As classic cars have started gaining worldwide recognition, attendance at auto events has grown in the past five years, says Steve Linden, president of Specialized Vintage Vehicle Services, a vintage car consultancy. Events run the gamut from quaint neighborhood gatherings at local railroad stations to week-long extravaganzas drawing international crowds. “The social aspect really brings people together,” Linden says. “These events are a great equalizer. You’ll see people with $3,000 cars and million-dollar roadsters sit down and talk for hours.” Because there are local shows nearly every weekend, your options for a quickie road trip are plentiful. Read on for Linden’s favorites.
Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction
Geek out at one of the “Behind the Hobby” symposiums, like “How to Buy a Collector Car, ” then shop for souvenirs in the Exhibitor Marketplace, where you’ll find everything from driving shoes and sunglasses, to motorcycles, model cars and racing simulation games. Get behind the wheel, literally, of the newest models at a Ride ’N Drive. And don’t miss the main event: The best-known car auction in the world draws over 350,000 visitors and 5,000 bidders.
January 14-22, 2017; tickets start at $175 for an All-Week Pass
Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Amelia Island, Fla.
Some of the most prized cars in the world are judged here on one of Florida’s beautiful barrier islands. Make time for a couple rounds of golf at one of Amelia Island’s seven spectacular courses.
March 10-12, 2017; tickets start at $95
Monterey Car Week
Monterey County, Calif.
The backdrop is the thing here: Cars are displayed along the stunning Monterey peninsula—among some of the most luxurious golf courses in the country. Catch vintage race cars speeding around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and hobnob with other fans, then pop into one of the area’s prized wineries for a tasting.
August 14-20, 2017; events range from free to $300+; check Monterey Car Week’s site for prices
Hemmings Concours d’Elegance
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
At this show, everyone can be in the driver’s seat: “Participate in a rally in the Adirondack Mountains, driving through spectacular scenery,” Linden says. Bring your own car, truck or motorcycle to their Saturday Cruise-in Spectacular: A portion of proceeds benefits the Saratoga Automobile Museum’s education programs, which focus on safety and distracted driving awareness.
September 22-24, 2017; tickets start at $15
Hershey Region AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Fall Meet
A flea market is this event’s showstopper, Linden says. “It’s a mecca for people looking for cars or parts, and would take you the entire three days to go through.” You’ll spot everything from rare vintage car parts to gas station collectibles such as oilcans and signage, rusted sheet metal and old car catalogues.
October 4-7 2017; free
Got a classic or collectible car? Make sure it’s covered with the right classic auto insurance, available through the GEICO Insurance Agency.
By Celia Shatzman
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