Classic Cars in the Empire State: Highlights of New York’s Car Museums, Clubs and Auctions (with Videos!)

New York’s Car Museums
Photo by Ivan Kuznetsov on

Renowned for its iconic landmarks, vibrant cultural scene, and bustling city life, New York has always been synonymous with excitement and diversity. However, beneath its surface-level glitz and glamour, it’s also famous for its rich automotive culture. Classic car enthusiasts will find a plethora of places in New York where they can see and experience vintage automobiles that evoke a sense of nostalgia and showcase automotive history. The Empire State has also quietly nurtured a flourishing market for classic car auctions. Whether you’re a passionate collector or simply an admirer of classic cars, in this article we’ll delve into some of the best places you should explore in New York including museums and clubs, as well as the captivating highlights of the city’s classic car auction scene.

Classic Cars In New York: Museums & Clubs

1. Classic Car Club Manhattan

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Classic Car Club is a haven for car enthusiasts. It offers a unique membership experience that allows you to access its impressive collection of classic and exotic cars. From legendary classics like the Porsche 911 and Ford Mustang to high-performance luxury vehicles like the Lamborghini Huracán, you’ll find a diverse range of iconic cars to admire and even take for a spin. Classic Car Club also organizes events and drives for members, providing an immersive classic car experience in the bustling city.

2. Saratoga Automobile Museum

Situated in Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Automobile Museum is a must-visit destination for classic car enthusiasts. The museum showcases a stunning collection of automobiles, including vintage racing cars, pre-war classics, and iconic muscle cars. It also hosts rotating exhibits that delve into different aspects of automotive history. In addition to the exhibits, the museum organizes car shows, rallies, and educational programs, making it an engaging and informative experience for visitors of all ages.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of the Museum:


3. The Hemmings Motor News Great Race

The Hemmings Motor News Great Race, an annual vintage car rally, showcases the beauty and history of classic automobiles while providing an exhilarating competition for participants. When the race makes its way through New York, it takes participants and spectators on a journey through the state’s picturesque landscapes and iconic landmarks. From the bustling streets of New York City to the serene beauty of the Finger Lakes region, the route in New York offers a diverse and captivating experience. 

Participants navigate through winding roads, small towns, and scenic highways, all while showcasing their driving skills and the enduring charm of their classic cars. Spectators line the streets, cheering on the competitors and immersing themselves in the nostalgia and excitement of the event. The route in New York encapsulates the rich automotive history of the state while providing an unforgettable experience for all who witness the Hemmings Motor News Great Race.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of the race:


4. Antique Car Club of America Museum

Just a short drive from New York City, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Antique Car Club of America (ACCA) Museum is a treasure trove for classic car enthusiasts. The museum houses a remarkable collection of automobiles spanning over a century of automotive history. From early steam-powered vehicles to elegant vintage cars and iconic American muscle cars, the exhibits showcase the evolution of the automobile. The ACCA Museum also hosts special events, car shows, and educational programs, making it a popular destination for classic car enthusiasts from New York and beyond.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of the Museum:


5. The New York International Auto Show

While not exclusively dedicated to classic cars, the New York International Auto Show is a grand automotive event that attracts car enthusiasts from around the world. Held annually at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, the show features an extensive display of new models from major automakers. However, the show also includes dedicated sections that showcase vintage and classic cars, providing an opportunity to see some of the most iconic and rare automobiles up close.

In addition to these specific destinations, classic car enthusiasts can often find classic car shows, rallies, and meetups taking place throughout New York. Keep an eye on local event listings and join classic car clubs and communities to stay connected and informed about upcoming gatherings. These events provide an excellent opportunity to mingle with fellow enthusiasts, chat with proud owners, and admire a stunning array of classic automobiles. 

But for those who are looking for more thrill, let’s dive into New York’s Classic Car auction experience… 

The New York Classic Car Auction Experience

New York has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the top travel destinations for classic vehicle auctions. Although the state has long been acknowledged for playing a vital role in holding auction events, in recent years its attractiveness has increased significantly, especially in the world of classic cars, vintage cars, and 90s cars.

At a classic car auction in New York, you’ll discover a wide range of vehicles to suit every preference and interest. From iconic sports cars and luxurious sedans to rugged off-roaders and captivating convertibles, there’s something to captivate every enthusiast. For many people, attending a classic car auction in New York is not just about purchasing a vintage vehicle for a very good price; it’s an immersive experience that blends the thrill of bidding with the joy of possibly arriving home with a unique or rare car. The atmosphere is electric as passionate bidders engage in friendly competition, vying for their desired cars. 

These gatherings unite individuals from diverse backgrounds who share a profound admiration for automobiles. Whether they are passionate collectors, seasoned enthusiasts, or newcomers to the classic car world, everyone discovers a welcoming space within this lively community. It is an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and share knowledge and bidding experiences.

The Modern Classics

In recent years, there has been an interesting shift in the car auction market. Cars from the 1990s, once considered relatively modern, are now rapidly gaining recognition as vintage classics. This shift has sparked a surge of interest among collectors and enthusiasts who are captivated by the nostalgia and charm associated with these vehicles.

Classic Cars in new york
A New York classic. Photo by Hanyang Zhang on

The appeal of the 1990s and early 2000s extends beyond mere furnishings and appliances; it has now infiltrated the realm of automobiles. Millennials and individuals from other age groups are increasingly drawn to what is commonly referred to as “dad cars.” These vehicles, once seen as ordinary family cars, have now acquired a distinct sense of coolness and uniqueness.

New York’s classic car auctions perfectly capture this evolving market trend. They offer a wide range of vintage vehicles from the 1990s and early 2000s, attracting enthusiasts and collectors who are eager to relive the nostalgia of their youth or acquire a piece of automotive history from a defining era. 

Online New York Auctions

Attending an auction in New York can be a costly endeavor. Known for its high cost of living, the Empire State presents financial challenges for auction-goers. Additionally, with numerous events taking place throughout the year, locating the exact car you desire can prove to be a daunting, time-consuming, and expensive task, particularly if you need to attend multiple events. 

To navigate these obstacles, utilizing an online marketplace to bid in an online auto auction in New York is a wise choice. These platforms provide convenient access to a wide range of auction events from the comfort of your computer. Some marketplaces even offer premium clients the option of car inspections before the auction. Hiring a professional is strongly advised if you want to make a purchase that is reliable. Paying a professional for the inspection may come at an additional cost, but it is a wise investment that guarantees the highest level of purchase integrity. Furthermore, these marketplaces offer transportation services, eliminating the need to travel to New York to pick up your purchased vehicle. 

Another advantage of online auctions is the more relaxed environment they provide compared to on-site auctions. While seasoned bidders may thrive under the pressure of on-site events, newcomers might find the intense atmosphere overwhelming, leading to unforeseen and excessive spending. By participating in online auctions, individuals can bid from a place of comfort and composure, avoiding the pitfalls of impulsive decision-making.

It is advisable to approach classic car auctions with caution and thorough research. Buyers should carefully inspect the vehicles, review their history, and set a budget before participating in the bidding process. Additionally, consulting with experts and auction professionals can provide valuable guidance throughout the buying journey.


Whether you’re exploring museums, attending car shows, participating in rallies, or looking for a classic car auction – New York offers a vibrant and diverse classic car scene. Immerse yourself in automotive history, admire the craftsmanship of vintage automobiles, and indulge in the nostalgia that classic cars evoke. The city’s dynamic energy and passion for all things automotive make it a fantastic destination for classic car enthusiasts to explore and experience the timeless beauty of these iconic vehicles.

The classic car auction scene in New York accurately reflects the dynamic nature of the automotive market. The classic auction car market has received a boost with the upsurge in popularity of vehicles from the 1990s and early 2000s. These cars now have a cool aura, which has drawn a wide variety of enthusiasts and collectors.

New York classic car auctions are the perfect place to interact, share your bidding experience, and, of course, if you can – purchase a vintage car. However, for those who are not residents of the city, exploring online auctions in New York offers a convenient and secure means of participating in multiple events.