Event Coverage: Hagley Classic Car Show

Event Coverage: Hagley Classic Car Show

by David Zipf

Fun fact: The DuPont company is based in Delaware.  In fact if you travel the Wilmington/Greenville/Hockessin area, the landscape is dotted with past and present DuPont family households.  The past DuPont estates are amazing: Beautiful tracts of East Appalachian land dotted with 150+ year old buildings.  Many of the original 1800s estates have been turned into public museums to help preserve the history of the DuPonts.  One of Delaware’s crowning jewels is Hagley Museum which is one such former estate: In its previous life, Hagley was the first powder mill founded in Delaware by E.I. DuPont in 1802.  The original buildings still exist today, water powered mills and machines that 210 years later still function (side note, their 19th century machine shop is SUPER cool).

Beginning in 1996, Hagley has hosted the largest classic car show in Delaware on their grounds.  Every September 600 cars show up to Hagley and are put on display.  The only rule is all vehicles must be at least 25 years old.  Some amazing automotive history turns up every year and we were able to snap some pictures of the event.


600 is a lot of cars.  This is only a portion of the main field.  Every era of automobile is represented from the F-250 in the foreground to the Stanley Steamer tucked way in the back of the shot.  

I personally have attended every Hagley show, since I was 6 years old.  My Dad has always brought out his 1953 Morgan +4.  One of the best parts of the show is just driving in.


Under the trees and running next to the Brandywine River, following a trail of beautiful old classics.  Few things can make Sunday at 8AM this good.
Unfortunately this morning wasn’t our typical Hagley.  The Mog came over all British and shut down halfway into the drive.  A friendly Austin Healy driver pulled over and offered assistance (trying to build up some automotive karma before he inevitably broke down as well).  The source of the problem was traced to the ignition switch.  One hot wire later and we were back on our way.
Parked in the row of Brits…time to get walking!  On the left is a Sunbeam Alpine, the original James Bond car from Dr. No.  Fans of Top Gear will recognize the black Triumph Herald as the car James May turned into a sailboat.  And on the far right is the Austin Healey 3000 that helped us on the way in. 

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