concours-1940-bmwHilton Head Island’s marvelous motoring festival turns ten.

Vicki Head estimates that she’s owned about 117 cars in the 39 and 1/2 years she and her husband Bill Head have been married. That works out to about a new car every four months.


It makes sense though. The couple owns H&H Auto Service and H&H Auto Body on Hilton Head Island and automobiles are a way of life.


Vicki is a board member of this year’s Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance. She might be the first woman to hold that position but she is certainly no stranger to the premier car show. She and Bill have participated in various capacities as volunteers, exhibitors and sponsors since the beginning.

Now in its 10th year, the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’ Elegance will focus the design and engineering of German-made vehicles, in particular BMW. BMW is this year’s marquee sponsor.

The Heads will show a 1963 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE as part of the upcoming Car Club Jamboree, one of four events during the multi-day festival devoted to luxury, power and speed.

The entire event is expected to draw an estimated 15,000 people from across the country, according to Vice President of Operations Lindsey Harrell.

“It started as a fundraising event and it’s grown into its own thing,” she said. “We’ve grown nationally.concours-vicki-bill-head-mercedes This is a great thing for people living here to have in their own backyard.”

The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance earned the distinction of being one of the nation’s signature automobile events and was recently named to the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events” list, event organizers cite.

“This is a chance to see one-of-a-kind vehicles; vehicles that there’s maybe only one or two of or one of 20 in the world,” Harrell said. “It’s not what you see on the road today. These are museum-quality vehicles; they’re works of art and pieces of history.”

A part of that history will include a rare 1940 BMW 335 Cabriolet from Colorado, one of the last pre-World War II models in existence, according to those connected to the show.

On the Sunday before things revved up though, the BMW was safely parked in a garage at Bill Head’s auto business off Cardinal Road, transported earlier in the week after making an appearance at another car show in Atlanta.

The car’s front vertical grill and blue, white and black BMW emblem is unmistakable. Black with plush red leather interior, suicide doors and convertible top, this vehicle is valued around $200,000.

Only 400 were ever manufactured in Germany; with only 45 being the cabriolet model, according to Phil Capossela, the chairman of the board.

This particular vehicle was acquired by an American intelligence officer during World War II and was shipped to California.

“Today, there’s only eight left in the world,” he said. Capossela spent 30 years with BMW after retiring six years ago.

This special BMW be one of 150 vehicles on display on the last day of the event, Sunday, Nov. 6.

As the marquee sponsor, four categories of vehicles will be highlighted during this year’s event: BMW Pre World War II; BMW Post WWII; BMW Race Cars and BMW Motorcycles.

Fifteen of the best BMWs from the BMW Car Club of America will be shown the day before the Concours on Saturday, Nov. 5, during the Car Club Jamboree at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.

Tconcours-hall-fame-09-best-of-show-1933-rolls-royce-coupehe Heads will be there, along with vehicles from 16 car clubs from around the country. The Jamboree is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will pay special homage to German-made vehicles, to include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen.

“Half of the day will be dedicated to demonstrating the renowned engineering of Germany,” according to the event’s organizers.

Tickets for the Jamboree are $30 and can be bought on-site. Two-day ticket packages are also available for $50. Visit or call (843) 785-7469 for complete ticketing information


A trip down memory lane


“The Jamboree is a really fun day,” Vicki Head said. “When you go, it’s really like you have deja vu. These are the cars that you had your first kiss in or it’s the kind of car your grandparents drove. These are the cars that people are really passionate about and they’re the kind of cars that all of us can aspire to own or maybe did own at one time. You think, ‘I might be able to have that one day’ or ‘I wish I hadn’t given up that car.’”

Vicki can relate.

Even though lots of cars have come and gone from the Head’s garage, she still remembers her second and third cars.

“My husband was horrified to learn that I didn’t even own a car when we first met,” she said.

That quickly changed and before too long she was behind the wheel of a 1969 Chevy Camaro RS and then a 1969 Buick Cutlass.

“I wish I had that Camaro today. It didn’t have power steering, so I didn’t really like it. But then I got a ‘69 Cutlass, which I loved and I wish I had one of those today.”


The need for speed


Things shift into high gear on Friday, Oct. 28, the first day of the festival, across the state line with concours-1940-bmw-335the Savannah Speed Classic at the Grand Prize of America Track next to the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort & Spa on Hutchinson Island.

This event is for those who like speed and offers racing enthusiasts an opportunity to get “Up Close and Personal.”

A celebrity driver panel discussion is set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in the Vintage Indy race Tent located in the pit and will include NASCAR driver Boris Said, the 2011 Grand Marshal, Hurley Haywood, the 2010 Honorary Chairman, Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand. They’ll talk about the ins and outs of being in the fast lane.

If that’s not your speed, visitors can take “hot laps” with a professional drive at racing speeds around 1.965 mile circuit with 10 turns. Hot laps are $25 in a manufacturer vehicle and $75 in a racecar. Tickets can be purchased on-site at the event.

Or, if you’re the owner of a vehicle with some zip, take a touring lap for $20. Laps are offered each day at lunchtime.

Test drives are also available for free through the festivals’ automotive sponsors.


Real horsepower


Things slow down at the Motoring Midway’s “Life in the Whoa Lane” event. This exhibit features vehicles that actually depended on four-legged power and will showcase a variety of horse-drawn carriages.

Now jump forward to the future.

“The very newest in vehicle technology including power systems, fuel sources and instrumentation” will be a part of the “Road to the Future.”

Boats and vintage BMW motorcycles will be included in the Motoring Midway event on Nov. 5-6.

The exhibit will feature a 1923 Model BMW R32, BMW’s first motorcycle. This particular bike is the oldest known BMW vehicle in existence, organizers said.

The show wouldn’t be complete without a Hall of Fame and will include Best of Show and People’s Choice award recipients from previous years. Expect to see a 1933 Rolls Royce coupe.

“There really is something for everyone,” Harrell said. “This event really offers something special and different.”



Ticket prices vary depending on the day and event, but start at $20, and group rates are available. Children younger than 12 get in free and children ages 12 and older get in for $5 at the gate with a student ID. All military receive 50 percent off ticket prices at the gate with an active duty ID. A two-day pass is $50 and will allow spectators entrance on Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6.



The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance is a multi-day event from Friday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Nov. 6, with venues at both The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort on Hutchinson Island and the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head Island. To learn more, call (843) 785-SHOW (7469) or visit

Savannah Speed Classic

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 – Sunday, Oct.30

Where: The Grand Prize of America Track next to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa on Hutchinson Island, just across the state line.

Tickets: Tickets start at $20 for a one-day pass

Motoring Midway

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov.5-6

Where: The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, Hilton Head Island

Cost: Entry Included with ticket to Car Club Jamboree and Concours d’Elegance


Car Club Jamboree

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5

Where: The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, Hilton Head Island

Cost: $30 (Saturday only)


Concours d’Elegance

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6

Where: The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, Hilton Head Island

Cost: $35 (Sunday only)


Savannah Speed Classic (Hutchinson Island)

Parking ($5/car) will be available in the Grand Prize of America Track Infield.


Motoring Festival (Honey Horn)

On-Site Parking ($10/car) will be available at Honey Horn.

Off-Site Parking will be available at the Hilton Head Public School Complex at no charge with a complimentary shuttle.


A little bit about Honey Horn


The 68-acre historic Honey Horn property has a history dating back 300 years and is described as the last significant parcel of open space on Hilton Head Island.

The venue consists of salt marshes, open fields, stands of centuries-old live oak trees, the state’s largest Southern Red Cedar tree dated at 1595, and a collection of some of the oldest buildings that exist on Hilton Head Island.


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