The Ingram Collection 1952 Typ 540 Aluminum Sport Roadster- aka the America Roadster- was recently honored with the distinction of being the 34th vehicle and very first Porsche inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Registry by the Hagerty Drivers Foundation. The National Historic Vehicle Register is the only federally recognized program to document the historical and cultural significance of the automobile. Chassis 12336 was displayed in the striking glass case for the public to visit at the National Mall in Washinton D.C. for five days.
The “America Roadster” No. 12336 is one of sixteen aluminum-bodied Porsches built specifically for U.S. racers, thanks to the impetus of importer Max Hoffman and famed 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.
It was an amazing experience to see people interacting and truly taking the time to learn and appreciate the background, significance, and role that the America Roadster played in automotive culture in the United States. We hope to see this exhibit grow and expose more people from all walks of life to significant cars of various marques that have influenced the history of the automobile in a positive way.