Amelia Earhart's 1937 Cord Added To National Historic Vehicle Register

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the Hagerty Drivers Foundation announced that Amelia Earhart’s 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton would be inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register. It’s the 33rd vehicle to be inducted into the registry, the only federally recognized program to document the historical and cultural significance of the automobile. 

Earhart purchased the Cord less than a year before her disappearance when she and navigator Fred Noonan attempted to fly her Lockheed 10E Electra disappeared around the world. The Cord will be on public display this September on the National Mall in Washington D.C. during the Hagerty Drivers Foundation’s annual “Cars at the Capital” celebration.  

The announcement on International Women’s Day is appropriately timed to honor Earhart’s spirit of adventure and passionate advocacy of women’s rights. The announcement of the Cord’s enshrinement was made by McKeel Hagerty, CEO of the foundation, at the annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Currently owned by the JBS Collection, the Cord was represented by Laura and Jack Boyd Smith, Jr., accompanied by the car’s restorers from LaVine Restorations, Inc. 

Amelia Erhart was photographed next to the Cord Phaeton in September 1936, which was parked in front of her Lockheed Electra, the plane she would take on her infamous flight in 1937. After her disappearance, her husband, publisher George Putnam, sold the Cord, which then passed through a number of hands. Eventually, it was disassembled and split up in parts across the country. 

After decades of research and travel to acquire the original components, the car’s body, frame, and engine were reunited in 2004 by collector Ray Foster. He, in turn, sold it to the JBS collection, which commissioned LaVine Restorations in 2018 for a full restoration. The car was returned to its original specifications and has since won numerous awards. 

In a press release for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the Hagerty Drivers Foundation commemorated Earhart’s unique achievements.  “Highlighting the story of Amelia Earhart and her passion for the automobile is a unique glimpse into the varied and widespread love of cars that has captivated our society since the turn of the 20th century. We are thrilled to honor this American hero and advocate for women’s rights during Women’s History Month. It is one more example of the way America’s automotive history is woven into the diverse past of our nation,” said Casey Maxon on behalf of the Foundation.

In addition to the Cord Phaeton, the National Historic Vehicle Register includes the original Ford “Bullitt” Mustang, a Chrysler Turbine, and the DeLorean DMC12 used in Back to the Future

Source: Hagerty Driver’s Foundation

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