An account of Studebakers in competition at the Indianapolis 500 earned a Collectible Automobile® magazine author a gold medal and co-“Best-in-Category” honors from the third-annual Automotive Heritage Awards (AHA).
2020 Automotive Heritage Awards
“An Exacting Test: Studebakers at Indianapolis in the Thirties” by Richard Quinn won its gold medal in the “Best Heritage Motorsport Story” category by scoring a maximum 100 judging points. The piece from CA’s October 2019 issue recounted the efforts of factory-backed and privately entered Studebaker teams when the car-construction formula at the “Brickyard” was changed to include stock-based machines, starting in 1930. Judges cited Quinn’s “insightful appreciation” of the subject matter as a factor in the award.
The story scored high enough to share an additional best-in-category trophy. It marked the third straight year that a feature article from the bimonthly automotive-history magazine (a companion publication to Consumer Guide® Automotive) won AHA best-of-category honors, though previous winners were in the “Best Marque-Specific Story” category. It also was one of two CA stories to collect medals when the 2020 awards were announced on July 26. The other was a bronze in the “Best Heritage Personality Profile” group for “Zora Arkus-Duntov: Corvette’s Father Figure” by Gary Witzenburg. It ran in the February 2019 issue.
Quinn, an Illinois resident, was an AHA honoree for the first time. However, he has written about Studebakers for CA since 1996. Witzenburg, a veteran automotive journalist and Collectible Automobile® contributing editor from Michigan, has claimed numerous AHA awards (indeed, his story for another publication shared best-of-category honors with Quinn’s article), but this was his first for a piece written for CA.
Journalism entries for the 2020 competition needed to be printed, streamed, posted, or otherwise made public during 2019. They are judged on a fixed point scale, so there can be multiple medal winners at the gold, silver, and bronze levels, or none at all. The highest-scoring gold-medal works are further celebrated with the best-of-category trophy. Judging was conducted in nine categories. Also, a Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed on former racer, writer, and editor Jim McCraw; a panel of design professionals deemed the Honda Augmented Concept to be the 2020 Concept Car of the Year; and the National Automotive History Collection selected the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette for its Future Collectible Vehicle of the Year Award.
The awards were scheduled to be presented at the annual Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the event, AHA organizers announced the winners online from the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.
The AHA program is a function of the nonprofit Automotive Heritage Foundation. Collectible Automobile® has been published by Publications International, Ltd., of Morton Grove, Illinois, for more than 36 years.
The author served as a judge for the 2020 AHA competition.
2020 Automotive Heritage Awards