In the driver's seat



Photo: Carolyn Vanagel (left) is passing the baton to Lindsey Harrell, who will take over as president of the Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance & Motoring Festival. 

In just a short while, elegant cars, boats and motorcycles will make their way to the Lowcountry for the annual Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival. It’s a bittersweet moment for me, because this will be my last year as Concours president after 16 years behind the wheel. 

When I was first asked to take on the “part-time” position by two of Concours’ original founders, Paul Doerring and Jim Hopkins, I was excited to build something that could have a significant impact on Hilton Head and, ultimately, the state of South Carolina. Thanks to the founders’ commitment to excellence, we were able to reach beyond automotive enthusiasts to also attract lifestyle travelers looking to experience a world-class event while enjoying the amenities of Hilton Head. 

With the help of an amazing board of directors, a committed staff and a cadre of volunteers, the two-day festival grew to 10 days of activities including vintage racing, a car club showcase, an aviation extravaganza, and one of the top three Concours d’Elegance displays in the country. 

Visitors flock from all over to see exhibits and to attend vintage auto film screenings and elegant dinners. I know that the event will reach even greater heights under the careful command of Lindsey Harrell, my dedicated vice president of operations. 

What will Concours look like under Lindsey’s leadership? She says it best: “The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival will always strive to give you something new and different to see and experience. We will always offer a number of jaw-dropping moments.” 

I look forward to experiencing those jaw-dropping moments. Good luck to the new team, and thanks to this great community. Please come join us this fall — you will not be disappointed.