Memories on wheels: Colorful cars line Hilton Head golf course for annual show

As Saturday morning’s gray skies turned blue, the crowds of car show enthusiasts seemed to multiply around hundreds of colorful vehicles entered in the 18th annual Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival on Hilton Head Island.

The automobiles and motorcycles lined up along the course at the Port Royal Golf Club for the day’s Club Car Showcase were categorized by club — most falling under a particular brand, such as the Viper Owners Group or Corvettes of Hilton Head, but others by location, such as the Sun City Car Club.

While some owners kept fingerprints and wind-blown leaves at bay with soft, white cloths, one driver charmingly embraced his vehicle’s small imperfections.

A sign posted in front of a deep blue 1972 BMW 3.0 CS owned by Gary Beck of Duluth, Georgia, declared it to be “NOT a garage queen.”

A small blue bandage marked “OUCH!” graced a spot on the front where the hood scratched the body’s paint during installation. Another bandage marked “MIA” on the trunk indicated the spot where an insignia should have been. It was lost on the trip to Hilton Head, Beck said.

Were it not for the markers, though, it may have been difficult for passersby to notice anything amiss.

Gary Beck of Duluth, Georgia, sits behind the wheel of his 1972 BMW 3.0 CS at Saturday’s Car Club Showcase, part of the Concours d’Elegance on Hilton Head Island. Lisa Wilson lwilson@islandpacket.com

Beck, a retired photographer, says he next plans to drive the vehicle as he visits a string of national parks.

“I pack the cameras in the trunk and off I go,” he said.

For some attendees, seeing the cars affiliated with the Grand Strand British Car Club was like a walk down memory lane.

John Ormerod, of Monroe, Georgia, — “a Yorkshireman by birth” — and Martin Lippiett, who lives on Hilton Head, were reminiscing near Kathie and Richard Foltz’s 1962 Wolseley 1500.

Kathie Foltz of Myrtle Beach, center, chats with attendees next to the 1962 Wolseley 1500 she owns with her husband Richard at Saturday’s Car Club Showcase, part of the Concours d’Elegance on Hilton Head Island. Lisa Wilson lwilson@islandpacket.com

The Foltzes, of Myrtle Beach, recently purchased the car from a used car dealership as a joint anniversary gift.

Ormerod said his father owned a Wolseley after World War II. He also said he remembered Wolseley police cars going through his childhood village ringing a bell because they didn’t have sirens.

“It’s exciting to see something you haven’t seen for probably 50 years,” he said.

The Concours d’Elegance continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Port Royal Golf Club. Free parking is available at the Hilton Head Schools Complex, and shuttles run continuously to the event. Admission is $65 at the gate.

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Lisa Wilson is a reporter for The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette. The 25-year newsroom veteran has worked for papers in Louisiana and Mississippi and is happy to call the Lowcountry home.