Less Traveled

Page Ivey



Hot rods and roadsters meet on Hilton Head Island

Posted 11/3/2012 10:09:00 PM

Love at first car show …

I never would have thought that I would enjoy a car show, but the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival is more than engine power and testosterone.

Sure, every conceivable type of automobile from the 1930s till today is on display at the 2012 show that wraps up Sunday. There also are great wooden boats, motorcycles, local vendors, food and beverages.

But, for me, the greatest thing was the people.

Saturday’s event showcased vehicles from car clubs across the U.S., including muscle cars, British racing cars and hot rods. Every exhibitor had a wonderful story to tell about his car (and by and large, the exhibitors were men, occasionally accompanied by their wives.)

The stories of the cars vary from owner to owner. Don Smith from Bluffton bought his car from the Morgan Motor Co. 31 years ago, has kept it in great shape and frequently displays it at car shows. Bruce Wood bought his 1967 Mercedes Roadster off the scrap heap and had it completely restored over four years. He is in his second year of showing off his fire-engine red “chick-magnet” (that’s what his wife calls it).

While Saturday’s event showed off cars that people would recognize and remember, Sunday’s event offers visitors the really unique cars. The Concours D’Elegance is a parade showing off cars from the early 20th century competing for the title of best in show.

Tickets for Sunday’s event are $35; children younger than 12 get in free and student admission (with ID) is $5. Military personnel with active duty ID receive a 50 percent discount at the gate. Parking is $10 per car. Events start at 9 a.m. at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on the north end of Hilton Head Island.