Porsche ‘American Roadster’ Type 540 Joins National Historic Vehicle Register

A 1952 Porsche America Roadster (Type 540), Chassis No. 12336, is the 34th vehicle to be inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register, the federally recognized program to document the historical and cultural significance of the automobile announced.

The National Historic Vehicle Register provided the following vehicle history:

The “America Roadster” No. 12336 is one of 16 aluminum-bodied Porsches built specifically for U.S. racers, thanks to importer Max Hoffman and racer and dealer, John von Neumann. Neumann and Hoffman recognized the potential competition and sales success for a modified roadster in the burgeoning sports-car-crazed, post-war U.S., and rallied the upstart German automaker to build a more competitive model than their standard 356. Josie von Neumann raced this America Roadster after it was sold by her stepfather to entrepreneur John Crean. Josie took home victories in the America Roadster as she began her short career, besting many of the most significant European sports cars in the 1950s California racing scene. The America Roadster helped launch Porsche’s success and longstanding heritage as a competition leader.

The Porsche will be on public display inside a special case erected this September on the National Mall during the Foundation’s annual “Cars at the Capital” celebration. The free event will also feature Amelia Earhart’s 1937 Cord, the 33rd vehicle added to the National Historic Vehicle Register.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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