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The Oldest Annual Car Festival In The U.S. Opens at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village Campus in Dearborn MI (Sept. 11-12, 2021)

September 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am - September 12, 2021 @ 5:00 pm

Old Car Festival Car Show

At the longest-running antique car show in America, since 1950, you will be immersed in the moving stories of the early automotive era, perfectly set in the place where the history of the American automobile not only is passionately preserved but also comes to life every day. From the turn of the century to the Great Depression, Old Car Festival in Greenfield Village offers a raucous ride of vehicles that epitomize the earnest optimism of the American Dream.

Generations of car owners share their passion with fans during this beloved tradition, showcasing an astounding array of restored vehicles in an authentic hometown setting that brings you right into a long-ago moment.

Wander through the Village and talk to owners about their treasured vehicles. The ongoing Pass-in-Review parade is a car lover’s dream, as electric, steam, and gas-powered engines are constantly in motion around you. Watch drivers engage in games of skill, see a Model T assembled in just minutes, or just sit back and enjoy our experts sharing “car talks” while historic vehicles cruise.

he Henry Ford Greenfield Village Car Show

At The Henry Ford Greenfield Village Car Show, you’ll discover America. The museum includes culture, inventions, people and can-do spirit

Ragtime America comes to life in the center of Greenfield Village with historically-inspired street food, music, dancing, and even a cakewalk. Plan to stay late Saturday evening for the Gaslight Parade of Cars, and dance along with popular music of the Ragtime era. Cap off the evening with a Dixieland-style parade and a fireworks finale.

There will be special events as well as open driving. All participants are expected to showcase their vehicle during the time Greenfield Village is open for Old Car Festival.


  • Saturday, September 11th, 2021 is the car show for vehicles dating 1919-1932
  • Sunday, September 12th, 2021 s the car show for vehicles dating 1896-1918 & Commercial Vehicles.
  • All awards and ribbons will be presented on Sunday at approximately 4:30pm.
  • Automotive Demonstrations, Car Games, A Gaslight Tour and a Concourse dElegance Type Car Show


Automotive Demonstrations – This Will take place on Walnut Grove. These activities are designed to give our guests an idea of what early motoring was like. There will be narrated demonstrations on side-curtains installation, different forms of early lighting such as acetylene and propane lamps, as well as electric and steam cars.

Car Games – Will also be held on Walnut Grove. The games really give you an opportunity to show off your vehicle and your driving skills. They allow our guests to see you and your car in action in a fun setting and help put the “festival” into the event. We have scheduled the games to make it easy for you to get involved.
All participants receive a ribbon for playing in the Car Games. You can participate as often as you like on either or both days, but you will receive only one ribbon.

Gaslight Tour – Beginning at 7:00pm as darkness falls, all are invited out into the streets of Greenfield Village for the Gaslight Tour. Whether it’s gas, kerosene, or early electric, all are welcome.


Popular Choice – Guests and vehicle owners cast their vote for their favorite vehicle by filling in the ballot using the participant number shown on the Dashcard displayed on your vehicle. One overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards will be presented on Sunday at approximately 4:30 pm.

Curator’s Choice – In the spirit of this museum-oriented approach to collecting and preserving our automotive culture, we present the “Curators Choice” award. This award will be presented to the car, truck, or motorcycle which, in the opinion of Henry Ford’s transportation conservation and curatorial staff, is the most original (unrestored) and in the finest state of preservation considering the age of the vehicle. This review has no bearing on whether a vehicle is accepted or denied participation in the event. Two Curator’s Choice awards will be presented on Sunday.

Antique Cars at Car Show

Judges examine the authenticity of the vehicle, the workmanship of all the restoration work before awarding prizes.

Vehicle Class Judging – Judging during Old Car Festival uses a 400-point system. The winners in the judging competitions are almost always “restored” vehicles. Professional museums that collect vehicles, however, prefer to collect un-restored vehicles. The ultimate standard for museum collecting would be a vehicle with all of its original, un-restored surfaces and components in “as-new” condition. Although the standard is seldom obtainable, vehicles that approach it are the best expression of the standard against which cars are judged is the way they appeared and functioned when sold new from the dealer to the original owner.

(See This Article For More Information: How Classic Cars Are Usually Judged (or How They Should Be)

They are also an expression of the “material culture” of the time in which they were created, and, hence, provide the best permanent documentation of that period. Therefore, such vehicles are much sought after by museum curators. Judges examine the authenticity of the vehicle, the workmanship of all the restoration work, and the quality of maintenance performed by the owner. Then, using a 400-point judging system, they determine a first, second, and third place winner in each of the eleven (11) judging classes. From these winners, one (1) Grand Champion is chosen on each day of the Festival.

Judging starts at 10:00 am and ends at approximately 2:00 pm each day. You, or an authorized representative, must be at your vehicle when it is being judged in order to assist with opening hoods, etc., and to answer any questions the judges may have about the vehicle.

Saturday, September 11th, 2021 is the car show for vehicles dating 1919-1932.
Sunday, September 12th, 2021 s the car show for vehicles dating 1896-1918 & Commercial Vehicles.

All awards and ribbons will be presented on Sunday at approximately 4:30pm. Presentation will take place at the Pass-in-Review stand. If you believe you are in the running for an award, please be at your vehicle at 4:00pm. 

Classic Antique Car Driving on the Road

Come Celebrate a Classic Gas Light Driving Tour Where All The Vehicle Headlamps Are Gas Or Kerosene Powered


There will be designated parking near the shuttle stops at each parking area nearest the shuttle for those with mobility challenges. The Participant Shuttle will drop off and pick up near Eagle Tavern. You may also enter and exit Greenfield Village in your historic vehicle at any time. The Eagle Tavern Lot is not available for
participant use.

Shuttle service will be available between the parking lot and Eagle Tavern. To return from the Village, pick up the shuttle near the Eagle Tavern. Wristbands must be worn on your wrist and cinched tight prior to entering Participant Shuttles and Greenfield Village.

  • Shuttle Hours: Schedule and information will be confirmed prior to the event. Check as the event gets closer.Friday – 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    Saturday – 7:00 am – 9:30 pm
    Sunday – 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Old Car Festival Car Show at Green Field Village Dearborn Michigan Hosted By The Henry Ford Museum


Henry Ford’s Green Field Village Campus and Museum
20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124

Contact Center: 313-982-6001
Contact Center Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

CONTACT INFORMATION: For additional information about event participation, please email [email protected].

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September 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am
September 12, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


The Henry Ford Museum
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Green Field Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd
Dearborn, MI 48124 United States
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