The National Historic Vehicle Register has officially added two cars this year to their list- the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE and the 1921 Duesenberg Straight Eight. They will be joining the 26 other significant automobiles that are on the register. Their significant stories will be documented for all future generations at the Library of Congress.
The National Historic Vehicle Register was developed by Historic Vehicle Association to thoroughly document America’s most historically important automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles.
It set a new standard in terms of performance and luxury in a road-going vehicle and was equipped with the first straight-eight engine to be installed in a passenger car. It was also the first car in production to have hydraulic brakes.
In 1919, the Duesenberg’s first-ever Model A was custom ordered by the Hawaiian industrialist, Samuel Northrup Castle. After a delay in production, Samuel Castle took ownership in 1921 and became the first custodian of a Duesenberg passenger car.
Nicknamed the “Castle Duesenberg,” it stayed with the Castle family for almost a hundred years before it was donated to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in late 2019.
Brandon Anderson, the Executive Director and CEO of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, demonstrates in the below video the technique in starting the Duesenberg Model A and how to drive this beautiful vehicle.
1970 Dodge Challenger RT S/E (Qualls Family)
The 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE is the epitome of the muscle car. In combination with its unique preserved state, captivating Detroit story, and popular option configuration, the Dodge Challenger R/T SE inducted is regarded as one of the most coveted cars from its era.
In 1969, combat veteran, Purple Heart recipient, and Detroit Police Officer, Godfrey Qualls special ordered his 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE with every option including a 426 HEMI engine, a floor-mounted Hurst pistol grip shifter and four-speed manual transmission just to name a few.
It is one of just 23 four-speed Hemi R/T SE Challengers produced in the model’s debut year.
When Qualls wasn’t riding his police Harley-Davidson, you could find him test street racing in Detroit. Rarely defeated, he maintained a low profile and would seemingly vanish for periods at a time between unsanctioned drag runs down Woodward or Telegraph. Due to his elusive antics, fellow Detroit street racers named the sinister and mysterious Challenger the “black ghost.”