By Andrew Ganz
Wednesday, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 10:50 am
 
Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution is asking members of the public to help it select two special cars from its rarely displayed historical collection. The cars the public chooses will be put on display in the National Museum of American History for about a month between late January and late February.

Currently, the Smithsonian has 14 of its 73 vehicles on display at its various museum locations, but the remaining 59 remain under lock and key at a storage facility. The Institution has selected eight vehicles - or "automotive jewels" - from which members of the public can pick from on its website.

Winners will be selected announced on January 12 and then put on display from January 22 to February 21. The Institution says that this is the first time it has allowed members of the public to choose displays from its automobile collection.

And the candidates are...
1880 Long steam tricycle, an early predecessor to the automobile.

1894 Balzer quadricycle, the first American-made car to be driven in New York City.

1903 Oldsmobile curved-dash runabout, an iconic early vehicle that ushered in a new era of automobiles for "nearly everyone."

1929 Miller Race Car, a supercharged front-wheel-drive speedster.

1948 Tucker, one of just 46 remaining Tuckers.

1953 Glasspar sports car, a roadster built by a California boat builder out of fiberglass.

1987 GM Sunraycer, a solar powered machine that dominated an 1,864-mile race across Australia.

1997 GM EV1 (pictured), the short-lived and controversial electric two-door leased to selcted individuals in California and Arizona.