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History Smithsonian's Hidden Car Cache

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Scrumpy, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Scrumpy
    Joined: May 31, 2006
    Posts: 85

    from NH93 Exit1

    Just found this video and with a quick search it does not appear to have been posted before. The two cars featured here are going to be put on display soon if not already. Now I need to go see if the other cars in the collection are listed anywhere.

    Tucker and Supercharged Miller.

  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 21,830


    I don't think he gets too excited about much of anything. Two of the most interesting cars that a guy could ever think of though.
  3. Beach Bum
    Joined: May 7, 2006
    Posts: 575

    Beach Bum

    The Miller is one of two that Griff Borgeson rescued from the Bugatti factory in the '50s.

    Kurt O.
  4. The subject of the Smithsonian's collection of automotive history was discussed heatedly and at length on the Yahoo Racing History Site about two years ago. The main point of argument at the time was the fact that the Smithsonian has this fantastic collection -especially race cars- and most are never seen. Only when some special display is arranged do they bring a few out of hiding. One of the ones most dear to a HAMBer's heart is the #32 Track Roadster built in 1948 by Indiana's Hack Winingear and Dick Frazier and driven by Dick to total dominance of Mutual's 1948 season. A classic by any measurement.
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  5. titus
    Joined: Dec 6, 2003
    Posts: 4,985


    That Miller is Awsome!
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,319

    from Ojai,Ca

    Does the word NERD or GEEK come to mind.
  7. Would it not be great to tour the smithsinian's back "lot"? I liked the roadster that was in a Elvis movie, saw it last summer
  8. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,041


    Perhaps, but being a Hot Rid nerd would make you one of the cool kids.
  9. Apparently their cars are kept in a secure warehouse somewhere in Suitland, Md. That's only about 12 miles from here. I need to do some sleuthing around.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  10. 51 BIRD
    Joined: Jan 5, 2010
    Posts: 397

    51 BIRD

    I think that guy has been wedgie'd one time too many!!!
  11. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,995

    Jonnie King
    from St. Louis

  12. Alex S. L.
    Joined: Sep 22, 2010
    Posts: 75

    Alex S. L.

    If that guy was any less animated he would be dead.
  13. Fascinating;I'm sure I'd have a very difficult time there. I'd want to look in every corner,under every cover,and in every nook and cranny for more history. Recognized a couple of cars,but what is the dark red/maroon car that's pictured a few times? I've seen it before,but can't remember the make or model.

    The curator's enthusiasm may seem to be,well,less than enthusiastic;but it's obvious that there's a respect for the machines. I'm sure any of us would be the same way,but the little boy(or girl) in all of us would want to play with all the toys.

    I know that GM saved a number of cars that still have not seen the light of day(and some VERY interesting engines),and I'm sure that holds true for Chrysler and Ford. There's some very unique Buick engines(Can you say "turbo-nailhead"? I thought so...)that I saw before the closing and demolition of the Buick complex(RIP) that I hope were not scrapped. I've got one small but significant piece of a 1-of-2 V-6 Buick mill-I may have to get a pic of that,though it's OT time-frame wise.

    Imagine what's still sitting in barns,and forgotten warehouses and...the mind boggles.
  14. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,162


    The custodian is Highly educated, articulate and well read. Nice posting of a historical stash of automobiles.
  15. Thats cool. I would have a hard time picking a favorite too.
  16. clockwork31
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 429


    this guy won't die of an heart attack... but the Miller... wow!
  17. johnod
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 755


    " the 48 tucker was introduced after WW2" Ya think?:)
  18. A.P. Photography
    Joined: May 9, 2009
    Posts: 280

    A.P. Photography

    Would love to be able to walk around in there and see what all they have.
  19. Vintageride
    Joined: Jul 15, 2009
    Posts: 204


    My view was missing the audio. Hopefully, I am not speaking out of turn.

    I suspect he is the same Roger White. Roger White is a Smithsonian Associate Curator at the national museum of american history and author of some very important articles and books about transportation. Look up Home on the Road: The Motor Home in America. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.

    In addition to the Miller and the Tucker, I love the Freightliner.


  20. Nappy
    Joined: Jul 6, 2001
    Posts: 797

    from York, PA

    I can't imagine all the stuff that the Smithsonian has stored away.
    If you're planning a trip to the East, these museums are something to see and as an extra bonus admission's free.

    The Air & Space museum by Dulles airport has the Enola Gay, a Concorde and the Space Shuttle Enterprise among other stuff. The downtown museum has the Wright Flier, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Apollo 11 Module along with tons of other mindblowing stuff.
    The American History museum has everything from the Fonz's leather jacket to Evel Knievel's bike to huge trains & the flag that inspired the National Anthem.
    The Museum of Natural History has the Hope Diamond and all sorts of dinosaur bones and treasures.
    These museums are really incredible. It can take several days to see them.
    In light of their huge collections, I can't really fault them for not being able to display everything. It's a shame the stuff's often hidden, but at least it's being preserved and displayed occasionally.
  21. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,630

    Tech Editor

    He has to be better than the man that gave the Smitsonian a black eye in the credibillty department, when they refused to recognise the Wright Flyer as the first engine driven airplane.

    Because Samuel P. Langley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, had built his bizzare looking Aerodrome, which coulda/ woulda/ shoulda have flown.
    But never did.
    ( not untill Glenn Curtis modified it after the fact, and did a couple of short hops with it...)
  22. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 817


    Though we rarely, if ever, get to see many of the Smithsonian's holdings, it's reassuring that these things are in good hands. These guys are all about preserving and conserving things in as original a state as possible. When they do restore something the work is top notch and authentic.
  23. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    I think the custodian is a HAMBer....
  24. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,164


    I spotted an EV1.....

    From WIKI

    "In 2004 General Motors donated one of the first generation EV1s (serial number 660) to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. It was displayed as part of the "America on the Move" exhibit at the National Museum of American History until it was removed in 2006 during renovations to the museum. While the car remains part of the Smithsonian collection, the EV1 has yet to be redisplayed within the exhibit at the museum"
  25. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,205

    Bruce Lancaster

    Metalshapes, I have always suspected that Ambrose Bierce wrote this little educational fable about Langley:

    Ambrose Bierce
    The Flying Machine
    An Ingenious Man who had built a flying-machine invited a great concourse of people to see it go up. At the appointed moment, everything being ready, he boarded the car and turned on the power. The machine immediately broke through the massive substructure upon which it was builded, and sank out of sight into the earth, the aeronaut springing out barely in time to save himself.

    "Well," said he, "I have done enough to demonstrate the correctness of my details. The defects," he added, with a look at the ruined brick-work, "are merely basic and fundamental."

    Upon this assurance the people came forward with subscriptions to build a second machine.

    Wasn't Langley's epic flight to the bottom of the Potomac fully recorded on film?
  26. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,630

    Tech Editor

    Yeah, I think it was...


    Found a pic.

    And appearently he didn't pilot his machine himself.

    Charles M. Manley did his flying/ swimming for him...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  27. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,041


    The facility in Suitland is not just for cars. They also store aircraft and other machinery there. They use the facility for both storage and restoration work. It is not generally open to the public but I have heard of them arranging tours for special groups.
  28. nummie
    Joined: Jul 7, 2010
    Posts: 214


    Time for a HAMB field trip!!!!!

    who else is in?
  29. GZ
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 811

    from Detroit

    The Miller joined the Smithsonian's collection in the late 1980s or early 90s through a trade and was later the source of quite a bit of controversy with regards to its supposed provenance-or lack there of.
  30. Nick Flores
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,351

    Nick Flores

    I think this is the car that dude gets excited about....

    Catalog #: 2003.0287.01, Accession #: 2003.0287
    Currently on display
    From the Smithsonian Collection

    This minivan was owned by a Michigan family. They bought the minivan because their family car was too small for family vacations. They used the minivan to travel, run errands, transport their children to and from sporting events, and move their children back and forth to college.

    I'm kidding, but I did find they show only 50 of the 73(?) on their website.

    Attached Files:

    • 662.jpg
      File size:
      28.6 KB

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