RAC offers details of inaugural ‘historic’ awards program

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An event such as the 1000 Miles Trial could be eligible for one of the new RAC Historic awards | Royal Automobile Club photo

In November 2018, about a month after the annual International Historic Motoring Awards were presented in England, the Royal Automobile Club announced that in 2019 it would begin presenting its own annual Historic Awards, promising to announce the categories in January 2019 and to present its inaugural awards November 21, 2019, at a gala at its Pall Mall clubhouse.

It was February 7 when the RAC finally announced the categories, for which nominations may be made starting March 20. The categories are:

• Competitive event, open to “any event from motor racing meetings and hillclimbs to navigation and stage rallies, regularity trials, and hot rod and drag races,” which take place within the UK or with at least a “significant” part of the event in the country.

• Motoring spectacle, open to concours d’elegance, tours, classic vehicle shows and club gatherings, regardless of size, provided, as above, they were held to a significant degree within the UK.

• Race series, any vintage racing series organized by a UK-based group provided it has “predominantly UK based calendar.”

• Collection, open to only British-based collections, whether held by a private person, a museum or an automaker.

• Restoration, presented to a UK-based restoration “that results from not only impressive technical expertise but also a significant amount of research and sensitivity to the vehicle and its history.” The winning restoration must be

• Outstanding journalism, open to “the best written feature” appearing in a British publication or digital platform within the 12-mont judging period.

•  Personality, to honor someone “from any part of the British historic motoring world — private enthusiast, club organizer or perhaps a specialist who has achieved something remarkable.” 

“In order to qualify for consideration, any nomination must have a very strong, or exclusively, historic element to it and the nominated activity, event or feat must have taken place in the twelve months from 1st October 2018 to 30th September 2019 and must have occurred entirely or at least in the main part within the UK,” the RAC said. 

“In every case the judges will be looking for outstanding achievement and innovation.”

The club said it also will present a “Lifetime Award” to an individual who made “an outstanding contribution to British motoring history and heritage, or to the British historic motoring and motor racing movement, across many years. This is the only award which cannot be nominated and the only category recognizing achievement beyond the previous twelve months.”

The RAC added that it would appoint a panel of independent experts to serve as judges in the various categories.

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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