Hilton Head Motoring Festival & Concours d' Elegance 2013

Hilton Head Motoring Festival & Concours d' Elegance
Hilton Head Motoring Festival & Concours d' Elegance car show
Starts: 11/02/2013
Ends: 2013-11-02
Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Images© and story by Geoff Wheatley, Contact Photographer For Information on Photos of this Event



Hilton Head Motoring Festival & Concours d' Elegance November 2013.

The HHI Festival took a page out of Amelia Island this year and changed its venue to one of the many excellent Golf Courses on the island. Set up was much the same, park your car and catch a coach to the event, however unlike Amelia where it takes an hour to park and enter, this event had its visitors at the venue in a matter of a few minutes. The principle attraction is the two days of display over the weekend although the motor racing arranged at the beginning of the week attracted large crowds. In total over 300 cars were on display throughout the weekend with Sunday being dedicated to truly beautiful classic vehicles. Production from 1906 through to the 1970's was on display and virtually every car was close to the magic 100 point evaluation. With so many cars to view it's impossible to cover more than a few in any detail.

I have been a judge at this event for several years, usually for British cars due to my background. This year in company with a colleague we were allocated rather a challenge. Eleven cars grouped together under the heading "English Marques Rare" and they certainly were different.

A 1954 Swallow Coach built DORETTI looking like it had just come off the showroom floor was our first challenge. A truly attractive car. The Swallow Doretti as it was known was only produced for two years...1954/55. Total production during this period was 276, all open sports cars. The British magazine "The Motor "road tested the car and reported top speed in excess of 100 MPH. Selling for around $3000 based on the then current rate of exchange it was an attractive buy however it is also recorded that the Jaguar Motor Company put pressure through the British Motor Association on the production of this car resulting in its short life span of only two years. It is easy to see that the car could be a direct challenge to the then new "XK Series". In company with another interesting British car of the same period, "The Bristol" the Doretti featured a tube chassis, developed from the British aircraft industry.

Like many of you I have seen examples of the MG Arnolt but never one featuring the body of Benita, the Rome, Italian, designer. Three such cars were produced in 1955 each one different in various ways. The example on display did not have bumpers front or back which gave the car a flat appearance especially from the front. As to be expected from an Italian Coach Work Company the interior was truly classic with nothing less than expensive, in every sense of the word. I was told later that the car was purchased off the field by some wealthy collector. The Price ? ..I have no idea but I know it was well out of my range of spare cash...

By any standards a totally luxury vehicle priced with overdrive at just over $5,000 that's 1955 dollars of course!

As indicated there was an excellent range and display of cars and a special section for beautiful wooden boats. I was impressed with the number of the "Honored Marque"... (Porsche, going back to 1951). If you were a Motor Cycle fan there were three groups on display from 1928 through to the 1980's. Everyone likes the "Brass Cars', including this scribe and I never cease to be amazed by the dedication that their owners have for these vehicles. They always look as if they had just come off the sales room floor and remember that several exhibits are over a century old.

Let me close with another exhibit called the "Gatsby Era". Featuring such cars as a 1928 Packard...1930 Stutz...1931 Pierce Arrow...1935 Duesenberg in company with other examples. The wealth of the few during this period was certainly illustrated by this display.

At the time of writing the attendance numbers are still being counted but I do know that the organizers ran out of entry tickets before the event closed.
Geoff Wheatley ©

'Best of Show' 1929 Stutz Supercharged Coupe. This car is the only remaining example of its kind still in existence. Richard and Irina Mitchell of Montgomery, Texas Owners.

'People's Choice' Police-equipped 1933 MG L1. Bill and Sarah Richey of Bowling Green, Ky. Owners

Hilton Head Concours 2013

MG L1 1933 'People's Choice Award' Police-equipped

Another British car that got considerable attention from both the crowd and the Judges was a 1933 MG.L.1 with original Police Plates. To complete the presentation the owner was dressed in an original 1930's British police uniform. The car originally was part of the Lancaster Police Force and in excellent condition. The MG.L.1 is certainly an interesting vehicle. One of the few MG's to feature a straight OHC six cylinder engine, however the capacity was only 1200 cc but the performance was still impressive. A successful competition car both in Europe and of course at Brook lands throughout the 1930's. (Cable breaks both front and rear.). Total production was 576 and a number were sold to various Police authorities as indicated by this example. A Coupe Version known as the "Magna" was also produced but was not a success, less than a 100 found owners.

Steyr 220 Glaser Roadster 1938 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Steyr 220 Glaser Roadster 1938

This car was a demonstrator for a Berlin dealer and has an 2.3LT, inline six with the optional dual carbs, dual exhaust, hi lift cam, and bigger valves. It is rated at about 85hp.

The 220 was introduced in 1937 and came in 4 different body styles including a roadster. The 220 series had approximatly 5,900 produced, but only 6 where cabriolets.

Delage D8-120 Aerodynamic Coupe 1937 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Delage D8-120 Aerodynamic Coupe 1937

Descriptive Poster For This Car - JPG file

click here Delage D8-120 Aerodynamic Coupe 1937 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Delage D8-120 Aerodynamic Coupe 1937

Buick 1911 Model 33  Hilton Head Concours 2013

Buick 1911 Model 33

Duesenburg Model J 1929 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Duesenburg Model J 1929

Aston Martin Le Mans 1932 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Aston Martin Le Mans 1932

Descriptive Poster For This Car - JPG file

click here Aston Martin Le Mans 1932 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Aston Martin Le Mans 1932

The 1932 Aston Martin Le Mann's was a very fine example of both the period and the breed. It is worth remembering that in the 1930's Aston Martin was a small operation totally unlike the products of the James Bond era that many people associate with the name. The Le Mann's was produced from 1932 through to 1934 and obviously was designed for a special type of customer. In total 130 were sold at a cost of 2,500 1932 dollars which was a considerable amount of money at that time. There was a choice of either two or four seats but I have to admit I have never seen a four seated version and certainly would not like to be one of the rear passengers! Engine; a 1.5 liter unit four cylinder with OHC, road tested in 1933 and achieved 85 MPH. There is no information on if that was with one or two people in the car. My concern had I been one of them was that the brakes were rod operated at the rear and cable at the front!

click here Jensen 541 de luxe  1956 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Jensen 541 de luxe 1956

Another car waiting for evaluation was a 1956 Jenson 541. We have all seen various examples of this marquee but I have never seen this model. Called the 541 because it was intended to be launched in the fall of 1954 but was not ready for the market until the following year when it was displayed at the London Earls Court Motor Show. Fiberglass body, with alloy doors. Power: an Austin four liter engine with three in line carburetors. (Would not like to tune those!) The car was designed so that you could lift the entire front section of the car exposing the complete engine and front steering etc. The same could be done with the rear section giving extensive trunk space. It was also the first British car to feature disc brakes both front and rear. Despite the size of the car it was lighter than its brother the Jenson Interceptor through the use of light weight materials. Recorded top performance was 115 MPH.

Jensen 541 de luxe  1956 Hilton Head Concours 2013

Jensen 541 de luxe 1956

As a Concour's Judge I am required to inspect the engine compartment, so I asked to see the unit. The owner, who was a good six feet tall and obviously a healthy sports individual, unlocked the holding brackets and proceeded to lift the engine cover. I am certainly glad it was him and not me, as even being fiberglass this cover was at least 300/400 pounds in weight! You will notice from the pictures that there is a cover where the radiator grill would usually be. This cover can be controlled from inside the car to provide quick warming on a cold winters morning and when the engine has reach the required level it can be adjusted. In later models this could be set to open automatically when the required engine heat was reached. Anyone who has experienced a cold, damp, winter morning in Britain will appreciate the usefulness of such an arrangement!

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