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.
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.
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.