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America’s Top 10 Classic Car Shows and Events

Classic car shows provide attendees with the opportunity to sample automotive history, featuring cars that may date to the earliest days of motorized transportation. Such shows are held across the United States, especially during the warmer months. Our list of America’s top ten classic car shows includes events from all regions and may have you planning your schedule accordingly.

1. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

The Concours is the signature event of the Pebble Beach, California, automotive week show. Concours — French for “a parade of vintage vehicles — is held on the third Sunday in August, bringing approximately 200 collector cars and motorcycles to the Pebble Beach Golf Links. This show is all about showcasing elegance and often features a surprise product reveal from a major automotive manufacturer.

A Chevrolet Nova SS on display at a local classic car show.2. The Woodward Dream Cruise

It is fitting that Detroit, also known as Motor City, has its own classic car event. The Woodward event takes place on the third Saturday in August. With more than 40,000 classic cars on display, it is unrivaled in size. Cars cruise Woodward Avenue with more than 1 million people in attendance.

3. Charlotte Autofair

Billed as the world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Charlotte AutoFair is a four-day event held in April and repeated in September. Held at the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, this show features auctions, a classic car corral and thousands of merchant spaces.

4. Amelia Concours d’Elegance

Amelia Island, near Jacksonville, Florida, is the destination for this Concours display. This three-day March classic car show at the Ritz-Carlton welcomes the finest vintage vehicles to compete for two awards.

5. The Elegance at Hershey

Hershey, Pennsylvania, may be well-known for chocolate, but it is also the host of a mid-June Concours event featuring some of the most beautiful vehicles of a bygone era. The vintage race is one of its signature events. Plan your trip to allow time to take in Hersheypark, too.

6. Southwest Street Rod Nationals Plus

The State Fair Park in Oklahoma City is the venue for this three-day street rod event held in April. It is just one of 10 events sponsored by the National Street Road Association each year, with more than 1,700 vintage cars on hand for the Oklahoma show alone.

7. Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance

Spanning 10 days, this South Carolina exposition is more than a classic car show. Indeed, it offers a speed classic, car club showcase and an aero show, capping the festivities with a Concours display.

8. Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors

The newest classic car show takes place in Telluride, Colorado, and spans four days in September. This event celebrates fall foliage and old cars, including high-end restorations, vintage and exotic vehicles.

9. Iola Old Car Show & Swap Meet

Iola, Wisconsin, hosts this three-day show held in mid-July. The Iola venue features more than 2,000 show cars and over 4,000 swap spaces. A swap meet gives visitors the chance to procure historic automotive artifacts.

10. The Texas Hoedown

Located in Homestead, Texas, the Texas Hoedown brings pre-1972 custom hot rods, muscle cars and choppers to the Waller County Fairgrounds on the fourth Saturday in May. The hoedown also includes a roller derby, an art show and live bands.

What classic car event will you take in? Large or small, these shows allow you to sample Americana and the conveyances that helped shape our nation.

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Matthew C. Keegan

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10 Comments

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  • steve

    March 11, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Reply

    To my surprise, The Daytona Turkey Rod Run was left off of this list. It is a 4 day event over the Thanksgiving weekend that hosts more than 7000 classic cars in the Daytona Intnl Speedway infield. They have a slightly smaller spring show in March as well that would rival anything on this list as well.

  • dale

    April 19, 2016 at 6:07 AM

    Reply

    what about ‘Back to the 50’s in mineasota

  • Joe

    July 7, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    Reply

    They also left out Cruisin’ The Coast, a week long event spanning the entire Mississippi gulf coast and events and venues in almost all of the coastal cities and towns.

  • RICK D HAWKINS

    July 12, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Reply

    They also left off the largest classic show in the northeast, the Syracuse Nationals (8000+ cars, 400 Vendors, 365 Acres). This list is not even cloase

  • RICK D HAWKINS

    July 12, 2016 at 11:36 AM

    Reply

    Additional comment: I have been to 3 of these shows and none of them even came close to comparing to Syracuse, it seems that most of these show must have done something to be on this list, I’m not saying what just that they must have done something. It’s either that or the author is not knowledgeable in this field or it’s venues.

  • Alex

    August 6, 2016 at 1:40 AM

    Reply

    What about Hot August Nights in Reno? Over 6,000 cars, nice weather and amazing events

  • James

    September 6, 2016 at 8:06 PM

    Reply

    Back to the 50s in Minnesota is the largest show around with 13,000 pre 1964 street rods . And it’s a show that anyone can go to . Not just rich people like a few of the shows listed

  • Dano Savino

    June 8, 2017 at 2:15 PM

    Reply

    HOT AUGUST NIGHTS…RENO/TAHOE/SPARKS WTH 6 DAYS OF 6,500+ REGISTERED CARS STAGED IN NEARLY 10 CASINOS/AREA WITH 500,000+ VISITORS SINCE 1986….NOTHING IS BIGGER OR LONGER AND WITH A FULL ON CAR AUCTION BY BARRETT-JACKSON FOR THE PREVIOUS 3 YRS !

  • Steve Vining

    September 6, 2017 at 8:55 PM

    Reply

    The Mass Cruisers bi-weekly cruise night at Bass Pro shop in Foxboro MA is the largest in the country. 1,500 – 2,500 vehicles every other Thursday night.

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