HERSHEY, PA - The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) conducts competitions all across the USA for its members, and in 2017 more than 3,500 cars, trucks and motorcycles were shown. The task of choosing just one of these to represent the best car in the club for the past year was daunting.
Two nominations from each AACA national show were brought forward by the national awards judging team from the 8 shows held in 2017, and thusly 16 cars and trucks arrived this year in Greensburg, PA, for the second year of this award competition. AACA’s Western PA Region hosted the 2018 Annual Grand National Meet, the most prestigious show of the year, and also hosted the Zenith competition in an indoor setting.
A team of AACA Senior Master Judges along with three guest judges spent a day evaluating all the vehicles. The three extra judges were brought into the mix to provide a greater spectrum of thought and included Mark Lizewskie, Executive Director of the Rolls-Royce Owner’s Club; Jeff Broadus of Grundy Insurance and former publisher of Car Collector magazine; and Graham Kozak, Autoweek magazine Features Editor.
After almost six hours of evaluation, the 1935 Packard 1204 Super 8 owned by Greg and Cheri Haack, Freeport, Illinois, was chosen as the recipient of the AACA Zenith Award and the Haack’s received a massive custom one-of-a-kind crystal trophy signifying their accomplishment. Greg began the restoration in 2008 along with his 87-year old friend! After 11,000 hours and some help with paint and chrome, the car was finished. The paint is very unique as it appears black, but it’s actually a great shade of dark purple. Many of the participants agreed with the choice and were congratulatory to the winners. The runner–up was a 1953 Nash Healey owned by Ed and Rita Koch from Flemington, NJ, which was also restored to the nth degree of correctness.
“Wow, was my first thought when I entered the building to see the Zenith cars. First to catch my eye was the obvious quality of the vehicles and then I noticed the variety of the vehicles we were to judge. A challenging task, but one that was thoroughly enjoyable. It was a very competitive group, but the winner was just one of those cars that spoke to you and surely would be top dog in any show,” stated Jeff Broadus.
AACA has a comprehensive awards program for its members with regional national competitions each year. Members vie for numerous awards and AACA annually has national awards recognizing the most outstanding vehicles of the year in a black-tie affair in Philadelphia every February. This new award augments the club’s offerings to its members and is bound to be a sought-after award each year.