On the Forum in 2010 Jim Patrick asked about a "Contract to keep (a) Model T Original." There were many suggestions, including listing on the National Register for Historic Places. An automobile is eligible by definition in sections of the 1966 Act, as revised, and may be listed as either an Object and/or Structure as are ships, trains, and trolleys. But in reality listing an automobile, as a cultural significant historic property is not as easy one may think. Yes there is the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) and the “Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens” (FIVA) that have been announcing their list of historic vehicles. With the National Register for Historic Places, it is possible to make application to the National Register and document the history of an object. And it is being proposed to have a National Historic Vehicle Register Act of 2014 (H.R. 5366) which authorizes the Director of the National Park Service to expand and maintain a National Historic Vehicle Register composed of: (1) a narrative describing each historic vehicle and its significance, (2) a photographic record of the vehicle, and (3) line drawings or engineering drawings of the vehicle. Requires the Register to be archived in the Library of Congress. Not to different from what the HVA has been doing.
Over a 21-month period, I researched the history of a Model T with assistance of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the National Park Service, and using the AACA Library resources. The nomination was reviewed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in June 2014. So the nomination was sent to Washington for a final decree. To put this nomination in perspective, the application process was started in December 2012.
On October 2014 the eligibility determination was returned by both Pennsylvania Historical Commission, Bureau for Historic Preservation and United States Department of the Interior. The proposed nomination returned by the Keeper of the National Register determined that the 1922 Model T Ford did not meet National Register Criteria. The nomination form did demonstrate the significant impact of the automobile on the American Transportation History, but the submitted example of a non-museum, street legal, 1922 Model T did not demonstrate any significant impact on American Transportation History.
The documentation and submitted application will be kept on file with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the United States Department of the Interior. In a discussion with Patrick Andrus, Historian with the National Register of Historic Places, he explained that this individual nomination was the first they received from any state to nominate an automobile to the National Register for Historic Places.
Mr. Andrus explained that this nomination for an automobile is the first to be reviewed by the National Park Service and Pennsylvania is the first state to pass on such a nomination for review for inclusion on the National Register for Historic Places. States are reluctant to submit an automobile, as automobiles are very mobile. Mr. Andrus gave an example that was similar which occurred in the State of Indiana. The State of Indiana Office for Historic Preservation submitted a nomination that included a house with garage of historic significance. Included in the garage was the automobile that was on the nomination at the time the property was listed. The car was considered as a contributing element to the history of the property. A review of the nomination a few years later reveled that the automobile was sold by the owners.
Although an automobile is eligible for the National Register for Historic Places, a nomination may be successful only if the vehicle presented had an owner of historic importance or was used in an historic event. And the application format maybe subject to the guidelines I was given to prepare the nomination for the Model T Ford, a vehicle that is not being a museum piece, and is mechanically sound. As the there are no current standards for listing an automobile my guidance was from those for listing aviation related historic resources.
I wonder how they'd feel about a Ford 6-40 previously owned by a cotton baron.
What would be the end objective of listing a car in this way ? Seems like a lot of energy spent, but I am left
wondering what the end goal or "payoff" would be ?
I think they really meant your Model T was not historically significant, not that the Model T wasn't significant.
Why search for years for the parts you need for the pile of rust pulled from a forgotten field? I did the application for the challenge. Was it possible for an every-mans car that survived 92 years to be listed as a historic cultural resource. For the next person to to prepare such an application, this attempt is just a template.
Although the car was not considered as a nationally significant property, it does have local significance. The next step, if there is a next step, would be reworking the application to show local historical significance. If you question the sanity of this, consider the number of log cabins on the national register, once owned by unknown historic figures, individuals who were only significant to their local history.
The Model T Ford, in my opinion, is the log cabin of automobiles.