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Hilton Head Island Gears up for Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival

Marie McAden Marie McAden
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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America's love affair with cars goes on full public display this fall at the 17th Annual Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival, a 10-day homage to the classics of the industry, from luxurious European grand touring autos to fast-and-fun roadsters.

Bigger and better than ever, this year's festival begins Oct. 26 with a vintage racing series in Savannah, Georgia, before moving on Nov. 3 and 4 to the scenic grounds of Port Royal Golf Club on Hilton Head Island. Along with rare antique vehicles, the festival will showcase beautifully restored aircraft, boats and motorcycles.

The main event, the Concours d'Elegance, takes place Nov. 4 along the first and 18th fairways of Port Royal Golf Club's Planter's Row Golf Course. Some 75 judges from across North America will select the winners in each of 38 classes. From that impressive group of autos, the judges will choose the 2018 Best of Show - the pinnacle honor of excellence.

One of the largest and fastest-growing automotive and motor sports enthusiast events in the country, the festival continues to draw an evermore impressive group of collectors to Hilton Head Island to enjoy the Lowcountry's relaxed atmosphere and warm hospitality. Attending for the first time this year are Peter and Merle Mullen, founders of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, boasting one of the finest collections of French cars in the world.

Their entries - the breathtaking 1937 Talbot-Lago T150-C-SS "Goutte D'Eau," 1938 Dubonnet Hispano-Suiza H6B "Xenia" and 1939 Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet - will be among nearly 100 collector cars displayed on Port Royal's short game practice area and driving range on both Nov. 3 and 4. The "Two Day Features" highlight the car collector hobby.

Included in the event is an exhibit titled "Life Along the Orient Express," showcasing the vehicles and European lifestyle of the luxury train's passengers, as well as some of the era's finest antique watercraft.

The spectacle of motoring luxury and pleasure will be complemented by several decadent culinary events, including a Satisfy Your Thirst After Party, Autoweek's Design Among the Stars Dinner, and Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala, the Nov. 2 kickoff to the Hilton Head Island festivities.

This year, two of the festival's biggest sponsors - BMW and Porsche - will receive special recognition as they celebrate three significant anniversaries of car production.

It was 50 years ago that BMW introduced the Model 2002, the "little BMW that changed everything," according to Scott Dishman, executive director of the BMW Car Club of America Foundation. The German automaker also marks the 40th year of the BMW M-1. Several of the anniversary models will be included in the Nov. 4 Concours d'Elegance competition.

In addition, the BMW Classic Car Club of America and the Sandlapper Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America will be bringing 20 cars to the festival's Car Club Showcase being presented Nov. 3 on Planter's Row Golf Course.

Porsche, celebrating its 70th year producing the iconic high-performance sports car, also will be represented in the Concours with an anniversary class specifically for the German automobile manufacturer. Additionally, a variety of models provided by Porsche Club of America-Coastal Empire Region will be among the 200 street-driven collector cars featured in the Club Car Showcase.

Don't miss the opportunity to swoon over your favorite car classics and enjoy Hilton Head Island's fabulous fall weather. For more information on the 2018 Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival or to purchase tickets, visit www.HHIConcours.com.

Marie McAden
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.