America's Top Collector Car Events
At AAA, our middle name is Automobile. We love cars and all phases of owning, operating, and enjoying these great machines. As cars have evolved, so have their collectability and show factor. Whether you are an avid car accumulator or just like to attend premier auto events, there's likely a gathering near you. AAA is pleased to share our top choices of notable car collections. We think most car connoisseurs would agree that automobile enthusiasts of all kinds will enjoy attending any of these events; let us know what you think!
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
Go big or go home. That could be the slogan of California's Pebble Beach Concours where you will see incredible machines in immaculately restored condition displayed in an unparalleled venue. Every August the 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach golf links becomes an alfresco museum displaying rare and exotic automotive treasures you are unlikely to see anywhere else. Judging is performed with utmost attention to detail and decorum by the foremost experts in the field. A Pebble Beach trophy forever identifies a classic car as one of the best-of-the-best. Almost as interesting as the vehicles are the attendees, many of whom dress in period costumes and picnic on the grass from wicker baskets filled with food and drink. Simply put, Pebble Beach is a once-in-a-lifetime, must-do event for every true automobile enthusiast. For more information click here.
Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
Referred to by some as Pebble Beach East, this Amelia Island event strives to deliver on par with the vehicular excellence provided by its West coast counterpart. This Florida Concours takes place every March, and in recent years has grown significantly in both stature and popularity. The quality of the vehicles on display is uniformly outstanding. And, if the venue and spectators don't possess quite the panache of Pebble Beach, the difference is more than made up for by easier access and less expensive entry. In recent years, special sessions featuring automotive racing legends have proven popular with visitors, and offered rapidly disappearing first-person insights into historical events for those too young to remember. If time, distance or finances put Pebble Beach out of reach, Amelia Island is a more than worthy alternative. For more information click here.
Hershey Car Show and Flea Market
Formally called the "Eastern Division AACA National Fall Meet," this longstanding collector car event is hosted by the Hershey (PA) Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America and takes place the first full week in October. Held on the grounds of Hersheypark and The Giant Center, this large antique car show and swap meet features more than 9,000 flea market spaces, 1,000 car corral spaces (vehicles for sale) and approximately 1,500 show cars. The automobiles at Hershey run the gamut from high-end classics such as Duesenbergs to more recent and pedestrian models like the AMC Gremlin. This event truly has something for everyone, including just about any part you could imagine for any year, make or model of collectible car. If you can't find it here, you can probably talk to someone who knows where to get it! Bring your most comfortable walking shoes and prepare to be overwhelmed. For more information click here.
Woodward Dream Cruise
The Woodward Dream Cruise is billed as the world's largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 50,000 classic cars each year. Held in the suburban Detroit area on the third Saturday in August, the Dream Cruise isn't a traditional car show, although several of those are held as part of the overall festivities. Instead, it is an opportunity to see American classics and hot rods of the '50s and '60s (and some of just about everything else as well) in action as they cruise Woodward Avenue – a street well known for clandestine after-hours performance testing by engineers from the big-three automakers back in the day. Spectators line the road and congregate at numerous drive-ins, diners and parking lots along the way where participants show off their vehicles and bench race for bragging rights. The Dream Cruise is American Graffiti writ large, and if the sound of a modified V8 engine is music to your ears, make plans now to attend this fall's concert. For more information click here.
AAA Revival Glidden Tour
Imagine a time when cars competed with horses for acceptance. In the early 1900s, the newly formed American Automobile Association fought for better roads and to combat unjust motoring laws that were enacted. An automobile tour begun by AAA to prove the reliability of these new-fangled machines has now become a modern-day celebration of the original tours, which bear the name of the trophy's early sponsor, Charles J. Glidden. AAA helps re-create the original tours with two key antique hobby groups -- the Veteran Motor Car Club of America (VMCCA) and the Antique Auto Club of America (AACA). Now known as the Revival AAA Glidden® Tour, this moving history is one of the most prestigious touring events in American auto history. Carefully restored vintage cars from the 1940s and earlier are eligible to participate in this once-a-year early fall event that is held is various parts of the country. The cars are actually driven, not shown, during a weeklong tour. The 2013 tour is being held in Chattanooga, TN Sept. 9-13. For more information click here.
Barrett-Jackson Auction – Scottsdale
Every January, the Barrett-Jackson auction in Arizona kicks off the collector car year and serves as a marketplace barometer. The unique attraction of this event is that not only are well over a thousand automobiles on display, they are all available to purchase and take home … provided you have the financial wherewithal. In 2013, more than 1,300 cars and $102.5 million changed hands. What makes Barrett-Jackson so attractive to many automobile enthusiasts is that it isn't the only game in town. During the same week, five other auction houses (Russo & Steele, RM, Gooding & Company, Silver, and Bonham's) also hold collector car events in the Phoenix area, which means there is something for just about everyone. Whether you are just seeking a respite from winter where you can view collector cars, or are a buyer looking to make an automotive investment that will let you relive your youth, the Phoenix area during Barrett-Jackson week is collector car Mecca. For more information click here.