New AACA award to pick the best Restoration of the Year

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A 1930 Packard at the AACA meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania | Andy Reid
A 1930 Packard at the AACA meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania | Andy Reid

The Antique Automobile Club of America has initiated a new annual award, the Zenith Award for the Restoration of the Year, which will be chosen this year from 20 vehicles selected from AACA meets held during 2016.

Two exquisite cars from each of last year’s meets were chosen to compete for the award, with 13 manufacturers represented. The earliest car is a 1903 Holley and the newest a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. Of special interest is a 1934 Duesenberg and a faithfully restored 1964 Ford Galaxie Holman & Moody NASCAR race car.

An Auburn 'Boattail' Speedster | AACA
An Auburn ‘Boattail’ Speedster | AACA

The 20 Zenith Award nominees will be placed in a special display at the AACA Grand National Meet being held today through Saturday in Independence, Missouri. A team of judges comprising members of the AACA National Awards team and special guest judges will decide the inaugural Restoration of the Year winner.

“The AACA Zenith Award is yet one more step in the club’s goal to honor the authentic restoration of vehicles and the preservation of automobile history,” according to an AACA news release.

The annual Grand National Meet’s main event is Saturday, presenting 250 vehicles that have reached Senior status in judging during prior years, representing the best-of-the-best AACA winners competing for a number of coveted awards at the club’s highest level.

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The organizers call the Grand National Meet “the club’s version of the Oscars.” The show, held at the Independence Events Center, is free and open to the public.

For more information on AACA, judging guidelines, awards and meets, visit the AACA website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.