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WHAT'S YOUR INTERNATIONAL HISTORIC CAR OF THE YEAR?  Voting is now open in the Car of the Year category in the International Historic Motoring Awards, in association with EFG International and Octane magazine. To have your say in what should be celebrated in 2012, visit the Car of the Year page on www.historicmotoringawards.com and cast your vote by the closing date of November 9th.

In 2011 the magnificent Porsche Type 64 Rekordwagen belonging to the Prototyp Museum in Hamburg scooped the award and, for 2012, six headline-making cars (or, in one, case, group of cars) have been selected as finalists. They are:

Birkin Bentley

Sir Henry 'Tim' Birkin's 1931 4 ½ Litre Supercharged Bentley set the Outer Circuit record of 137.96mph at Brooklands in 1932, a truly hair-raising feat. Following the death of its owner, legendary watchmaker George Daniels, the car was sold this year by Bonhams for £5 million; a world record for a British car.

Round door Rolls-Royce

The magnificently outrageous 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Jonckheere Coupé, known simply as the Round Door Rolls-Royce, must be one of the most dramatically-bodied cars of all time. Looked after by Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum, it was a star of the 2012 Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance.

The Swan car

Of all the over-the-top machinery at Pebble Beach this year, none was more outlandish than the 1910 Brooke Swan Car (and matching 'Cygnet') from the Louwman Museum in the Netherlands. It was commissioned by Calcutta eccentric Robert Nicholl 'Scotty' Matthewson – apparently he quite liked swans…

The Silver Arrows

The fabulous Silver Arrows pre-war racing cars from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union (now Audi) that dominated motor racing before WW2 were reunited at the 2012 Goodwood Revival Meeting, where they wowed the crowds with spine-tingling demonstration lap; their first time together for decades.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B

Beautifully understated and elegant, this Alfa Romeo is one of just six closed 2900Bs. It was exported to the USA in 1947 and won the first street race at Watkins Glen. It won Best of Show at Pebble Beach in 2008, the Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este in 2009, and Best of Show at the Windsor Castle Concours of Elegance in 2012.

1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

This car played a part in the birth of a nation. On August 14th 1947, loaned by its owner, HH The Nawab of Bahawalpur, it transported the founder of Pakistan, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and the last Viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten, to the Sindh Assembly Building in Karachi to formally announce the creation of Pakistan. The appearance of this car at the 2012 Kuwait Concours was the first time it had left Pakistan – a significant political and cultural achievement.

The winners of the International Historic Motoring Awards 2012 will be announced at a gala dinner hosted by Derek Bell in London on Thursday, 29th November at the splendid St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Tickets for what has already become a highlight of the international historic motoring calendar cost £180 per person and can be bought from www.historicmotoringawards.com.

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