1908 Mitchell Model G wins 'Restoration of the Year'

All photos by West Peterson, AACA

Annual Zenith Award winner
announced at Hershey event

(April 25, 2024) HERSHEY, Pa. — The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) has selected a 1908 Mitchell Model G as its 2024 Zenith Award winner. The AACA Zenith Award is the ultimate recognition that’s bestowed by AACA for outstanding and critically authentic automotive restoration.

The 1908 Mitchell Model G is owned by Charles E. Allen of Rochester Hills, Mich. Charles’ father and grandfather purchased the Mitchell for $25 in 1939, when his father was only 14. The well-used Mitchell was serving as an attention-getter for Whiz automotive products in Camden, N.J., and was originally purchased by that company’s founder, Richard Milton Hollingshead.

Stored for the better part of the next 40 years, restoration began around 1980. Charles and his two sons did much of the car’s mechanical restoration, but Anderson Restorations in Kanawha, Iowa, handled the body and paint work, and final touches on the details.
Henry Mitchell and his Mitchell Wagon Company/Wisconsin Wheel Works of Racine, Wis., successfully built horse-drawn wagons and then bicycles starting in 1853. By 1902 Mitchell had produced 600 motorcycles, immediately becoming a bestselling motorcycle in the United States ... not to mention one of the fastest.

In 1903 the motorcycle business was sold, and the Mitchell Motor Car Company began building two different cars with powerplants based on the motorcycle engine. By 1907 only four-cylinder models were offered, with power transferred through a three-speed transmission with shaft-drive to the rear wheels.

A six-cylinder followed in 1910. Unfortunately, the 1910-1911 models had some teething problems and by 1913, the company had a $2.5 million shortfall in loans due to three years of slow sales and high repair costs. Mitchell Motor Cars was reorganized and went on to sell 10,000 cars per year in 1917 and 1919…and lasted through 1923. Nash bought Mitchell for its factory and produced the Ajax there.

This unparalleled AACA Award recognizes the very best automobile restoration for its overall quality, authenticity, and rarity. The 17 already award-winning antiques that competed for this year’s Zenith Award, held in April at the 2024 AACA Grand Nationals in Charlotte, N. C., were selected from each of the AACA National shows in 2023. Only one vehicle can be crowned “Restoration of the Year,” and this stunningly restored 1908 Mitchell Model G clearly earned the honor.
“Authenticity is of critical concern when it comes to annual Zenith Award recognition, as is craftsmanship and exacting attention to detail. The Zenith Award represents the best-of-the-best in the eyes of the Antique Automobile Club of America. But more importantly, the Zenith Awards evokes the true spirit of the complete AACA experience,” according to Tom Cox, former AACA President and the founder of the Zenith Award program.
Congratulations also goes to the runner-up, a 1930 Duesenberg owned by A. Ross Myers from Boyertown, Pa.
Founded in 1935, AACA is dedicated to the authentic antique automobile experience and recognizes any and all vehicles 25-years-old-or-older. It’s known as the most inclusive antique car club in the world. It honors cars, trucks and motorcycles produced in America and throughout the world. With more than 45,000 members, it is also one of the largest clubs of its kind.