October’s MVP: Rosemary Kimball

A Concours d’Elegance icon.

October’s MVP: Rosemary Kimball - A Concours d’Elegance icon

If you attended the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival in 2007, you’ll certainly remember Rosemary Kimball. She was wearing a 30s-era dress, hat and fascinating vintage fox stole. Although it will be difficult to top that outfit, Kimball will definitely wear something fabulous from one of the historic automotive eras celebrated at the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, November 2, when more than 150 vintage vehicles compete for Best of Show. But Kimball is more than a fashionable addition to the Concours – arguably an integral centerpiece of the weekend; she’s responsible for why the event’s coveted awards are as artistic as they are prestigious.

Kimball has been a valuable player on the Concours team since George Sztybel and Bob Rada began the regional event seven years ago, and needed someone to handle the awards. Kimball’s love for the arts is evident in her selection of awards. The Lighthouse Awards, presented to category winners, are crystal cubes etched with an image of an auto in the category. The Best in Show Award is a beauty, a lalique eagle head on a burled wood base created by local craftsman, John Diamond. The People’s Choice Award, a sculpture by artist Dave Musial, depicts a little boy sitting on an orange crate and holding a steering wheel.

“There are Concours’ all over the country, but no one else has awards like ours for the Best Dressed Man, Best Dressed Woman, and Best Dressed Couple,” Kimball said. “Doris Shay’s lovely watercolors are fitting tributes to their style.”

Kimball presents the 2007 People’s Choice Award to Mr. and Mrs. Lingerfelt, of Davidson, NC, whose Scarab wowed even the most critical spectators.Kimball moved to Hilton Head Island 14 years ago. Her husband, Frank, had been in the US Foreign Service, so she and their five children moved with him around the world. After living in Honduras, South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, they were thrilled with their traditional neighborhood in Sea Pines, and have been there ever since.

She began her participation in local organizations by joining the Art League of Hilton Head, where she made many friends and deepened her interest in the arts. She is also the volunteer coordinator for the 2009 Heart Ball and serves on the board of the Sea Pines Gardening Club.

In fact, Kimball maintains a 35-bush rose garden in the Sea Pines Community Garden, where she leaves vegetable growing to Frank.

In years past, Kimball was also the coordinator for the Concours fashion shows, which were popular events at the festival. And, although the fashion show is not a part of this year’s four-day festivities, Kimball is certain to be a stylish presence at the Concours d’Elegance, enhancing the celebration of the automobiles, styles and romance of a bygone era. For more info visit hhiconcours.com or call (843) 785-SHOW (7469).