The judging process is central to the prestige and integrity of the Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards. With the exception of the Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award, category nominations have been invited from all corners of the United Kingdom's historic motoring scene, in accordance with the relevant category guidelines.
The Awards are judged by a handpicked panel of independent experts consisting of some of the most highly regarded individuals in their respective fields, each with specific in-depth knowledge of their assigned categories, making a win one of the most sought-after accolades in the motoring world.
Each category has its own bespoke, specialist judging panel, headed by a Lead Judge who is an expert in that particular field. Each Lead Judge has appointed other members to its jury, ensuring each category is assessed rigorously by those best-qualified to do so. The eight Lead Judges are listed below, along with the Jury members.
Sarah Bennett-Baggs is the Lead Judge for the Personal Endeavour category.
Sarah has been fully submersed in the automotive and motorsport industry since 1995. An active historic motorsport competitor, Sarah publishes Auto Addicts, a bi-annual printed journal and online hub and is Editor of Historic Motorsport TV
Alastair Clements, Lead Judge for the Motoring Spectacle category, joined Classic & Sports Car magazine in 1999 as editorial assistant. A passionate enthusiast of cars of all ages, types and values, over the past 20+ years he has held just about every role on the title – as well as spells on Autocar, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome – and became Editor-in-Chief in 2017.
Steve Cropley, Lead Judge for the Outstanding Journalism category, has been testing and writing about cars for nearly 40 years, half of that time at Autocar. He joined the staff of Car magazine in 1978 and became editor in 1981. In 1989 he launched his own magazine, Buying Cars, which was bought two years later by Haymarket Media Group, where he has worked ever since.
The judging panel for the Restoration category will be led by David Lillywhite, Editorial Director of Magneto. A classic motoring journalist since 1992, he co-launched Octane magazine, and went to oversee Octane, Vantage, Enzo and Land Rover Monthly. In 2018 he started Hothouse Media, to publish the high-end quarterly Magneto, The Concours Year and the online Concours Virtual.
As a historic motorsport competitor and event organiser, Vanessa Marçais, Lead Judge for the Young Achiever category, has vast experience of being on both sides of the pit wall. She also sources and acquires sports, sports-racing and Grand Prix cars for private collectors, organises and runs the GT & Sports Car Cup and is a Curator for the Concours of Elegance.
Lizzie Pope, Classic & Sports Car's Associate Editor, geek, Mustang owner and rallyist, heads up the Innovation category. After almost a decade delighting in the three-pointed star at Mercedes Enthusiast, and a brief foray into the world of caravans, she's back in her classic-car happy place, when not buried in a map on a rally.
Lead Judge in the Collection category, Simon Taylor joined Autosport straight from university and was editor by age 23. As Publisher and then Managing Director of Haymarket Magazines he launched What Car?, Classic & Sports Car and F1 Racing. For 20 years he was BBC Radio's motor racing commentator before joining ITV's F1 commentary team.
Ian Titchmarsh, motor racing commentator and trustee of Silverstone Heritage has been involved in motorsport since 1963. The Lead Judge for the Competitive Event category was Principal Commentator at Silverstone from 1983 until 2015 and still commentates at most circuits in the UK.
Richard Barnett has been interested in cars since he was two years old and his entire working career has involved cars in one form or another, from selling motoring books to being a media spokesman for the SMMT. He has been Classic Car Weekly’s auctions’ editor for the past 12 years.
Peter has worked with RM Sotheby’s since the business launched in Europe in 2007. He previously worked for Caterham Cars, Ford and Peugeot and was a Road Test journalist for Autocar in the late 1990s. He comes from a family of classic car collectors, worked as a race instructor at Goodwood and is a keen historic motorsport competitor.
Danny Hopkins is a PPA award-winning journalist and award-winning magazine editor. He has edited Practical Classics magazine for 12 years. He has restored numerous classics himself, his most recent project being an 8 year revival of the Jensen Interceptor II originally owned by Sir Hugh Fraser. Before entering the world of classic car jo
Danny Hopkins is a PPA award-winning journalist and award-winning magazine editor. He has edited Practical Classics magazine for 12 years. He has restored numerous classics himself, his most recent project being an 8 year revival of the Jensen Interceptor II originally owned by Sir Hugh Fraser. Before entering the world of classic car journalism Danny was a professional actor and playwright with West End credits to his name.
Paul Lawrence is a motorsport journalist specialising in historic motorsport. He's equally at home on a rally stage or a race circuit and also covers hillclimbs and trials. With nearly 50 years' experience in the sport, Paul spends between 60 and 70 days a year at events.
James Page is a former editor of Classic & Sports Car magazine. A freelancer since 2017, he now contributes to the likes of Octane and ASTON, and edits the magazines of The International XK Club, The E-type Club and the Midland Automobile Club. He has authored three books for Porter Press International, with a fourth due to be released in early 2021.
Marcus Pye is well known in historic motor sport circles for his encyclopaedic knowledge. He has raced everything from pre-war leviathans to Historic Formula One and commented at race circuits all over Europe for many years.
Director of Research/Specialist for RM Sotheby’s, Michael Squire has an in-depth knowledge not only of the market but also of historic motorsport – he has raced and rallied – and of engineering for both classic and contemporary machines. He is also a regular participant in concours d’elegance.
Jeremy Vaughan became Head of Motoring for the Royal Automobile Club in 2017. He spent more than 25 years at Haymarket Media Group, where he published magazines such as Autosport, Classic & Sports Car, Autocar and F1 Racing. He has a passion for all things motoring and motorsport, having competed in historic rallying and even a round of the World Rally Championship in Australia.
Eddie Williams is Workshop Manager and 'resident Stig' at the Classic Motor Hub. An historic racer with the VSCC and at Goodwood, he can regularly be found campaiging his Austin Seven, Frazer Nash Supersports or any of the other cars he is often invited to drive.
Allan Winn, Director and CEO of Brooklands Museum 2003-15, has been driving and competing in old motorcars for 50 years and is currently rebuilding his 1929 3-Litre Bentley. He is a regular judge at Pebble Beach and other concours, a past Director of the VSCC and an active race marshal.