We seem to say it every year, but every year it’s true: it’s going to be another terrific 12 months for classic car enthusiasts.
We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to exciting classic car events, be they charming local get-togethers, national celebrations or world-class historic race meetings.
Picking the 2019 classic car events we’re most excited about hasn’t been easy, but we eventually settled on this list of 21. And if you don’t see the one you’re looking for here, you can always check out our full classic car events calendar.
So get out there and enjoy yourself! Just don’t forget to take your car along, too…
Bicester Heritage’s Sunday Scrambles
When: 6 January, 28 April, 6 October 2019
Where: Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire, UK
If you’ve not yet experienced a Scramble at Bicester Heritage, make it your New Year’s resolution to do so in 2019.
In just four years, these informal events have gone from coffee ’n’ cars affairs to essential gatherings of thousands of enthusiasts and varied vehicles.
Anything goes – you’re just as likely to come across a Lamborghini 400GT as you are a Peugeot 505 – and many of the Technical Site residents open up for more delights. Anyone is welcome to attend, whether in a classic car or not, and tickets are cheap: from just £5 if you are in a classic, £8 if you’re not.
When: 6-10 February 2019
Where: Paris, France
This Gallic extravaganza remains the indoor show against which all others are judged, thanks to the quality and quantity of superb displays. And let’s face it, a trip to Paris always beats a wet weekend in the Midlands.
Last year’s edition was brilliant, and 2019 looks like giving us a marriage made au paradis: France’s premier classic show plus Citroën’s 100th birthday! The French marque is the star of the show, and we expect a breathtaking central display to rival 2018’s Renault effort.
Other highlights include the Bédélia exhibition, which will feature 14 of the pre-war firm’s remaining 18 vehicles, and a feature on the Mini as it turns 60.
And, of course, there’s also the brilliant ‘Under €25,000 classics for sale’ area, which last year tempted us with bargain upon bargain.
Goodwood Members’ Meeting
When: 6-7 April 2019
Where: Goodwood Estate, West Sussex, UK
If the Goodwood Revival is all about the atmosphere and the Festival of Speed is about modern machines, then the Members’ Meeting is where historic racing really takes centre-stage.
Last year’s event was unlucky enough to take place just as the UK was besieged by the so-called Beast from the East, meaning snow and Arctic winds hampered the enjoyment a little for both spectators and drivers. Sensibly, the organisers have pushed this year’s running back a bit, and the 77th Members’ Meeting will now take place over the weekend of 6-7 April.
And what a weekend it promises to be. There’s a pair of all-new races in the form of The John Duff Trophy and The Betty Richmond Trophy, there’s the thrilling return of the Edwardians, plus NASCAR, M1 Procar and Le Mans Prototype high-speed demonstrations.
Tickets are for GRRC members only and you can join the Fellowship here for a yearly fee of £39; it offers plenty of other benefits, besides.
When: 10-14 April 2019
Where: Essen, Germany
You could be forgiven for thinking, ‘not another indoor car show’ and, yes, that’s exactly what this is – but a trip to Techno-Classica in the German city of Essen is never wasted.
As well as the manufacturer and club stands you might expect – and plenty that you might not expect, given that it’s a delightfully different range than you’ll see at a British show – the vast marketplace area is a treasure trove.
Whether you hope to leave the show having actually bought your next classic or not, it can be fascinating to simply wander around and see what rarities are on offer.
Donington Historic Festival
When: 3-5 May 2019
Where: Donington Park, Leicestershire, UK
Catch nine decades of racing in Leicestershire at the Donington Historic Festival on 3-5 May.
With close competition and open paddocks, there’s plenty to enjoy on and off track. What’s more, with the work being done to improve spectator access this winter, it’ll be easier than ever to get in.
The Jaguar Festival
When: 10-12 May 2019
Where: Heythrop Park/Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK
New for 2019 is the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club’s Jaguar Festival.
This three-day extravaganza in Oxfordshire on 10-12 May starts with a Silverstone Auctions sale at Heythrop Park Resort for British marques, with events there and at Blenheim Palace and a drive to Bicester Heritage, before culminating in Sunday’s headline event at Blenheim.
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este
When: 24-26 May 2019
Where: Villa Erba, Cernobbio, Italy
As backdrops to classic events go, you won’t get much better than the breathtaking shores of Italy’s Lake Como. Now 90 years old, this prestigious concours at Villa d’Este celebrates two- and four-wheeled classics.
If last year’s running order is repeated, the first day will be strictly reserved for the lucky entrants, with the remaining two open to the public: one featuring ’bikes and the other cars. And what cars they’re likely to be: everything from ’30s Bugattis to ’60s Ferraris.
When: 15-16 June 2019
Where: Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, Worcestershire, UK
Few events are blessed with a location as picture-perfect as Classic Nostalgia. And what’s more, Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire is absolutely steeped in motoring history, as this charming yet often awe-inspiring event will soon remind you.
Nor is it simply a static car show with demo runs: the drivers are going up the hill against the clock, and they really will be going flat-out.
The Brooklands Double Twelve
When: 15-16 June 2019
Where: Brooklands, Surrey, UK
Think of the Double Twelve as the essence of Brooklands condensed into one weekend and you won’t go far wrong: it features every type of motorsport associated with the historic venue and takes place on the anniversary of its first race in 1907.
Entrants can win an award by competing in two of the three main events – a speed trial, a driving test and a concours – and there’s also a separate hillclimb competition plus stalls, attractions and entertainment.
Bicester Heritage Super Scramble
When: 23 June 2019
Where: Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire, UK
This new addition to the classic car calendar promises all the fun and laid-back vibes of a usual Scramble, but with a little extra – specifically, track action.
There's not much information out there about it yet, but the Bicester Heritage website should have more details soon.
Festival of the Unexceptional
When: 20 July 2019
Where: Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire, UK
A cheap and very cheerful antidote to the more exclusive affairs taking place elsewhere this summer, the brilliant Festival of the Unexceptional swaps multi-million pound motors for those everyday heroes we used to drive but now rarely see on the road.
In short, don’t expect to see too many Ferraris: last year’s event was won by a 1977 Chrysler Alpine ahead of a Datsun Bluebird 1.6 GL saloon, with the People’s Choice award going to a 1982 Fiat Strada 65CL.
With a change of venue for 2019, expect the Hagerty-organised festival to move a further step towards mainstream acceptance this year.
When: 26-28 July 2019
Where: Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire, UK
Held between 26-28 July at the home of the British Grand Prix, in addition to the packed programme of world-class track action, expect huge (we mean it!) numbers of car clubs, plus trade stands and kids’ entertainment.
It’s a great opportunity to get close to a host of super historic racers and enjoy a fun family day out.
National Metro & Mini Show and Mini world record attempt
When: 3/4 August 2019
Where: British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire
The Metro & Mini Show itself is always great fun – as pretty much anything concerning Alec Issigonis’ diminutive marvel is – but the 2019 version promises to be something quite special.
With the Mini celebrating its 60th birthday in 2019, the organisers are gathering around 600 examples at the British Motor Museum the day before the show itself, and arranging them to spell out ‘Mini 60’ – and thus set a new Guinness world record. They’re keen for owners to get involved, so if you fancy that, head this way.
But of course, this is just one of many events throughout 2019 at the British Motor Museum – click here for the complete list.
Monterey Car Week
When: 9-18 August 2019
Where: Monterey/Pebble Beach/Carmel, California, USA
The world’s premier classic car festival takes place over nearly two weeks in several sun-kissed locations around the town of Monterey in California.
There’s a wealth of events, including big-ticket auctions hosted by RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Gooding & Co, quirky fare such as the Little Car Show and Concours d’Lemons and glitzy affairs including the Concorso Italiano and Pebble Beach Tour D’Elegance. It all peaks with the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance: probably the finest of all such classic car competitions.
When: 5-8 September 2019
Where: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, UK
Salon Privé is now firmly established as one of the UK’s best classic car shows, a position cemented in 2018 when it was chosen as one of the eight concours events eligible for the Peninsula Classic Awards.
The location doesn’t hurt: it takes place in the grounds of the stunning Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, a backdrop which can’t help but make the beautiful classics on display look even more breathtaking.
In addition to the concours itself, there are driving tours, exclusive hypercar debuts and enough luxury brands on offer that you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve accidentally wandered into a Harrods summer party.
The 2019 edition will feature a special tribute to Bentley, so expect plenty of Crewe’s finest on display.
Concours of Elegance
When: 6-8 September 2019
Where: Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, UK
After several years spent moving around various royal palaces, the Concours of Elegance settled into a five-year residency at Hampton Court Palace in 2017 – and swiftly proved that it’s the perfect backdrop for priceless classic cars.
Sixty of the rarest vehicles from around the world will take part in the concours – which, unusually, is voted for by the owners of the cars themselves. And with many of the classics also joining in on a two-day driving tour prior to the concours itself, there’ll be plenty of opportunities for visitors to cast their eyes over the machines on display.
When: 13-15 September 2019
Where: Goodwood Estate, West Sussex, UK
The highlight of the classic car year, in the UK at least, has to be the Goodwood Revival.
Why? Well partly because it offers three days of wheel-to-wheel racing in often priceless classics; last year’s Kinrara Trophy was reportedly the most expensive historic race ever to take place, with more than £100million worth of Ferraris, Jaguars and more competing.
But more than that, the Revival has always been about the whole feel of the thing. Everyone dresses up in fabulous period style, there’s a retro funfair, ’30s-era shops and evocative buildings everywhere… even the music is in keeping with the ethos.
Frankly, you’d have a wonderful time even if you didn’t watch a single race or didn’t even like cars. Although that said, the car park is so packed with delectable classics that it’s an attraction in itself!
The Warren Classic and Supercar Show
When: 22 September 2019
Where: The Warren Golf and Country Club, Essex, UK
The Warren is a well-established Essex-based show and concours which often draws a broad range of classics, making it well worth the trip.
Stars from the 2018 edition included a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Kellner and the Alvis TC 108G Graber Coupé that scooped the day’s top prize.
When: 5 October 2019
Where: Castle Combe, Wiltshire, UK
The Autumn Classic is an event that sometimes seems to fall off the classic car radar, but we think it deserves much praise.
A cracker of a day out, it takes place at the lovely Castle Combe in Wiltshire and mixes club stands and superb wheel-to-wheel racing with an access-all-areas paddock; it certainly packs a lot into a single day.
And tickets are already available for the 2019 event on 5 October – with early-bird discounts to further sweeten the deal.
London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
When: 3 November 2019
Where: various locations from Hyde Park to Brighton seafront
As the world’s oldest motoring event, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run should need no introduction.
The next running is on 3 November 2019 and we’re sure many participants will be hoping for the unseasonably mild conditions enjoyed at 2018’s running.
Whatever the weather, expect a spectacular range of pre-1905 vehicles and even if you’re not taking part, why not join the crowds and cheer on the cars as they tackle the famous route.
NEC Classic Motor Show
When: 8-10 November 2019
Where: NEC, Birmingham, UK
The UK’s biggest indoor classic car event is also one of the biggest and best anywhere in the world. We’re talking, of course, about the Classic Motor Show, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham and which offers a bewildering array of halls packed with beautiful classics.
There really is a huge amount to get stuck into, from literally hundreds of club stands to dealer displays, a vast trade area, and even a live stage featuring celebrities aplenty; no matter what point you’re at in your classic car ownership journey, there’ll be something for you.
What’s more, the Classic & Sports Car team will be out in force at the show and will reveal the winners of the C&SC Club Awards that same weekend. The 2018 version was superb, and we’re very much looking forward to doing it all over again.
The only downside? With a million square metres to cover, you’ll need to wear comfy shoes…
Images: Amy Shore Photography/Jakob Ebrey/James Mann/Tony Baker/Alastair Clements/Lizzie Pope/Chris Gage/Mark Constanduros/Greg MacLeman/Tim Scott/Fluid images/Dominic Hinde/Matt Ankers/Will Williams