The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance has been an event for 15 years, originating as a fundraising event for the Hilton Head Island Symphony Orchestra. Now heading into its 16th year, the event has expanded into multiple days and at multiple venues, raising funds for several local youth-oriented programs, including the Hilton Head Island Symphony Orchestra, as well as scholarships for students and educational programs focusing on the automotive industry.
Last year, we attended the Hilton Head Motoring Festival to understand the American Concours scene and to gain an understanding of what might catch the eye of the judges. This year, one of our own customers’ cars had been selected for the event so we were thrilled to see how the 1935 Riley Imp would stack up against competitors in its class – which were 3 MGs (a K2, a L2 Magna Factory Racer, and a PB Airline Coupe), and a Morgan Super MX4 Beetleback Three Wheeler.
The Saturday event was for the benefit of clubs and individual owners and Sunday was reserved for the Concours. The record-setting 500+ cars were lined up on the gorgeous grassy greens of the Port Royal Golf Club which looked pristine considering Hurricane Matthew had barreled through just over a month ago causing significant damage across the island.
The judging was more intense and formal than last year—evaluations were consistent across the board starting with a review of the car’s history, a walk-through and a few specific questions. We were happy to see such interest in our Riley, which looked stunning in its debut show!
The judges deliberated and the Imp was placed 2nd in class and awarded a Palmetto Award. After seeing the Riley go through a massive restoration, it was rather special seeing it drive over the award platform!
As expected, there were many impressive cars on display. The Best in Show award went to a 1914 Stutz Bearcat from North Carolina (below left). However, we thought the car of the show was the 1938 Darracq/Talbot Lago T-150-C (below right) – a stunningly designed car.
A few other class winners included a 1912 Abbott Detroit Roadster 44, a 1926 Pontiac 6640, 1954 MG TF, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette—there were too many incredible cars to list! The complete list of those awarded can be found on the Concours website.
We’d be remiss to leave out one of the most spectated events of the Concours – the unfortunate event of a 1938 Packard rolling back into the pond due to the parking brake not being on. Crowds swarmed as the car was pulled from the muddy pond – our hearts go out to the owner as we can only imagine the heartbreak of such an event happening to a beloved car. The car did win best-in-class before it took its fateful plunge, and we hope to see the car at the Concours in years to come.
Overall, the event was a success and we are proud to be a part of such a collection of special cars. We hope you enjoy some pictures of the event below.
The details for 2017 are already listed – and it’s sure to be a fantastic event. More details can be found here: http://www.hhiconcours.com/events/overview.html.