The Classic American Car of the Year is a summer-long search for the best American classic car in the UK. From April to September, Classic American magazine attends classic car shows across the UK to find the ‘best of the best’ from across the pond.

Eight shows acts as a ‘heat’ of the Car of the Year competition, with a winning car is chosen from each event, with the winner recieving the 'Car of the Year' trophy, and an invitation into the grand final at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery.

Once at the Classic Motor Show the cars are judged by an independent panel that assesses each of the finalists to make their decision and choose who will be the overall champion.

The competition is fierce as the finalists span all forms of Americana, from the huge saloons of the 1930s to the later day cars of pure muscle.

Do you want your Classic American car to be in with a chance of winning? Then visit to see which shows will be hosting one of this year’s heats. Then contact the event organiser to register to enter into their ‘show and shine’ or equivalent to qualify.

You never know, maybe come November, your car will be in the Classic American final at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show and, you could be lifting the trophy on Sunday afternoon when the winner is announced. Good luck!

2019 Finalists

With the first four finalists being revealed, take a read of their fantastic stories that lead them to be in the running to be crowned the 2019 Classic American Car of the Year winner! The remaining finalists will soon be announced...

1965 Chrysler 300L

Stunning heatwave weather meant that this year’s Surrey Street Rodders’ Wheels Day show was inundated with display cars and members of the public. That meant a packed show field and quite a challenge to pick out a car for the inaugural heat of this year’s Kingstown Shipping & RH Insurance Car of the Year competition.

Fortunately Geoff and Jan Mitchell had brought along their stunning 1965 Chrysler 300L, one of Chrysler’s legendary ‘letter cars’ which was awarded the prize.

This California black plate car boasts power windows, leather interior and 360bhp 413 cu in Wedge V8 engine, making it the perfect epitome of a ‘gentleman’s muscle car’.

1962 Ford Thunderbird

Owner Kevin Moss bought the car in March 2017 and has done a lot of work to it since, including an interior retrim and getting the electric top (including all the original solenoids,) to work reliably which utilise much of the retractable technology pioneered on the ’56-’58 Skyliners.

The car was originally ordered new by an American serviceman in Germany and is nicely optioned with leather interior, power-windows and –seats, push-button radio and tinted glass.

Those Kelsey Hayes wheels were a $373 option, but were added later, as was the fibreglass tonneau. Power comes from Ford’s venerable 300bhp big block FE 390 motor, which is hooked up to a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission.

Grey T-bird

The first generation Thunderbirds are much loved around the world, and this particular one bears a very special place in the affections of its owner, as it is the same as a Dinky toy version he had when he was a little boy. Brian Forsdike was able to track down this superb example of his ‘dream’ car.

This stunning Gunmetal Grey T-bird features a 312 cu in V8 engine mated to a two-speed Ford-O-Matic auto transmission and boasts power-brakes and –steering, as well as the oh so attractive hardtop with porthole side windows. For ’57 Ford extended the Thunderbird, making it longer and altering the front grille styling. The spare was moved into the trunk and it was the final year for the Thunderbird as a two-seater; in the 1958 Model year it became a four-seater.

1958 Oldsmobile 98

The heat winner of round four of the Kingstown Shipping & RH Insurance Car of the Year competition at the Classic American Stars and Stripes weekend at Tatton Park was this stunningly gorgeous 1958 Oldsmobile 98 four-door hardtop, belonging to Steve Hughes from Conwy, Wales.

What makes this car unique is its totally original condition: It still wears its original paint which has worn through to primer in a few spots and its immaculate interior has survived down to the use of plastic covers throughout the car’s life. One rare option is carries is air conditioning, but it’s the car’s stunning original condition that really is what makes it special… like they say: “It’s only original once!”.

Join us at the show in November and be part of the celebration crowning the 2019 winner of the competition on Sunday 10th. Book your show tickets today!