If muscle cars and hot rods don't get your motor running, you can still have a good time at the Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance and Motoring Festival. The event, which spans more than a week's time, offers a variety of activities, food and entertainment for the whole family.
The ninth annual automotive festival will run from Friday through Nov. 7 at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa on Hutchinson Island and the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head.
"Whether you're a car person or not, it's definitely a lot of fun," said Lindsey Harrell, manager of business operations for the festival.
Aside from perusing more than 400 vehicles -- hot rods,high-end exotic cars, motorcycles, boats and even tractors -- festivalgoers can enjoy live music by Bob Masteller of The Jazz Corner, watch a presentation of colors by the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort color guard, witness a World War I-era bi-wing Jenny fly overhead or get a relaxing arm and hand massage.
Bring the kids along, too. The Sandbox will offer free children's activities, including a scavenger hunt and automotive-themed arts and crafts.
Additional activities will include parades, awards presentations, free walking tours of various car-related exhibits and a performance by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio.
Just because you don't see a drive-through doesn't mean there won't be plenty of food. Celebrations Catering & Events will offer a menu of quiche, crab cakes, salads, sandwiches, hot dogs and more. As a rule, alcohol and autos don't mix. But as long as you won't be getting behind the wheel, cruise by the Cartini Lounge. The winning cartini from the Ketel 1 Cartini Challenge will be sold at the vodka maker's lounge, and proceeds will go toward the charities of Concours. During the challenge held Sept. 17 through Oct. 17 the public was invited to try drinks from several area restaurants and then vote online for their favorite. Old Fort Pub's "0 to 60 mph" cartini was the winner.
DON'T FORGET THE CARS
But this is a car show, and you should try something on four wheels. At Concours, you can take a free ride in a new BMW, Mini, Porsche, Volvo or Jaguar. Depending on the manufacturer, you might even be able to get behind the wheel of one of these beauties.
If you'd rather race virtual cars than real ones, take a test drive of Porsche's Xbox 360 game "Forza Motorsport 3." See if you can beat the high score set by Concours honorary chairman and recently retired professional racecar driver Hurley Haywood. Cost is $5, and proceeds will go to Concours' charitable fund, Driving Young America.
You can even get a jump start on your holiday shopping. Vendors will sell everything from women's clothing and jewelry to vintage bags and automotive artwork at the Shoppes on the Midway on Nov. 6-7 in the Motoring Midway showfield at Honey Horn.
For car enthusiasts such as Nancy and Dennis Shields, Concours is a class act. The couple has been going to car shows since the early 1970s. Since moving to Hilton Head from "Motor City" Detroit in 2006, they have gone to the local car festival every year. Members of Corvettes of Hilton Head, the two volunteered at the event last year and will do the same this time around.
"I just really am grateful that they have it here on the island every year," Nancy said. "I think it's good for the island, for the economy and for car lovers."