Cars

An early example of stylish appeal: the 1940 Chevrolet 
half-ton.

The Rugged History of the Pickup Truck

At first, it was all about hauling things we needed. Then the vehicle itself became the thing we wanted

An installation view of "Automania" at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. The red car in front is a Cisitalia 202 GT Car (1946) designed by Italian firm Pininfarina; the green car in the background is a German "Beetle," a.k.a. a Volkswagen Type 1 Sedan (1949).  The lithograph on the wall is Watch the Fords Go By (1937) by A. M. Cassandre.

How the Automobile Changed the World, for Better or Worse

New MoMA exhibition explores artists' responses to the beauty, brutality and environmental devastation of cars and car culture

The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover, Vermont, is worth the detour.

Eight Unusual Roadside Attractions Worth Stopping For

The stories behind these American road trip pit stops are as curious as the landmarks themselves

Before the highway's construction, Claiborne Avenue was known for its towering oaks.

The Highway That Sparked the Demise of an Iconic Black Street in New Orleans

Claiborne Avenue was a center of commerce and culture—until a federal interstate cut it off from the rest of the city in the 1960s

The oil crisis affected everything from home heating to business costs. But the impact was most obvious on the roads.

History of Now

Gas Shortages in 1970s America Sparked Mayhem and Forever Changed the Nation

Half a century ago, a series of oil crises caused widespread panic and led to profound shifts in U.S. culture

Yvette, East Los Angeles Car Club, City of Industry, CA, August 14, 2015

The Vibrant History of Lowrider Car Culture in L.A.

With bright paint jobs and bouncy hydraulics, the 'low and slow' rides are an expression of cultural identity for the city's Mexican American community

Grooming miles of track is a job that starts long before January, when drivers start taking to the ice.

Why Automakers Flock to This Small Swedish Town Every Winter

From January to April, the population of Arjeplog more than quadruples, as almost every brand test drives its vehicles on the region's frozen lakes

A new study suggests cities across the United States may be underreporting their carbon emissions. The study suggests Los Angeles' self-reported emissions could be 50 percent below the metropolis' true carbon footprint.

New Research

U.S. Cities Are Underestimating Carbon Emissions, New Research Shows

Forty-eight cities across America have shorted their emissions by nearly 20 percent

The Bloodhound supersonic car reached 628 miles per hour in 2019, but the team hopes to pass 1,000 miles per hour with the addition of a rocket

Supersonic Car Designed to Break Land Speed Record Is for Sale Again

A businessman bought it in 2018 to keep the project alive but the pandemic has thrown off the schedule

North American species like the Colorado potato beetle and the fall armyworm have become invasive elsewhere.

Ask Smithsonian

Have Any North American Species Become Invasive Elsewhere in the World?

You've got question. We've got experts

Coho salmon returning from its years at sea to spawn, seen near the Suquamish Tribe's Grovers Creek Hatchery.

New Research

Researchers Reveal Why Seattle Salmon Bite the Dust After Rainstorms

A chemical found in car tire debris washes off roads into waterways, killing coho salmon returning to spawn

Rock legend Chuck Berry drove his 1973 Cadillac 
Eldorado onto a St. Louis stage in Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll, a 1987 documentary.

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch on How the Institution Builds Its Collections

Finding the next awe-inspiring artifact requires flexibility, help from the community—and a healthy dose of good luck

The little red car with the yellow roof that is propelled by foot power has been a hit with young children since its creation in 1979.

A Brief History of the Cozy Coupe

Invented by a former auto designer, the foot-powered kids toy still outsells engine-powered cars

An 80-foot dinosaur at the entrance to the town of Wall, South Dakota, advertises for Wall Drug.

Covid-19

Will America's Roadside Attractions Survive COVID-19?

With canceled bus tours and capacity limits, the country’s quirkiest stops are facing some serious challenges

Most large wildlife fatalities caused by car crashes in Maine are deer and moose.

Roadkill Reduced During Lockdowns, but Traffic Is Increasing Again

California, Idaho and Maine saw considerably fewer roadkill deaths in the first few weeks of stay-at-home orders

Attendees arrive to watch the movie Grease at a pop-up drive-in theatre at Bucktown Marina Park on May 22, 2020 in Metairie, Louisiana.

Covid-19

This Is the Summer of the Drive-In Theater

From longtime establishments to pop-up venues, this 20th-century attraction is providing a safe, socially distanced activity

Even the approximately 60 A&W Restaurants nationwide that already offer carhop services are seeing an increase in business.

Covid-19

The Timely Return of the Drive-In Restaurant

During the COVID-19 pandemic, carhop service is making a comeback. Is it here to stay?

People in France bike wearing masks down the "Rue de Rivoli."

Covid-19

How Cities Plan to Keep Traffic Out When Lockdowns Lift

Extended bike lanes and wider sidewalks are among solutions to keep car traffic down as people continue to avoid public transit

Take this time to learn how to sew.

Education During Coronavirus

The Best Places for Your Kids to Learn Real-Life Skills Online

Why not use quarantine as an opportunity to have your homeschoolers master woodworking or engine repair?

Cars gather outside the Montgomery County, Alabama, jail as police begin bringing in religious and political leaders indicted in the bus boycott.

How Automobiles Helped Power the Civil Rights Movement

Montgomery bus boycotters had a secret weapon: cars

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