For the second time, historic cars were put on display at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Cars owned by two U.S. Presidents from widely different eras were showcased at the April 14 event.
During the first week of the event, President William Howard Taft’s 1909 White Model M Steam Car was displayed in a glass enclosure. This car is part of the collection of the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich, Mass.
The White Steam Car was picked by President Taft to become the first U.S. Presidential motorized vehicle. It was the first of four cars that would eventually make up the initial White House fleet. The dark green touring car held special significance for Taft because it was built by the same Ohio company that manufactured White sewing machines.
Taft’s embracing of the automobile helped put the nation on wheels. By 1911, the total number of registered vehicles more than doubled. The car was on display day and night, with illumination highlighting it in the evenings. It was quite amzing to see it back in Washington after more than 100 years.
Also exhibited during the event was President Ronald Reagan’s beloved 1962 Willys Jeep CJ-6. During his years as California Governor and U.S. President, this Jeep was one of a few vehicles Reagan actually drove. He used it quite a bit at Rancho del Cielo—the “Western White House.”
During the opening event on April 14, members of the Senate, the Reagan administration, the Young America’s Foundation and the Heritage Museums & Gardens spoke to the significance of each vehicle and the importance of the National Historic Vehicle Register in preserving our automotive heritage.
“We’re here to call attention to America’s automotive heritage,” said Historic Vehicle Association (www.historicvehicle.org) President Mark Gessler. “The purpose of the HVA is to share that automotive heritage with the American people. It’s a pleasure for us to have the honor of being here on the National Mall with such important vehicles that represent an important part of America’s past”
Photos courtesy of the Historic Vehicle Assoc.
Article courtesy Speedville.com.