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Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance bring together art, autos and aviation

Park yourself at the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance when it returns to the Lowcountry on Oct. 27 through Nov. 5. 

Festivities at the 16th annual event kickoff with the Savannah Speed Classic on Oct. 27–29 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa before events move to Hilton Head Island. The week of racing and top-notch car collections that showcase the art of engineering are capped off at the Concours d’Elegance at Port Royal Golf Club on Nov. 5.

Making one of its first appearances, the Cirrus Vision Jet  will be on display at the Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala on Nov. 3 and the Aero Expo on Nov. 4. Cirrus Aircraft has displayed other aircrafts at past Concours events, but this will be the first time to show its one-of-a-kind personal jet.

The Vision Jet is the only FAA approved personal jet and is a remarkable design accomplishment, said Carolyn Vanagel, president of the festival.

“We are excited to welcome Cirrus again and honored to have their Vision Jet showcased at our airport,” she said. “It is a remarkable design accomplishment.”

Designed for personal transportation and to be flown by the owner, Vision Jet makes jet performance accessible to pilots and aircraft owners. It does not require a full-time professional pilot or an entire flight department. It is easier to fly, operate and own.


The theme of this year’s Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance is “Art Moves,” as a number of artistic elements will be woven into the events. Accomplished local artist Amiri Farris will be painting live at the Flights & Fancy Aeroport Gala, and automotive photographer Michael Furman’s work will be on display at the Port Royal Golf Club.

Then, of course, there are the cars – works of art all unto themselves. Honored Collector recipient Robert “Bob” S. Jepson Jr., will show four cars from the 1920s on Nov. 4-5. Jepson describes that time period as a decade when “top-of-the-line cars were beginning to be shaped by fashion.”



Three classes dedicated to Cadillac will compete during the Concours d’Elegance, held on the final day of the festival. The vehicles will showcase one of the most iconic American-made car brands and its many contributions to the automobile industry.

“Americans have had a love affair with Cadillac for generations,” Vanagel said. “The name is synonymous with success, luxury and prestige.”

The classes include Classics, Production 1949-1962 and Production 1963-1973. Highlights of Cadillacs on display will include:

The Cadillac Cyclone (1959): The Cyclone was never mass-produced. Designed by the legendary Harley Earl, it was heavily inspired by the aviation and rocket designs of the 1950s and will be displayed on Nov. 4-5 as part of the Pinnacle Collector exhibit honoring Ken Gross.

1908 Cadillac Model T Victoria Touring: The car selected as the centerfold for “The Cadillac Story,” by Angelo Van Bogart after its 18-year restoration. The tulip-bodied Victoria touring car received the Veterans Motor Car Club of America (VMCCA)  award for Best Pre-1912 Automobile in 2003. On display Nov. 5.

1934 Cadillac Victoria Convertible Coupe: The car is the centerfold of the book “GM: The first 75 years of Transportation Products.” Only 56 V-16 engines were produced in 1934. On display Nov. 5.

1955 Cadillac St. Moritz: An exact re-creation of a 1955 GM Motorama car that was a modified 1955 Eldorado, the car incorporates a unique interior with ermine fur, mouton carpets and unique door panels, and is finished in white pearl paint. On display Nov. 5.

The Peach State Cadillac & LaSalle Club: A range from its collection will be on display Nov. 4.