November 6, 2017 -- We’ve often heard visitors describe Hilton Head as their “Happy Place,” a vacation spot with beautiful scenery, a relaxing atmosphere, and lots of good food – all good reasons to pick Hilton Head for an annual getaway. But, there’s another reason that Hilton Head is a “must-go” place in the fall, particularly for those who are fans of classic cars. Now in its 16th year, The Hilton Head Motoring Festival (HHMF), which has become one of the most anticipated events on the Island, begins with the Savannah Speed Classic in Savannah, GA and culminates with the Car Club Showcase and the Concours d'Elegance on November 4 and 5 at the Port Royal Golf Club on Hilton Head Island. Here’s a look at the highlights from this fun-filled motoring week in the “Low Country.”
Cadillac, the featured marque of the 2017 Hilton Head Concours, was well represented by cars from the Brass Era through the fabulous models of the ’50s and ‘60s, including one of the most outstanding examples on the show field -- a 1934 Victoria Convertible Coupe. The Victoria, a one-of-a-kind special build V16, with a 154” wheel base, was recognized within GM as being a landmark in auto design, so it wasn’t surprising when this Caddy was crowned Best of Show. A second top honor, the Paul Dorring Founder’s Award, was presented to a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder, one of only ten special racing Ferraris and certainly the most valuable collector car in attendance. Rounding out the top three prizes, a 1953 Chevy 3100 Good Humor Ice Cream truck, won the People’s Choice Award. Although most of these trucks were destroyed after the Good Humor Company discontinued its mobile sales, this vehicle survived and was restored to its original condition. Another significant car on the show field, a 1910 Thomas 670 Flyabout, was a Best in Class winner. This meticulously restored grand touring automobile is an important piece of early American motoring history, with only a handful of these cars still in existence.
Held at the two-mile road course on Hutchinson Island, across the river from Savannah, it was three days of vintage car racing. Here, we saw hundreds of historical race cars proving they still had what it takes to capture the “need for speed.” These cars, which were divided into groups of similar styles - vintage sports cars, open wheel, and big bore cars - took to the track to relive their glory days and to showcase their competitive racing spirit. To see these colorful machines in a museum would be quite a treat, but having the opportunity to see them in motion, doing what they were designed to do, was truly special. The organizer of this event, HSR, holds events like this across the country to promote competitive races featuring historic sports cars, and to “celebrate the race cars from our past.” Here is a glimpse of the sights (and sounds) of this weekend's Speed Classic.