Classic American Car of the Year

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.

Classic American Magazine
American Car of the Year Winner 2019
American Car of the Year Winner 2019



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

1965 Chrysler 300L

Geoff and Jan Mitchell won at the Surrey Street Rodders’ Wheels Day show. One of Chrysler’s legendary ‘letter cars’, 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 this Thunderbird 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.

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.

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.

1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer
 The heat winner at Pre-’50 American Auto Club’s Rally of the Giants show at Blenheim Palace was John Miller's stunning 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer. With only 10 thousand miles on the clock, this Dodge is every bit the survivor car, with immaculate tri-colour paintwork and immaculate interior. 

1967 Buick Riviera
Nick Barnes from Enfield, Essex, was the winner at the Damn Yankees Summer Slam, held at North Weald. This California car has had a respray in the original Buick colour of Platinum Mist but retains a stunningly original and unmarked black vinyl interior with immaculate real wood trim.

1970 Challenger T/A
Gavin Shaw and son Ellis won the final heat with his 1970 Challenger T/A which features a 340 motor with a six-pack and four-speed manual transmission, it's believed to be 1 of 4 black four-speed T/As out of a total of 26 black T/As.