Public Display to Showcase Amelia Earhart’s Cord, Porsche America Roadster

The Hagerty Drivers Foundation is hosting its annual “Cars at the Capital” exhibition on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which will showcase the 33rd and 34th vehicles to be added to the National Historic Vehicle Register: a 1937 Cord 812 Convertible Phaeton Sedan Chassis No. 1714 and a 1952 Porsche America Roadster (Type 540).

The cars will be displayed in a lit glass enclosure between the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the United States Department of Agriculture. This free, pop-up exhibit is put on by the Foundation each year to educate the general public about the cultural significance of the automobile and its role in shaping modern society, the foundation said.

The 1937 Cord 812 Convertible Phaeton Sedan – Chassis No. 1714, will be on display from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5. Amelia Earhart acquired this Cord 812 Phaeton less than a year before she, navigator Fred Noonan and her Lockheed 10E Electra disappeared over the South Pacific in 1937, according to the foundation. In September 1936, Earhart was famously photographed standing with the Cord and the airplane she would ultimately take on her final flight.

On display from Sept. 6-11, the 1952 Porsche America Roadster was one of Porsche’s first factory-built race cars. The Type 540 was nicknamed the America Roadster as the model was conceived thanks to the influence of John von Neumann and Max Hoffman for the U.S. market. Neumann’s stepdaughter, Josie, raced this America Roadster after he sold it to entrepreneur John Crean. The America Roadster and the influence of Neumann and Hoffman helped launch Porsche’s success and longstanding heritage as a competition leader in the U.S., according to Hagerty.

Each Saturday during the exhibit, (Sept. 2 and 9), the Hagerty Drivers Foundation will host “Cars at the Capital Family Festival Day.” Free to the public and located around the glass enclosure on the National Mall, festivities will include: a tire changing station, an activity book focused on cars in the National Historic Vehicle Register, a free play table with a track and cars, and food trucks.

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

Related Articles

Back to top button