars that year), but we're willing to bet that the other two don't have nearly as colorful a history.

This car was used to shuttle Manhattan Project scientists between the Lamy train station in New Mexico and the project sites at Los Alamos and Trinity Base Camp. As we all know, the work of those men eventually ended World War II and altered the course of history forever. As for the big Packard, it was supposed to be scrapped. Instead, it was acquired by a collector, and subsequently decayed over the the next several decades until its importance was realized.

Now, the National Atomic Museum is embarking on a two-year restoration project of the big Packard, as well as a '42 Plymouth that carried plutonium used in the Trinity test explosion. An Albuquerque-based Packard specialist will do the work on the Clipper limousine, and enthusiasts interested in contributing to the effort can contact the museum for more details.



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