1957 Cornell-Liberty Safety Car

Date:
1957
Creator:
Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory | Liberty Mutual Insurance Company | Ford Motor Company

Cornell Aeronautical Labs did some of the first crash testing of automobiles. In 1957 Cornell teamed with Liberty Mutual Insurance to build this odd looking concept car that incorporated the lessons learned in testing. The car did not actually run, but it featured ideas like seat belts, head rests, and padded interiors that are incorporated into today's cars.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
92.172.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company.

1986 Ford Taurus LX Sedan

Date:
1986
Creator:
Vandermolen, Mimi
Publisher/Studio:
Ford Motor Company

When the Taurus appeared in 1986 some people said its aerodynamic styling reminded them of a bar of soap or a potato. But the car was roomy, handled well, and had a thoughtfully designed interior. It was a big hit with the public, and other companies adopted similar styling. Eventually people complained that every car looked like a Taurus.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
90.201.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Ford Motor Company

1960 Meskowski Race Car

Date:
1960
Creator:
Jeffries, Dean, 1933- | Meskowski, Wally (Walter), 1915-1980
Publisher/Studio:
Bowes Seal Fast, LLC

Between 1960 and 1963 the great A.J. Foyt won 13 of the 26 races he drove in this car. Wally Meskowski built the car to run on the one-mile dirt-surfaced ovals. Dirt track racing began when people raced horseless carriages on dirt horse tracks at the end of the 19th century. From the early 1930s to 1970 the top tier of American open wheel racing, known as Championship racing, was conducted primarily on one-mile dirt ovals. The great 2.5 mile paved oval at Indianapolis was more famous, but most races were contested on the dirt. In the 1950s and 1960s some of the dirt ovals were paved. Read more »

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
2008.101.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1951 Beatty Belly Tank Lakester Land Speed Race Car

Date:
1951
Creator:
Beatty, Tom, d. 1985

After World War II, hot rodders started using external fuel tanks from fighter planes as car bodies. The teardrop shape was ideal for speed record runs on dry lake beds and Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats. Californian Tom Beatty crafted this tank that was once the world's fastest.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
2009.140.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1924 Chrysler Touring Car

Date:
1924
Creator:
Chrysler Corporation

The first car to wear the Chrysler nameplate was perfectly suited to the Roaring Twenties. It was a decade of fast profits, fast music, and fast driving. A lightweight chassis and an efficient engine meant Chrysler drivers could out-accelerate Cadillacs costing twice as much. When Chrysler drivers stopped, they used modern hydraulic brakes instead of the Caddy's old-style mechanical brakes. Small wonder that Chrysler sales increased 500 percent from 1925 to 1929.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
93.96.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1957 De Soto Fireflite Hardtop

Date:
1957
Creator:
Exner, Virgil M. (Virgil Max), 1909-1973 | Chrysler Corporation

De Soto appealed to drivers who desired the cutting edge of technology. Soaring fins and an airy roof suggested military jet fighters. Pushbuttons replaced old-fashioned transmission levers. And De Sotos were powerful -- perfect for the new high-speed, four-lane turnpikes and the newly-funded interstate highway system.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
93.151.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1973 FMC 2900R Motorhome, Used by Charles Kuralt for CBS "On The Road" Television Show

Date:
1973
Creator:
FMC Corporation

This FMC motorhome carried a three-man TV crew on America's back roads, where they took time "to meet people, listen to yarns, and feel the seasons change." The CBS-produced show, On the Road, featured Charles Kuralt's superbly crafted stories about ordinary people who were often quite extraordinary. It was a novel idea that lasted 27 years from 1967 to 1994.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
95.23.1.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of CBS News, A Division of CBS Inc.

1997 General Motors EV1 Electric Coupe

Date:
1997
Creator:
General Motors Corporation

This was the most serious attempt to build an all-purpose electric car since the 1920s. General Motors built 1117 cars between 1996 and 1999, leasing them to a loyal group that willingly adjusted to battery power's limitations. But GM concluded there were too few electric enthusiasts to support large-scale production and recalled all the cars by the end of 2003. EV1 users objected loudly, but to no avail.

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
2002.76.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of General Motors Corporation.

1965 Goldenrod Land Speed Race Car

Date:
1965
Creator:
Summers, Bill and Bob Summers | Summers Brothers Racing, LLC
Publisher/Studio:
Chrysler Corporation

In November 1965 this sleek car flashed across Utah's Bonneville salt flats to break the world speed record for wheel driven (as opposed to jet or rocket powered) cars. One key to its success was its long, slim shape that minimized wind resistance. The other key was the clever engineering that packed four Chrysler "Hemi" engines and the machinery to drive all four wheels inside that slim shape. Goldenrod's record of 409.277 miles per hour stood until 1991. Builders Bob and Bill Summers were part of an automobile culture unique to Southern California. Read more »

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
2002.103.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

1956 Chrysler 300-B Stock Car

Date:
1956
Creator:
Kiekhaefer, Elmer Carl, (1906-1983)|Chrysler Corporation

This Chrysler was part of one of the most successful teams in the history of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). In 1956 team owner Carl Kiekhaefer's cars won 22 out of 41 races, including 16 in a row. This was one of the cars Buck Baker drove on his way to becoming the NASCAR driving champion in 1956. Unlike modern NASCAR racers this is a real production car, modified for racing. Carl Kiekhaefer brought a new level of professionalism to stock car racing. His cars, drivers, and mechanics all wore matching uniforms. Read more »

Location:
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124-5029
Identifier:
2003.13.1
Institution:
The Henry Ford
credits:
From the Collections of The Henry Ford.