Journal: The Top Five Vintage Car Events Everyone Should Attend

The Top Five Vintage Car Events Everyone Should Attend

By Aaron McKenzie
August 15, 2014
23 comments

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Otis Blank and David Marvier for Petrolicious

Earlier this week, we asked you to dream: without the worries of budgets and distance, which classic car event would you attend? After reading your fantasies and indulging in a bit of daydreaming of our own, we compiled the following list of the top five affairs for the vintage car enthusiast. You’ll note that our entries share the common theme of featuring vintage cars in action. We seldom pass up the chance to attend a concours event and luxuriate in the spectacle, but let’s be honest: what we all really want to see is a classic Ferrari hooking its rear end through a curve, preferably while racing an old Porsche. So get ready for noise and the smell of oil and rubber…

#5 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion–As we mentioned on Monday, this is “car week” in Monterey and Pebble Beach, Calif. The coming weekend is chockablock with activities and events for the vintage car enthusiast, but if there’s one event we anticipate more than any other, it’s the historics races at the famed Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.

#4 The Colorado Grand–The United States features a number of rally events that traverse stunning landscapes–Going to the Sun, the Copperstate 1000, and the Targa California come to mind–but this event, patterned after the Mille Miglia, has the strongest hold on our imagination. Perhaps it’s the idea of hearing the 12-cylinder of a 1959 Ferrari 59/60 scream through a red rock canyon, all the while knowing that this is the car in which Phil Hill set the fastest lap at Nurburgring in 1960, or perhaps it’s the knowledge that the event raises millions in charitable dollars annually for the communities through which it passes. Either way, we’ve got our hearts set on a ride through the Rockies.

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Otis Blank and David Marvier for Petrolicious

#3 Bonneville Speed Week–While not strictly a vintage car event, Speed Week makes the list for its participants sheer audacity in pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering–which they often do in a vintage car. The community that gathers at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah is also notable for its camaraderie and for its shared sense of one purpose and one purpose only: going faster than nature ever intended a human to go.

#2 The Mille Miglia–In 1927, a few wealthy young Italians–including a count–got together and drew up a 1000-mile open-road endurance race from Brescia to Rome and back. The race continued through 1957, when it was banned after a pair of fatal crashes. In 1977, however, the event was reborn as a a rally for vintage cars, in this case limited to pre-1957 vehicles that either participated in or attended original Mille Miglia races.

Photography by Afshin Behnia, Otis Blank and David Marvier for Petrolicious

and, finally… #1 The Goodwood Revival–Since 1968, this has been the Holy Land of vintage racing. Every September, crowds of spectators dressed in period garb descend on the historic Goodwood Circuit to watch racing legends like Sir Stirling Moss and Messrs. Bobby Rahal and Pete Brock go head-to-head in a race featuring the world’s rarest vintage cars. Meanwhile, overhead, vintage planes streak across the sky.

Image Sources: Life Magazine

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geelongvic
geelongvic

Absolutely agree with with the must see quality of the Classic Adelaide , the speed trials in the Adelaide Hills, and also Pittsburgh’s Shenley Park Vintage Grand Prix. Auto enthusiasm is everywhere in varying degrees just needing discovery.

Brompty
Brompty

I have a ticket for Goodwood this Sunday and managed to talk my youngest daughter and friend to accompany me. No dodgy uniforms, but I did buy a hat. I can’t wait.

David Mitchell
David Mitchell

Oops I did actually mean Classic Adelaide (not Classic Alfa 🙂 ).

David Mitchell
David Mitchell

I note that the listing is mostly American and/or showboat specific. If I may offer an alternative view albeit Australian specific, while I agree totally with the inclusion of the Goodwood revival I would actually make this the number 1 historic car racing/show event. After this it becomes debatable. There are a range of alternatives to the Mille Miglia, which is fine but largely aimed at the incredibly wealthy. The Tour de France is just as worthy of mention, and similarly the Carerra Pannamerica. Beyond this Targa Tasmania is also worthy of note, Classic Alfa, Targa West and Targa NZ… Read more »

Thomas Falkiner
Thomas Falkiner

[url=”http://s.petrolicious.com/2014/feature/07-jul/le-mans-classic-11.jpg”]Your text to link…[/url]

What?! No Classic Le Mans?

Stephan P
Stephan P

Vernasca Silver Flag

Paul Steel
Paul Steel

Goodwood is a nice event, it is as much about the show as the cars, something a bit different. Silverstone is ok, getting bigger but I don’t really like the venue. My favourite UK event is the Donnington historic, a more laid back atmosphere, a great track and venue, some great vantage points, you feel like your in the middle of the action at trackside and in the pits, a petrol heads delight. The other venue not to miss is Shelsley Walsh (hill climb), the oldest motor racing venue still operating in the UK, they hold regular events, vintage, classic… Read more »

uptheorg
uptheorg
Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Stupid comments in that link. Goodwood might not be perfect but it’s done more for classic cars than any other event in the UK. It’s not all the super rich either, the most popular race with the spectators is the saloon car St Mary’s trophy.

Keith Kenitzer
Keith Kenitzer

I would add the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix to the list. It is free to spectators and is the only vintage racing event in the United States that takes place on public streets in Shenley Park. I would add that it isn’t just a “vintage race” anymore, as it now is 2 full weeks of vintage car activities, and it benefits a great charity in the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School, contributing over $350K last year.

Julien
Julien

You forgot Le Mans Classic !!

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Absolutely a great event.

Classic Trader

The Mille Miglia in Italy is an awesome Event! The nicest [url=”http://www.classic-trader.com/us/cars”]Classic Cars[/url] and a beautiful landscape!

Kartik Kulkarni
Kartik Kulkarni

A not very conventional one.. but India’s “Karnataka Vintage & Classic Car Club” event was a rather good one too, with very interesting cars at display. Check out the link-

http://alfa-scudetto.weebly.com/blog/blast-from-the-past-part-i

claus basse
claus basse

Algarve Classic weekend Festival is as well very nice ,getting close to Goodwood Revival

David Greenbaum

What’s the story on that orange RSR? I’ve noticed it pictured here from an event before, would love to hear what it’s all about. Great car!

zamanfu
zamanfu

my jaw hit the floor when i saw that. perfect 911.

Jose
Jose

The photo is of a car on the Copperstate 1000.

Ian Miles
Ian Miles

My experience of the Revival: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ianmiles/sets/72157634157402522/
An event for everyone no matter whether you are fanatic about cars. If so you can get into the pits, hear, see and smell legendary cars. Seem them racing, breaking, being repaired, talk to the driver and mechanics. There is no snobbery even though some racing have cars racing worth millions of notes. Many opther attractions and reasons for going as well as static displays of vintage cars, the owners more than willing to talk and show people around the cars and bikes.

royce
royce

Targa Tasmania is one of the highest rated events.look it up

Giannis Kokkas

Le Mans Classic?

Jose Antonio Seco Moreno
Jose Antonio Seco Moreno

and La Carrera Panamericana, Chihuahua Express

TJ Martin
TJ Martin

RE; Colorado Grand : The Non – Concourso event in Lions Head /Vail alone is worth the effort of making it out for the Colorado Grand . No Snobs ( for the most part) Allowed . Get there early to hear and see the cars arrive and then stick around to watch/hear them leave … in anger I might add . Plan on spending some time watching the owners and their mechanics work on their cars as well .