Hudson Hornet and Chrysler turbine car to rule D.C.’s Mall this fall
The 31st and 32nd vehicles added to the National Historic Vehicle Register will be on display at the seventh annual Hagerty Drivers Foundation “Cars at the Capital” exhibit September 2–11 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The 1952 Hudson Hornet, raced by Herb Thomas and nicknamed the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet,” will be on display September 2–6. A Chrysler Corporation Turbine Car, one of 55 Ghia-bodied turbines that were part of a 1963–66 consumer test project, will be shown September 7–11.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and permanently archived in the Library of Congress, the National Historic Vehicle Register recognizes America’s most historically significant vehicles. The register officially added the two cars in June.
From 1951–55, the Hudson Hornet dominated stock car racing just as the sport began to take off, and Thomas was Hudson’s most prolific driver, having scored 78 podium finishes in Hornets. This Hudson (#7B-185596) is the only NASCAR-raced Hornet known to exist. Oddly enough, the car, is best known as the inspiration for the “Doc Hudson” character in Pixar’s Cars animated movie series. It is owned by the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The Chrysler Turbine car (#9912-31) was part of the automaker’s decades-long effort to develop a mass-market gas-turbine-powered automobile. This is one of just nine surviving cars from that program and is part of the Stahls Automotive Collection in Chesterfield, Michigan.
In addition to appearing in a custom-designed glass display box on the National Mall (between the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and the National Gallery of Art), the cars will be celebrated on two Saturdays in September. The Hagerty Drivers Foundation will host “Cars at the Capital Family Festival Day” on September 3 (Hornet) and 10 (Turbine), from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. This free event is open to the public and will be held rain or shine.
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