The island’s most exciting automotive event is set to return with another year of non-stop fun and excitement for everyone from gearheads to those just looking to see and be seen. Since its humble beginnings as a simple car show to one of the premier events of its kind in the southeast, the Concours has continued to innovate with new additions, new directions and new events that celebrate the art of the automobile.
If you haven’t been out to the Concours, there’s never been a better year than this year. In addition to the many antique and vintage cars lining the greens and fairways at Port Royal Golf Club, this year’s event will encompass a whole week of events and activities. Such as:
The Savannah Speed Classic
One little-known fact about that big little city across the river, Savannah, is its unique role in automotive history. It was here, along the arrow-straight roads of historic downtown Savannah, that the first Grand Prix was held. These days those historic stretches are a little trickier to hold a race on; fortunately, Hutchinson Island is home to a fantastic track called The Grand Prize of America Race Track.
This track will host the Savannah Speed Classic Oct. 27-28, part of the Motoring Festival, with racers from all over taking to the asphalt of Savannah to vie for automotive glory. Spectators will get up close and personal to the race while enjoying fare from a few of Savannah’s famed food trucks. Want to get even closer? Packages are available that will let you get right into the pit.
The Art of the Automobile
Beyond the cars themselves, several events will shine the spotlight on the men and women behind the machines: the designers and those who race them and care for them.
The Vintage Auto Film Exhibition, Nov. 1, couples an intriguing selection of films centered around the automobile as well as static displays of cars from the Motoring Festival. Premiering at this year’s Vintage Auto Film Exhibition will be the short film, “Running with Pop,” centered on a Bluffton family and the vintage car that brought them together in memory of their departed patriarch.
Looking to get into the world of buying and selling classic cars? The SCM Insider’s Seminar, Nov. 3, brings together experts including Keith Martin, publisher of Sports Car Market magazine, as well as Ken Gross, Mark Hyman and Peter Mullin to discuss the current market for rare and valuable automobiles.
Design Among the Stars, Nov. 3 will let you mingle with some of the most celebrated automotive designers working today, including designers from Ford, Volvo and Buick, plus creative director of the “Cars” franchise Jay Ward. They’ll be discussing the art of the automobile and auctioning off custom drawings for charity during a fascinating evening at South Carolina Yacht Club.
Finally, Nov. 4 will see a select few luminaries from Ford, Volvo and Buick leading a panel discussion called Design Trends In The Automotive Industry which will examine the present state of the art and the future of automobiles.
Up In the Air
The art of the automobile goes hand in glove with the art of aeronautics, two industries that came of age together. The Motoring Festival celebrates this kinship with three events aimed squarely at the jet set.
First up, the Wings of Freedom Tour running Nov. 2-4. Take a trip through history in some of WWII’s most iconic aircraft, including the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and full dual control P-51 Mustang. They’ll be on the tarmac at Hilton Head Island Airport for tours, but true history buffs will want to sign up to take to the skies in special 30- and 60-minute aerial tours of the island in these historic machines.
For a more grounded look at the sophistication of the golden age of aviation, Nov. 2 offers up the Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala, where beautiful Concours cars, vintage aircraft and the latest breakthroughs in the aeronautic industry will share the spotlight during a red-carpet evening. Enjoy the finest cuisine Hilton Head Island has to offer, indulge in exquisite cocktails and tour some breathtaking works of industrial art. These same marvelous machines will be on display during the Aero Expo, Nov. 3., free with ticket to the Car Club Showcase.
Those Marvelous Machines
But of course, the true stars of the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance will be the cars themselves. On Saturday and Sunday you can wander Port Royal Golf Course and lose yourself in a sea of jaw-dropping vintage cars and shining classic muscle machines.
The Car Club Showcase, Nov. 3, embodies what sets the Hilton Head Island Concours apart from other Concours. By opening the event up to car clubs outside the usual array of antique automobiles, our island’s event provides a true showcase for some of the most fascinating cars in the world. Whether it’s classic Detroit muscle or elegant European luxury, if it turns heads you’re probably going to see it here.
It all culminates with the Concours d’Elegance, bringing together some of the most celebrated machines from car shows and Concours the world over. Nearly 75 judges will pore over more than 200 cars and motorcycles from around the country, looking to crown the best in show. Will it be a perfectly preserved early brass-and-wood horseless carriage? A swooping European style classic from the turn of the century? Or a roaring modern production car?
There’s only one way to find out – by being part of the island’s celebrated tradition, the Concours d’Elegance.