In the D.C. area? Don’t miss this historic Porsche race car

Preston Rose | Hagerty Drivers Foundation

This week marks a unique opportunity for car fans in the Washington, D.C. area to see one of the recent inductees to the National Register of Historic Vehicles and also to experience Cars at the Capital Festival Day. The Hagerty Drivers Foundation is once again erecting its mobile museum on the National Mall—this time, to display a 1952 Porsche America Roadster, a model that Porsche produced specifically for stateside racers. The Type 540 did much to spur on the sports-car scene in postwar America, and this particular example has a fascinating story.

The red Porsche will be on display from September 6 to 11, replacing the 1937 Cord 812 Convertible Phaeton Sedan owned by Amelia Earhart, which was showcased on the Mall from August 31 to September 5.

Putting gorgeous cars on display is certainly a feast for the eyes, but these are more than just pretty pieces of metal. Each of the cars on the National Register of Historic Vehicles has a unique tie to some part of our national and automotive history. Cars at the Capital is designed to unearth these important stories in a way that goes beyond word of mouth or even photographs.

1952 Porsche cars at the capital dc
Preston Rose | Hagerty Drivers Foundation

To that end, the 1952 Porsche America Type 540 will be encased in a glass structure right on the National Mall where everyone can see it, in the center of the numerous museums and galleries of The Smithsonian Institute.

This particular Porsche was the 34th vehicle to be inducted into the Register. It is one of sixteen aluminum-bodied cars made specifically for U.S. racers, the result of the efforts of importer Max Hoffman and of famed racer and dealer John von Neumann. Sports car racing in the U.S. was in its infancy in the early 1950s; Hoffman and von Neumann saw what could be and worked with Porsche directly to bring that vision to life.

Cars at the Capital washington dc exhibit 2016
Casey Maxon

This car was painstakingly restored by the late Cam Ingram and the Road Scholars restoration shop before taking third in class at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Now the Porsche will be out for all to see and it will also documented for perpetuity in the Library of Congress. That seems like a pretty sweet pairing to us.

Want to join the fun? Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 9. That day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., around the glass enclosure on the Mall, HDF will host Cars at the Capital Festival Day, a free event designed to engage anyone interested in the cultural significance of the automobile and how it has shaped our modern society.

Festivities for the young and the young at heart will include a tire changing station, an activity book focused on cars in the National Historic Vehicle Register, and a free play table with a track and cars. In addition, food trucks will be located on the gravel walkway closest to the USDA Building. It’s all happening, rain or shine. See you there!

1952 Porsche cars at the capital dc
Casey Maxon | Hagerty Drivers Foundation



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    I was there in June, but as much as I wish I could see this car in person, I don’t think I can afford a second trip this year. But thanks for giving us some good pictures to admire!

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