Car Show and Museum Resource Guide
The Classic Car
From elegant convertibles to wood-bodied sedans to pre-war racers, vintage automobiles have the power to draw enthusiasts to car shows and museums all over the nation. Many collectors and onlookers plan vacations around annual trips to vintage car showcases and tours. Some come with money to purchase rare car parts for their own restoration hobbies. Mostly, however, people draw near to admire the evolution of mechanics, design, and efficiency that’s given the world some of its most gratifying four-wheeled art.
Classic Car Museums
- Volo Auto Museum: A site for a classic car museum located in Volo, Illinois which has over 300 vintage cars. It also sells classic cars.
- Northeast Classic Car Museum: A website dedicated to the classic car museum in Norwich, New York. The museum has several exhibits and over 160 antique cars.
- Sarasota Classic Car Museum: This site, run by the non-profit organization which manages the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, lists events staged at the museum and allows online visitors to sign up for a newsletter. The museum has over 100 cars.
- Canton Classic Car Museum: This site lists hours for the Ohio antique car museum and offers a digital coupon for discounts on museum admission. Pictures of featured vehicles give a taste of the museum’s collection.
- Gilmore Car Museum: A site dedicated to a 44-year old Michigan-based museum highlights current exhibits and has an online store.
- Jerry's Classic Cars: This museum claims to be the first classic car venue in Pennsylvania. It is open seasonally from May to October.
- Las Vegas Classic Autos: This showroom has a collection of more than 125 classic automobiles from around the world. It has free admission and is considered a Vegas tourist hot spot.
- Bennett Antique Museum: A site for a small 49-car museum in North Carolina.
- National Corvette Museum: Official site for the Corvette Museum located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Site offers a list of events, history, and a newsletter.
- Four States Auto Museum: Created in 2004, located in Texarkana, celebrated technology and automobiles of the past.
- Arkansas Museum of Autos: This museum has a permanent collection of more than 30 classic cars but also displays antique car collections on loan from museums around the country. Known for its collection of Mustangs.
- LeMay Museum: Located in Tacoma, this museum is home to over 2,300 cars.
- California Auto Museum: This site is the online companion to a Sacramento-based museum with more than 175 antique cars. Museum showcases touring cars, roadsters, and racing cars from 1904 onward.
- Wally Parks Motorsports Museum: This site, dedicated to the Wally’s Motorsports collection, has photo galleries for customized cars, hot rods, and roadsters. Museum is located in Pomona, California and has frequent reunions and car cruises.
- Dougherty Museum: This site for the Colorado-based Dougherty Museum showcases electric and steam cars as well as cars with engines for internal combustion.
- National Auto Museum: Museum collection in Reno, Nevada boasts historic cars and classic cars from celebrities.
- Henry Ford Museum: This museum located in Dearborn, Michigan focuses on Henry Ford and other people and ideas that have changed our lives with the automobile.
- Wheels through Time Museum: This site has videos, a gift shop, and events list for a North Carolina museum with more than 300 classic cars and motorbikes.
Classic Car Shows
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance: A site for the nationally-renown classic auto show at Pebble Beach, known for its prewar classic cars. The show, which draws yearly visits from antique car enthusiast Jay Leno, exhibits 175 antique vehicles. Held every third Sunday in August, the next date for this show is August 21, 2011.
- Concours on Rodeo Drive: This site chronicles the annual Father’s Day vintage car show that takes place on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, featuring over 100 collector cars. The 2011 event is on June 19th.
- Americana Manhasset Concours D’Elegance: A six-year old luxury car show featuring more than 200 classic cars. The 2010 show will be held very soon: October 10, 2010 at the intersection of Northern Boulevard and Community Drive in New York City (Macy’s department store).
- Del Mar Concours: This San Diego-based show takes place Oct. 17, 2010 and features Mustangs, Porsches and Bentleys. Cars span the years from 1915 to 1970.
- Monterey Vintage Shows: A free monthly event, the Cool Harbor Nights Classic Car & Motorcycle Show takes place the first Thursday of each month, featuring a range of collectible cars. Upcoming dates include Nov. 4, 2010 and Dec. 2, 2010.
- Santa Barbara Concours: This car show is part of a national concours that includes Chicago, New York, Boston, and Dallas. The Santa Barbara arm of the show is scheduled for Oct. 29th through the 31st and will feature exotic vintage cars from around the globe.
- Avila Beach Concours: This Avila Beach, California vintage show kicks off Oct. 22, 2010, at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo. It will feature cars from before 1950, includes European luxury cars.
- The Quail: A signature event for the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California, the Quail Motorsports Gathering takes place yearly in early August for 10 days. The most recent event began August 13, 2010. Each year the private occasion includes pre- and post-war racing and sports cars, with a special emphasis on Ferraris.
- Concorso Italiano: Devoted to Maserati, Ferrari, and Lamborghini styles, this vintage car show takes place every August at the Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, California. The next show is Aug. 19, 2011.
- Hilton Head Island Concours: More than 150 vintage cars converge every first Sunday in November for this annual car show. This year’s Nov.7, 2010 event just outside of Savannah, Georgia will feature a range or sports cars and coaches from before 1970. Preliminary events begin Oct. 29.
- Eastern U.S. Concours: An early June showcase for antique cars from across the eastern portion of the United States, this car show typically pulls in vehicles from 1916 and onward. They are known for exhibiting wood-bodied vehicles as well as vehicles from the brass era and classic era. The 2010 event was canceled, however. A 2011 event is being planned at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania but dates have not yet been announced by organizers.
- Palo Alto Concours: Held yearly during the last weekend of June, this Palo Alto, California show at Stanford University is known for displaying horseless carriages built as early as 1901 alongside other pre-1915 automobiles. The 2010 June 27th event even featured a carriage built in 1896. The 2011 date is yet to be announced.
- Kirkland Concours: This Seattle, Washington event displays cars from 15 unique historic classes, including Packards and Ford GTs. The 2010 event had roughly 40 vehicles and was held Sept. 12. The 2011 event will tentatively be held the second Sunday in September near Lake Washington.
- Ohio Vintage Show: Held yearly in June at Alt Park in Cincinnati Ohio, this concours includes racing, collector, and pre-war vintage cars. It is also known for showing Asian classic cars. The 2010 event was held June 13.
- Louisville Concours: Held at Churchill Downs, the famed site of the Kentucky Derby, this Louisville Concours features mostly American and European classics built between 1925 and 1940. The Oct. 3, 2010 event will also feature muscle cars and Corvettes.
- Keeneland Concours: This annual July event is held at the Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features over 100 classic cars, including many Ferraris. The 2011 show will be held July 16.
- Madison Classics: This annual car show also doubles as a swap meet, with over 800 antique cars for sale. Show cars for display only number roughly 500. The 2011 event will be April 29 through May 1 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Jefferson, Wisconsin.
- Fairfield County Classic Cars: Presented by Porsche every September, this concours displays cars representing 100 years of automobile evolution. Packards and Jaguars are standard. The 2011 event will be Sept. 10 and Sept. 11 at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut.
- Hillsborough Vintage Show: The Hillsborough Concours is an annual September event which features cars ranging from DeSotos to Thunderbirds. It is held at the Crystal Springs Golf Course in Hillsborough, California. The 2011 dates have not been announced, but the show is typically held during the second September weekend.
- Concours D'Lemons: The name of this vintage car show is a play on the term “lemon,” as in a dud car. This show celebrates the quirky, non-luxury vintage automobile, such as the Renault Caravelle and defunct styles of the Volkswagen Bug. The main event is typically held in early August at Toro Park in Monterey, California. 2011 dates have not been announced.
- Greenwich Concours: An annual June event, this concours is a blend of two distinct concours held right after each other, showcasing classic cars from the 1920s and 1930s, as well as vintage motorcycles and yachts. The event is held at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. The 2010 show was June 5-6. The 2011 June show dates are pending.
- Huntington Beach Show: Held at Huntington Beach Central Park in Huntington Beach, California, this car show spotlights classics such as Model T Fords, Flathead V8 Fords, and Mustangs. The 2010 event was June 6. The 2011 event will be in early June.
- Chicago-area Concours: The Barrington Concours d’Elegance draws spectators and classic cars to Chicago’s Windy City every July. Held in Barrington, Illinois, the show claims to exhibit 40 of the rarest vehicles in the U.S – with ties to Chicago. The 2010 event was July 11; 2011 dates have yet to be announced.
- Geneva Concours: Scheduled for August 28, 2011, this annual classic car show held in Geneva, Illinois features over 200 vintage and special interest vehicles.
Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at email@example.com