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    Historic Vehicles & Culture

    White Model M Steam Car

    HVA's "THIS CAR MATTERS" movement

    President Taft’s 1909 White Steam Car is significant based on three out of four of the Criteria for Historic Significance. First it is associated with important events and important persons in American history as the first Presidential Limousine. The Steam Car was acquired under the Taft administration and was enthusiastically used by the President who actively promoted the adoption of the automobile in America. The White Steam Car is further significant based on its informational value as the only one of the original four vehicles used by the Taft administration that survives today.

    When you first encounter the massive White Model M Steam Car, you’re immediately struck by its size. As you begin to acclimate to its outsized proportions, you begin taking in the details: the golden presidential seal; the steering wheel within a steering wheel; and the wild assortment of levers. But all of this pales in comparison to the historic significance of the car itself, one which arguably set the stage for much of what was to come with the dawn of the automotive age. Watch the film to learn more about President William Howard Taft’s 1909 White Model M Steam Car, the first presidential limousine.

    Text, pictures and video: the Historic Vehicle Association

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