Hilton Head Concours d’Elegance Brings the ‘Burbs to the Beach

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For seven years, the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours D’Elegance has featured a “Life” exhibit that honors a facet of American automotive culture. This year, it’s “Life in the Suburbs,” showcasing the cars, trucks, bicycles and scooters that allowed Americans to experience life outside the city.

This is the 14th annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, a seven-day transportation extravaganza on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. The Concours d’Elegance takes place on November 1, 2015, with events beforehand including the Savannah Speed Classic on Oct. 23 to 25, the Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala Oct. 30,  a new Hilton Head Island Auction by Auctions America on Oct. 31, and the Aero Expo on Oct. 31, featuring an array of vintage and new aircraft.

1947 Ford COE Truck

The items on display present a cross-section of the vehicles that suburban families would drive or ride, along with the many cars and trucks that provided services to a growing neighborhood. Vehicles include:

  • Hot rods and family vehicles, including a 1932 Ford 3-window DeLuxe Coupe (hot rodded in the 1950s), 1949 Plymouth Special DeLuxe “Woodie,” 1950 Ford Business Coupe and 1966 Volkswagen 21-Window Sunroof Deluxe Bus
  • Utility and light work vehicles, including a 1946 Willys CJ-2A and 1947 Cushman 3-wheeler Ice Cream Scooter
  • Delivery and promotional vehicles, including a 1947 Ford COE Truck and 1948 DIVCO Milk Truck
  • Bicycles and motor scooters, including a 1936 Dayton Safety Streamline, 1947 Schwinn WZ, 1950 Maico Mobil, 1951 Schwinn Red Phantom, 1965 Mustang Stallion Motor Scooter, 1966 Honda Dream and 1966 Vespa 150 Sport With Sidecar
  • Emergency vehicles, including a 1964 Dodge 330/Police Car

The “Life in the Suburbs” showcase is presented by GMC this year, and includes two vehicles culled from the GM Heritage Collection: a 1945 GMC Sinclair Tanker, and a 1951 GMC Canopy Express.

1945 GMC Tanker Truck 15065387

Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports will display a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster Sedan Delivery.

Donnie Gould, president of Auctions America, will feature a 1947 Crosley Ice Cream Truck.

1947 Crosley Ice Cream Truck

“This year’s ‘Life’ exhibit provides a look into American automotive culture of the late 40s, 50s, and early 60s, when a new generation of automotive-based service businesses sprang up, such as delivery service vehicles, drive-throughs and drive-ins,” said Phil Capossela, chairman emeritus for the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and “Life” exhibit curator. “It’s exhibits like these that truly set us apart from other Concours events across the country.”

1966 Honda Dream


“As a celebration of the automobile through the decades, the ‘Life’ exhibit holds true to the Festival’s mission statement of ‘entertaining and educating the community,’” said Carolyn Vanagel, president of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance. “We are particularly excited about this year, as it will be GMC’s first time participating as a sponsor as well as showcasing vehicles from the impressive GM North American Heritage Collection.”


Along with “Life in the Suburbs,” the Festival features two-day exhibits on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. A choice selection of motoring marine craft sponsored by Barrier Island Marine aligns with Hilton Head’s boating heritage, and a collection of motorcycles on display all competed in The Cannonball, a cross-country antique motorcycle race that celebrates the achievements of Erwin “Cannonball” Baker. Finally, a special anniversary collection of Porsche Turbos is on display, provided by Porsche collector Tim Lingerfelt.


Tickets for the 2015 Motoring Festival are now on sale at at the event’s website.

For more information, visit the official Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance website. 

Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald

Writer, editor, lousy guitar player, dad. Content Marketing and Publication Manager at BestRide.com.