• Dec 26th 2010 at 12:33PM
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The recently renovated National Museum of American History – Click above to cast your vote

The Smithsonian Institution's collection of treasures extends far beyond what's actually on display in its D.C. museums. Ranging from ancient artifacts to modern marvels, this bit is likely to interest automotive enthusiasts more than any other:

The National Museum of American History is preparing to put two of the most historically significant American automobiles on display from its archives. But instead of letting the curators pick the cars, they're asking the public to vote in a campaign it paradoxically calls "Race to the Museum."

The candidates include a 1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout (the first car built on an assembly line in the U.S., well before the Ford Model T); an 1880 steam-powered trike built in Massachusetts; an 1894 Blazer (the first American-made automobile to hit New York City, built by a Tiffany-trained watchmaker); a 1948 Tucker (pioneering many advanced safety features and the subject of the 1988 Jeff Bridges film); a 1929 Miller supercharged Indy race car, which set a 143 mph speed record and prompted Detroit to press race organizers to ban superchargers; a 1953 Glasspar fiberglass sports car and two modern examples of green propulsion from General Motors: the EV1 and the 1987 Sunraycer solar-powered prototype.

So far the Tucker is in the lead, with the Miller and the Olds in a close race for the second slot. Follow the link to get your vote in before January 11, 2011.

[Source: Smithsonian via The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      they should definitely put the ford gt in their. American supercars need to represent.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hupmobile? Auburn boat tail? Duesenburg? Packard? Model T? Stanley Steamer?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't know, but that museum looks kind've cool - I want to go!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know the Model T for such a display might seem "been there, done that" but not even a candidate for most significant? What hole in the ground is their head in? There's an argument to be made for #2, but no car changed out culture and historical trajectory more.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford 67-69 mustang fastback. Always be an American classic
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not that I am a fan of FWD, I had to vote for the Miller. Best lines of all of them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      1992 Dodge Viper Should be in there no doubt. Also 1969 Zr1 corvette and a 1990 Zr1.
      Tucker is also a winner hands down. 1953 Corvette,1964 Ford mustang.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The EV-1 is hard because on one hand it demonstrates that GM can be modern and high-tec, smart but on the otherhand its an example of GM stupidity when they crushed all of them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wouldn't call it stupidity. Looking back on it now, yes, they were short-sighted. But at the time, gas was cheap, SUVs sold well, and there was no business case to build an electric car. People give GM crap all the time about crushing the EV1, yet they've got to realize that only Toyota had something remotely close to the EV1 on the market at the same time.

        As much as we'd like to think of things otherwise, automakers are still businesses trying to make a profit. Again -- GM was short-sighted for canning their electric car, but at the time, they were just looking at the bottom line (and unfortunately, we know how that turned out).

        • 4 Years Ago
        Or maybe, they were intended to be a test, and HAD to be crushed because if they were not, they were legally obligated to continue to make parts and service the car.
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