Celebrating the Spirit of Competition

1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe named IHMA 2014 Car of the Year

The International Historic Motoring Awards, the Academy Awards of the antique, classic, and sporting automobile world, presented their 2014 “Car of the Year” honor to the 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe currently on display in the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. In addition to being the first American car to win the award, the Cobra Daytona Coupe is also the first American car nominated for this award.

The international Historic Motoring Awards, convened annually in London, award the “best” of a small group of categories, selected by a blue ribbon panel of 22 automotive connoisseurs from here and abroad.  Sponsored by leaders in the automotive community, five finalists from each category are chosen and the awards presented at the St.Pancras Renaissance hotel at a gala black-tie ceremony every November.  To achieve an award in any one of the 12 categories is a great honor, with particular attention to the top honors, “Museum of the Year”, analogous to the best movie, and “Car of the Year”, analogous to best actor.

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Dr. Simeone receives the Car of the Year award from David Lillywhite of Octane Magazine and Tiff Needell, host of the ceremony. (image © Octane Magazine)

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is the only organization to have been awarded “Museum of the Year” (2011), “Publication of the Year” (2012), and “Car of the Year” (2014).

In November, the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was the first automobile ever Inducted into the American National Historic Registry, and honor awarded in the past only to buildings, battleships, etc.  This car was the first American automobile to win the International Sports Car Championship.  In addition to helping America  prevail, the car set 23 records in 1965 at Bonneville for speed and endurance.  Hidden away for 30 years, it is the only one of the six Daytona coupes that is in original condition.  The combination of innovative design, outstanding racing history, and superb state of preservation attracted the National Park Service to make it the inaugural National Registry car.

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IHMA Car of the Year Award trophy. (image © Andrew Taylor)