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.
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. No matter which way you go, make sure your vehicle is in top road trip condition with a fresh oil filter and topped up fluids.
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Matt Keegan has maintained his love for cars ever since his father taught him kicking tires can be one way to uncover a problem with a vehicle’s suspension system. He since moved on to learn a few things about coefficient of drag, G-forces, toe-heel shifting, and how to work the crazy infotainment system in some random weekly driver. Matt is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association and is a contributor to various print and online media sources.