HomeEventsGreenfield Village readies for 68th annual Old Car Festival

Greenfield Village readies for 68th annual Old Car Festival


Next week, we celebrate classic cars on the Monterey Peninsula in northern California, and then comes Labor Day weekend with big celebrations in Auburn, Indiana, home of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, and in Bowling Green, Kentucky, home of the National Corvette Museum. 

But among the oldest running annual vintage car celebrations takes place the weekend after Labor Day, September 8-9 when Greenfield Village, part of The Henry Ford museum complex in Dearborn, Michigan, stages its 68th Old Car Festival, which this will feature pickup trucks.

“For 2018, Old Car Festival celebrates a century of factory-built pick-up trucks,” the museum proclaims. 

“Ford Motor Company introduced its Model TT – essentially a Model T with a heftier frame and drivetrain – in 1917. Ford built only three trucks that first year, but more than 40,000 TTs left the factory the following year. 

“Chevrolet entered the truck market in 1918, selling its first half-ton and one-ton models. Truck production wasn’t the only milestone for the bowtie brand that year. After losing control of General Motors in 1910, William C. Durant founded Chevrolet as a means to rebuild his fortune – and regain GM. Chevy’s runaway success made it possible. 

“Restored to power, Durant formally merged Chevrolet into the General Motors family in 1918. Billy Durant was ousted again in 1920, but Chevrolet thrived as GM’s best-selling brand – a position it still holds today.”

Now branded as Ram, Dodge also began truck production in the 19 teens.

The Old Car Festival is the second of two big classic car (and truck) events hosted by Greenfield Village each year. It features vehicles produced through 1932. Newer vehicles get their own show in the spring, it’s called the Motor Muster.

Car museums, Greenfield Village readies for 68th annual Old Car Festival, ClassicCars.com Journal
Supercars make some noise | Museum photos

Supercar weekend draws a crowd at Beaulieu

Car museums, Greenfield Village readies for 68th annual Old Car Festival, ClassicCars.com Journal
New TVR awaits its turn for a demonstration run

More than 950 vehicles and nearly 15,000 spectators took part in the recent Beaulieu Supercar Weekend at the National Motor Museum in England. A new feature this year was the “Supercar Evolution” that placed current vehicles next to the classics from the same brand, including Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Aston Martin.

In addition to tire-smoking “demonstration” runs, a “Supercar Sound-Off” was staged to see which driver and car could generate the most crowd-pleasing noise.

Special events this weekend

America on Wheels museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, will feature David Elick of Clearpathways in its lecture series at 11 a.m. August 18. The subject will be “Upholstery & Design.”

The movie Bol d’Or 1976 will be screened August 18 at 6 p.m. at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia, with producer and motorcycle racer Peter Starr on hand for the viewing of his film about the 24-hour motorcycle race. As yet another bonus, Burn Munro’s World’s Fastest Indian motorcycle will be fired up. August 18 also marks the opening of the museum’s 10th annual motorcycle exhibition, which runs through September 7.

Car museums, Greenfield Village readies for 68th annual Old Car Festival, ClassicCars.com Journal
Brandon Anderson leads staff at ACD Museum

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, will host a special “Meet the New Director at Cars & Coffee” cruise-in Saturday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. The event is open all vehicles and will introduce the museum’s new executive director and chief executive, Brandon Anderson.

Not only will Vladimir Cetti be autographing copies of his book, Still Life With Tatra Wrecks, but what is being billed as “the largest gathering of Tatras ever in Burbank!” will be held August 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California.

The Blackhawk Collection museum will help host the Hot Summer Nights car show scheduled for Sunday in Danville, California. The show will be based in front of Primo’s Pizza on the corner of Hartz Avenue and Diablo Road and runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The British Motor Museum stages its annual Buses Festival on August 19 with as many as 100 vintage and modern coaches on display. The day includes free bus rides to the museum from Lemington Spa Upper Parade and Train Station.

Mark your calendar

The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany will offer a summer program for children 8-12 years of age from August 21-31, Tuesdays through Fridays. An overall theme for the camps will be motorsports.

America on Wheels will organize a car show for vehicles at least 15 years old in conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Queen City Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the events take place August 25.

The LeMay Collections at Marymount in Tacoma, Washington, will stage its annual car show on August 25 with more than 1,500 vehicles available for viewing, along with antique dolls, pin cushions, radios and more. The Lucky Vehicle Auction Fall Classic begins that same day and runs through the 26th.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento offers a Talking Shop program August 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring John D’Agostino, who will talk about Sacramento’s history of customizing and hot rodding cars.  

The National Corvette Museum celebrates its 24th anniversary August 30-September 1. The weekend includes the induction of Burt and John Greenwood, Tom Wallace and Mike Yager into the hall of fame.

Britain’s Beaulieu museum hosts its International Autojumble on September 1-2, with more than 2,000 vendors offering spare parts and assorted automobilia for sale (autojumble is the British version of a swap meet).

“Riverside Revisited” is the theme of a special tribute celebration of the historic racing circuit scheduled for September 8 at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, California, just south of the runways of LAX. During the event, mechanic, fabricator, car builder, crew chief and Indy racing team manager Jimmy Dilamarter will receive the Peter Bryant Challenger Award for Excellence in Engineering.

More than 400 classic (as early as 1970) and modern trucks of all categories are expected for the Retro Truck Show to be held September 8-9 at the British Motor Museum. 

An IMSA race and the Corvette Racing banquet take place September 8-9 at Laguna Seca and the National Corvette Museum’s Museum In Motion will launch a tour of Northern California on September 10 through the 16th with travel on the Pacific Coast Highway, visits to car collections and other points of interest.

The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, a “Meet the designers” event from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on September 12, with members of the League of Retired Automotive Designers participating in an Artist’s Talk about the nearly 50 works of their dream-car art in a special exhibit. 

America on Wheels museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has rescheduled its Classics and Cruisers on Hamilton car show for the afternoon of September 15. 

The Kansas City Auto Museum will be among the participants in the American Royal BBQ Car Show, scheduled for September 15 at Kansas Speedway.

The Beaulieu museum in England launches its annual Autumn Lecture Series on September 15 with Steve Fenwick of Renault Sport Racing discussing “F1 Cars: An Engineering Challenge.” On October 12, it’s Steve Waddingham, historian at Aston Martin Lagonda, talking about “Aston Martin: A History.” November 12, Petere Williams will discuss his motorcycle racing career. On December 8, Chris Keith Lucas, managing director for Jaguar specialist Lynx, will present “If I had known then what I know now.”

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host the Road Map Collectors Association show on September 21-22 and the Matchbox toy show on September 23.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, is doing a road trip by coach on September 29 to the Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI at Laguna Seca. 

The British Motor Museum, located on the grounds of the former RAF Gaydon base, hosts the third annual Gaydon Military Show on September 30.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento stages CruiseFest on Fulton Avenue on October 6.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, celebrates its 30th anniversary with a Gala scheduled for October 14. In addition to dinner and silent and live auctions, the evening will feature music by Franc d’Ambrosio of Phantom of the Opera fame.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned. Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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