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THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD’S FAVORITE PARTY RETURNS

If there’s one thing that could be said for Hilton Head Island, it’s that we make everything just a little bit more fun. Take that big cocktail party we throw every April — you know, the one with the golf tournament? For pro golfers, that’s the most fun they’ll have on the tour all year.

It’s very much the same in the automotive world. The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival has quickly earned a reputation as the “fun” Concours event among automotive aficionados from coast to coast. Let Pebble Beach have its pomp and circumstance. Here on Hilton Head, Concours offers an enjoyable week of automotive excitement. 

A big part of what sets the Hilton Head Island Concours apart is the slate of events surrounding the weekend’s car shows — events that spread out across the Lowcountry. Down the coast to Savannah, inland to Bluffton and across the roads (and skies) that connect them all, these events serve as a love letter not only to the culture around the car, but the festive spirit of our area.

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The city of Savannah has the honor of kicking off Concours weekend, first with static displays at City Market and then along the tight curves and straightaways at Grand Prize of America Race Track, home to the Savannah Speed Classic. For an additional fee, you can even take your own car out for a hot lap.

This year’s Concours also rolls across the bridge into Bluffton for the Lowcountry Driving Tour that winds through the idyllic and historic streets of Old Town. Open to the public, this event gives everyone a chance to preview the majestic automobiles of this year’s Concours amid the small-town charm of Bluffton.

And that’s just the fun on the ground. Taking to the skies once again will be the Wings of Freedom Tour, offering chance to not only step inside vintage aircraft but to go for a ride for an aerial tour of the Lowcountry. It’s all part of the Flights & Fancy Aeorport Gala, a celebration of the oft-convergent arts of automotive and aeronautic design.

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And, of course, there are events that celebrate the culture of the automobile as much as the automobiles themselves. Culinary events — like Lucky Rooster’s Brown Water Dinner, held in conjunction with Catoctin Creek Distillery, and Michael Anthony’s Evening in Emilia-Romagna — toast the car’s sophistication, while special events like the Viper Heritage Seminar and Design Among the Stars salute the visionaries who bring these automobiles to life. And the Vintage Auto Film Exhibition basks in the high-octane excitement of the automobile, with this year’s event highlighting racing legend Hurley Haywood through a stirring documentary.

It all culminates in the weekend Concours: 200 cars from around the world will be on display at Port Royal Golf Club. Beyond the spectacular automobiles representing car clubs across the country, you’ll find eye-catching displays of historic motorcycles and boats, as well as unique automobiles you won’t find anywhere else. Try your hand at virtual reality car repair, hear the roar of a real race car engine, and exult in automotive culture at a place where pomp and circumstance never get in the way of a good time. 

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Lincoln Continental

Every year, the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival chooses one car to highlight as its honored marque. This year, that honor goes to the Lincoln Continental, an icon of American design and luxury. According to legend, the original design for the Continental was completed in just an hour by automotive designer Eugene T. “Bob” Gregorie, reworked from the designs for a Lincoln-Zephyr. Intended to be a one-off, the car took on a life of its own, creating a legacy that has endured.

IF YOU GO

For more information on the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival and ticket prices, go to www.hhiconcours.com

HERE IS THE FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR THE WEEK-LONG FESTIVAL:

OCT. 24
Pace Lap Party
5:30-7:30 p.m.
City Market, Savannah

OCT. 25
Speed Classic Qualifiers
8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa

OCT. 26 & 27
Savannah Speed Classic
8 a.m.-6 p.m. (26th) 
9 a.m.-3 p.m. (27th)
The Westin Savannah Harbor

OCT. 29
Brown Water Dinner
7-10 p.m.
Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar

OCT. 31
Vintage Auto Film Exhibition
6-10 p.m. 
Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

An Evening in Emilia-Romagna
6:30 p.m.
Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana

NOV. 1
Concours d’Elegance Preview
9-11 a.m.
Dubois Park, Old Town Bluffton

Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala
7-10 p.m.
Hilton Head Island Airport General Aviation

NOV. 1-3
Wings of Freedom Tour
2-4 p.m. (1st)
10 a.m.-4 p.m. (2nd & 3rd)
Hilton Head Island Airport General Aviation

NOV. 2
Car Club Showcase
9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Port Royal Golf Club

Aero Expo
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Hilton Head Island Airport General Aviation

Viper Heritage Seminar
1:45-2:34 p.m.
Port Royal Golf Club

Satisfy Your Thirst After Party
4-6 p.m.
Port Royal Golf Club

Design Among the Stars
6:30 p.m.
Harbour Town Clubhouse

NOV. 2-3
Two-Day Features
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Port Royal Golf Club

NOV. 3
Concours d’Elegance
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Port Royal Golf Club