Adjunct faculty member John O’Leary (MBA ’09) presented his research on AKTION P: survival of a 1939 540K Mercedes-Benz from WWII at the Second International Drive History Conference, April 12-14, 2018, in Allentown, PA.
Organized by the College of Charleston, Stanford University, The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) and The Revs Institute®, the conference focused on how over the last 100 years the adoption of the automobile has had a profound impact on the development of virtually every aspect of modern culture.
Automobiles have been purposefully designed as much as any modern building. Therefore, we must engage the broader cultural phenomena of cars in order to answer the difficult questions pertaining to human needs and desires that are inseparably intertwined with time and place.
During the twentieth-century, heritage preservation primarily focused on immobile objects. This is significant when we consider how much of our global economy, landscape, built environment, culture, and way of life has been affected by the automobile and associated infrastructure.
Comprehensive stewardship of the automotive past also entails recording, interpreting, and documenting the experience of using and being transported in a motor vehicle, as well as the trades skills and craftsmanship of automobile design, assembly, and maintenance; besides the physical conservation interventions of cars. Hence the creation of National Historic Vehicle Register (NHVR), which is a tool that can be used to carefully and accurately study and honor the most historically significant automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and commercial vehicles, as well as recognize the dynamic relationship between people, culture, and their means of transportation.
The NHVR was developed by the Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Library of Congress in March 2013 to explore how vehicles important to American and automotive history could be effectively documented.