Classic Driver Magazine (edited by l'art et l'automobile)
With a new year comes a new opportunity to experience the very best classic car events in the world. It’s hard to choose our all-time favourite, especially when new ones keep popping up on the calendar every year, so here’s a list of our top 10 events we would be truly disappointed to miss in 2018…
Rétromobile, 7–11 February
Slightly frayed red carpets, yellow-tinted spotlights, and the heady aroma of strong coffee, oil, and polished lacquer — Rétromobile in Paris might not be as, how can we say it, polished as other major events on the calendar, but that’s so much of the season-opening classic car extravaganza’s charm. In addition to numerous events, over 500 exhibitors will proudly display their wares, from classic cars to restoration services to must-have collectibles.
With fewer passes available than any other Goodwood event, the Members’ Meeting has become more of an exclusive party for enthusiasts within the car world. For the historic racing fans, the event has plenty of competition, both on and off the track. With every attendee — from superstar to race driver to four-year-old — allocated to a house, everyone has the chance to win for their home team.
Tour Auto 2000 Optic, 23–28 April
Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, 11–13 May
It’s said that there’s no greater thrill (or challenge) in contemporary motorsport than tackling the Monaco Grand Prix circuit in a competition car — watching it from the balcony of the Fairmont Hotel is a close second. Traditionally held biennially and two weeks before the modern F1 Grand Prix at the same locale, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique sees the classic car world descend on the glamorous principality, at the invitation of the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), for some high-speed historic racing.
Mille Miglia, 16–19 May
Celebrating its 91st anniversary and 36th modern edition this year, the legendary Mille Miglia is perhaps the only race in the world that unites not only classic car collectors and enthusiasts but also communities, as villages and cities along the route turn out to cheer on the competitors. This year will see over 450 entrants gather together to prepare for an unforgettable four-day, 1,000-mile journey throughout the beautiful Italian landscape. It’s a true test of stamina and endurance for both man and machine.
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, 25–17 May
Once a year, the most beautiful and elegant classic automobiles assemble on the terrace of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on Lake Como. Sensual car bodies sparkle in the sun, Rivas rock gently on the waves, suave gentlemen and elegant ladies in light clothes stroll through the grounds — the Concorso d’Eleganza is, above all, a feast for the eyes. And yet, despite all La Grande Bellazza, it’s the eccentric stories and exalted tales that bounce around your head long after you’ve left the bubble of elegance.
Le Mans Classic, 6–8 July
Distinctly French in flavour, steeped in history, and a vicious assault on the senses, the Le Mans Classic is the most special event in the historic motorsport calendar. Taking place every two years, the anticipation and excitement for this year’s event has been building since the summer of 2016. With over 700 historic racing cars competing day and night on the historic Circuit de la Sarthe, the retrospective always exceeds expectations.
Monterey Classic Car Week, 20–26 August
Monterey Classic Car Week is a jam-packed event, with something fun and exciting occurring every day. Although usually held on the third week of August, the event has been moved back one week this year, as the United States Amateur Championship returns to Pebble Beach the week prior. As a result, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance will be held on 26 August and the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be moved to 23–26 August.
Goodwood Revival, 7–9 September
Now in its 21st year, most of us are seasoned veterans of the event and put on airs as if we know exactly what to expect, but every year, as we cross the grounds of the Goodwood Estate and enter the vintage fun fair that is the Revival, we’re always left in awe at the magic laid before us by Lord March and his team. From the vintage outfits and delectable food to the Spitfires flying overhead and, of course, the historic racing on track, the Goodwood Revival never disappoints.
Porsche Rennsport Reunion, 27–30 September
Every three years, Porsche holds the Rennsport Reunion, the world’s largest gathering of Porsche race cars, drivers, engineers, and designers. Hosted by Porsche Cars North America and comprised of four days of on-track competition and a concours d’elegance, even the most casual of Porsche fans won’t want to miss this event, held at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Photos: Rémi Dargegen, Peter Aylward, and Stefan Bogner for Classic Driver © 2017
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