• Jan 21, 2011
The Smithsonian's hidden car cache – Click above to watch after the jump

There are plenty of wealthy car collectors with fantastic and exotic collections of all things on four wheels, but the National Museum of American History has something just a bit more dramatic. It's a 112-year-old collection of 217 vehicles and 73 automobiles between the years of 1894 and 1997 that symbolize great leaps in the history of mobility.

Roger White, who looks over the collection, says the vehicles are stored deep down within the Smithsonian as "a kind of doom's day thinking" in case there is a 40 day flood or some other sort of Mad Max scenario. That's a bit depressing, but the good news is that some of the vehicles will soon see the light of day. Over 24,000 voted online to determine which vehicles should be brought to the surface, and the rear-engine 1948 Tucker and a supercharged 1929 Miller race car (shown above) took the top prize. The Associated Press captured video of the Noah's Ark of car collections, and you can watch at your leisure by hitting the jump. Thanks for the tips, all.

[Source: Associated Press via Yahoo!]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bet the wolves over at Barrett Jackson have their mouths practically watering over this.
      • 3 Years Ago
      They have a GM EV1??? I thought they were ALL supposed to be crushed....
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not all of them, the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan has one.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Another one is on display at the California Auto Museum in Sacramento.
        • 3 Years Ago
        If I'm not mistaken, the one in the Smithsonian is the only COMPLETE EV-1 left in existence (GM wanted the battery pack back). The Smithsonian has stipulations that any 'gift' be operable and complete as it was produced.

        GM lent the EV-1 a long time before they were taken off the road for maintenance/insurance reasons. At then end of the EV-1 program, GM gifted the EV-1 to the Smithsonian.

        The Smithsonian has some interesting vehicles on display. Mundane cars like a late 70's Honda Civic and a 1984 Dodge Caravan. They don't collect 'collector' cars, but relevant cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Like some others that have commented I was happily surprised to see that there's an EV1 still in existence, albeit in a museum. Thought they'd all been crushed.

      I do hope these marvels are safely kept in a very secret and heavily guarded place.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Leave it to the government to have a car that they helped destroy. It must have been thought as a trophy to them at the time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      A bit of trivia..Preston Tucker worked together with Harry Miller during the 1930's building Indy cars and later on teamed up on Tucker's Combat Car. The movie Tucker:The Man And His Dream is always a good view.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wait, how could this be the "Noah's Arc" of cars, this place actually exists.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Keep your bigoted comments to yourself..........
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hmmm, "deep down within the Smithsonian" doesn't sound like the best place to store something in the case of a 40 day flood.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Bazinga! Well played :D
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Tucker was pretty nice.....
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could that guy be any LESS animated?
      • 3 Years Ago
      I voted for the Tucker. It's good to see that the Miller will be exhibited, too.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm Italian
      But I like so much American cars...
      Big engines, big chassis...
      I Saw some Packard in the past Concorso Eleganza Villa Este. Bellissime.

      Also Italians has something to say about cars.

      I stay near this beautiful museum in Verona.
      http://www.museonicolis.com/website/index.php
      Can assure that this museum is incredible and you can see the FIRST ENGINE.

      Near this museum to see...
      http://www.borghetto.it/
      and this park

      http://www.parcosigurta.it/

      Just to know if you come here...

      Byee...oops ciao
        • 3 Years Ago
        Uhh... Yeah... Italy has a HUGE history in cars. Most people know of the exotics though.

        IMO, all notable cars from all countries are amazing for different reasons.

        Some day, I'd love to own a Tucker replica. A real one would be cool, but I don't see myself becoming wealthy enough to be one of THOSE lucky ones.
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