Fact Checked

What Is a Classic Car Show?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

A classic car show is an exhibition of automobiles considered to be classics because of their histories, age, and other factors. The show usually features cars from a variety of categories, including hot rods, pick-up trucks, sports cars, and so on; the classic car show very often features awards for each category that recognize car restoration, best in show, and so on. In some cases, the car show may feature a performance event, in which vehicles may be driven or raced as an exhibition for fans attending the event.

It is not uncommon for a classic car show to be non-awarding, meaning participants attend simply to showcase their refurbished classic cars. Such events are largely social, though there may be a commercial aspect to these shows as well: local businesses may sponsor the events or even attend the shows to sell goods or services. Car owners may be advertising their own businesses by attending the show as well. In many cases, however, the classic car show simply allows car owners to showcase their cars and for fans to see cars they would not otherwise come in contact with.

A rusted classic car.
A rusted classic car.

Sometimes cities and towns will shut down city blocks to allow the show to be set up in the open. In other cases, the classic car show may be held indoors at a stadium or other large venue with enough space to showcase the cars. Shows that take place outdoors in cities are usually free admission, while indoor shows may charge an admission price to cover the overhead cost of renting a venue. If the classic car show features a performance exhibition in which vehicles will be driven or raced, the show will be held in a stadium or other controlled environment. The show may even be held as part of a much larger race or event, such as a NASCAR or other automobile race.

Classic car shows showcase all types of classic cars.
Classic car shows showcase all types of classic cars.

Some car shows are regional, while others may be national or international. Regardless of the type of show, it is likely that car owners will travel long distances to attend car shows to showcase their own cars and interact with other classic car owners. There may or may not be an admission fee for car owners; this usually depends on whether the car show is being judged and prizes are being awarded, or if the show is simply meant to be a public exhibition.

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Discussion Comments


Just from my experience, I've never been a big fan of cars. I've always found them to be quite boring, and to be honest, they've never interested me that much. However, on the other hand, it really shows that people have different opinions on many things, especially when it comes to something like cars, where the variety is absolutely huge. Some people might prefer older models, because they represent the classics, while others might prefer the newer models, because they believe it's time to move forward and not stay stuck in the past. Overall, it's all about personal taste.


In my opinion, once you attend a car show, you'll certainly learn a lot more about cars. While it's true that one might know how to repair one, and may know all the parts, there's a lot of variety at the show that many people aren't aware of, especially if they've never been to one.


I've been to a classic car show before. Even though I'm not a big fan of automobiles, it was still interesting in the sense that you get to see what people drove many years ago, and how far technology has come. On top of that, you can really see the limitations people had to work with, and how despite that, things turned out rather well. For example, compare the latest 2014 car to one that might have been built in the 1960's. They're practically worlds apart, but they're both a perfect fit for their time.

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    • A rusted classic car.
      By: Michele Ursino
      A rusted classic car.
    • Classic car shows showcase all types of classic cars.
      By: SNEHIT
      Classic car shows showcase all types of classic cars.