What are the top collector car events in North America?

British magazine offers its ratings, but what are yours?

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The Breakers, former home to the Vanderbilts, provided the setting for the inaugural Audrain's Concours d'Elegance and Motor Week celebration in Rhode Island in 2019 | Josh Sweeney/Shootfordetails photo provided by the concours committee

One of the things I anticipate about the arrival of Magneto, the relatively new quarterly magazine from England, is the editors’ top-50 rankings. 

The inaugural issue offered a list of the 50 most-influential people in the collector car world. 

Next it was the 50 top innovations in Formula 1 racing, followed by the 50 greatest concept cars, and then the 50 greatest movie cars.

Historic Porsche racing car is parked in front of historic movie set at Luftgekuhlt 6 staged on the Universal Studios backlot | Kahn Media photo

Issue No. 5 has just arrived and, albeit written from a British perspective, the newest top-50 listing, “The Top 50 Greatest Events in the World,” is certain to ignite some discussion.

Because of the British bias (including 3 of the events the editors rank among the world’s top-5), I’m not going to share the entire list (except to say that the Goodwood Revival was No. 1). However, I am going to share how events in North America were rated, and I’d be curious to know if you agree:

49. Arizona Auction Week

40. Hershey Fall Meet

39. LaJolla Concours d’Elegance

37. Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

35. Luftgektuhlt

32. Cavallino Classic

31. Daytona Classic (races)

28. The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

27. Colorado Grand (vintage rally)

23. La Carrera Panamericana

21. Audrain’s Newport Concours and Motor Week

12. Monterey Motorsports Reunion

10. Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

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9. Bonneville Speed Week

2. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Or, another way of looking at the list:

1. Pebble Beach, 2. Bonneville, 3. Amelia Island, 4. Monterey Motorsports Reunion, 5. Audrian Newport concours, 6. La Carrera, 7. Colorado Grand, 8. The Quail, 9. Daytona vintage, 10. Cavallino Classic, 11. Luftgektuhlt, 12. Greenwich, 13. LaJolla, 14. Hershey, 15. Arizona Auction Week.

Do you agree? What other events would you rate among the top-10, let alone the top-15?

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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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. What about the Spring and Fall Chalotte AutoFair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is sponsored by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA and partnered with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Collector Cars, Car Parts and memorabilia for sale, AACA National Meet on Saturday (Spring) and over a thousand cars on display during the Speedway’s car giant show on Saturday & Sunday. How could you overlook this one?

  2. The automotive hobby is made up of so many segments, it’s pretty difficult to lay out a “best of” when considering events. Are these choices (from the Brits) based on attendance? Longevity? Specific eras or provenance? I grew up a hard core hot rodder. I appreciate the history, but when it comes to best events I have to add in some that draw big numbers of participants and spectators…Back to the 50’s, St. Paul, Annual Hot Rod Power Tour, the Goodguys annual schedule, Grand National Roadster Show, Pomona, Detroit Autorama…I could drop a batch more, but you get the idea. Attendees of a concours are probably a bit different from those that show for the Hershey Swap Meet, but each attracts different segments that make up a great group of people. Include me in those greasy fingered, dirty jean hot rodders, but I can appreciate those white gloved events as well.

  3. What about the Concorso Italiano during the Monterey Car Week? The largest gathering of Italian sports cars in the world with over 1000 cars on a golf course with views of the Pacific Ocean?

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