In 1997, when Paul Doerring established "The Cars at The Creek" in Moss Creek Plantation it was a show concentrated on the use of the ‘motor’ in automobiles. Paul Doerring’s dream brought together a few hundred auto aficionados that came to display their vintage automobiles and view those restored and displayed by their fellow enthusiasts. The Cars at The Creek was the direct ancestor of Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance.
Twenty-one years later Doerring’s low key (by comparison) dream has expanded to last ten days and take place in two states.
In 2018, the entire festival will last from October 26 thru November 4, 2018 and will celebrate the colorful history of all motoring experiences from motorcycles to airplanes.
An unbelievably exciting event this year will take place in Savannah, Georgia, from October 26 - 28, 2018, THE SAVANNAH SPEED CLASSIC.
Taking place less than three quarters of an hour drive from the Port Royal Golf Club this event is not only exciting on its own, but it takes place in Savannah, Georgia, where the first United States Gran Prix was carried on.
A Historic Event
Over Thanksgiving weekend 1908, in Savannah, the first Grand Prix to be held outside of Europe took place through the streets of Savannah.
A 26.73-mile, 32-turn dirt course, for 15 laps, to be the site of the fastest race ever run. The $5,000 Grand Prize--Grand Prix--from the Automobile Club of America was a 25-pound, sterling silver trophy, enough to attract the best teams in the world.
Auto (Motor) racing was catching on through the western world and the U. S. was no exception. In the usual spirit of American competition, even in 1908, the Savannah Gran Prix was to be the greatest race ever held in the United States, some said the world
Twenty started, nine finished (all European makes--two Benzes, three Fiats, two Clement-Bayards, an Itala and a Renault). The race was won by Louis Wagner in his 12-liter Fiat. It took him six hours and 10 minutes to complete the course, at an average speed of 65.11 MPH, winning by 56 seconds over Victor Hémery in a Benz. Ralph DePalma clocked up a 69.8 MPH average fastest lap.
Fast Forward To Today
This year, at the Savannah Speed Classic segment of the Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance, the cars are the stars, and spectators are treated to a panoply of auto racing memories besides the Classic itself. Events are as educational as they are adrenaline-inducing, as fans are exposed to pieces of history at the track
Perhaps the best part is the open feeling experienced by spectators; unlike other series, fans can stroll through the paddock to view the cars and talk with the drivers. Often, racing legends are on hand driving cars they previously raced.
Below are the high-level events taking place in Savannah from October 26 to 28:
2018 SAVANNAH SPEED CLASSIC
- Qualifying Session
- Hot Laps
- Lunch/Track Touring
- Observe Driver’s Meeting
- International/American Challenge
- Corvette Corral Parade Laps
- Pre-Race Ceremonies:
- Savannah Mayor – Master Of Ceremonie
- National Anthem By Savannah Children’s Choir
- Grand Marshal Autograph Signing In Paddock
- Sprint Races
- Feature Race
- Classic RS Cup Race
- Enduro Challenge
- Savannah Speed Classic Awards
It is then time to move onto the core event on Hilton Head Island, SC for a wondrous four days of everyting motor; November 1 - 4, 2018.
The Festival has grown to such expansive and elegant features that details of each would carry this post to encyclopedic proportions, so I will simply enumerate some of the categories of events with an appropriate photo or other descriptive visualization that I hope will interest my readers and encourage them to come to Port Royal Golf Club and take in the experience for themselves:
"Rally Italia Sardegna" Wine Dinner Menu
Fennel encrusted swordfish, braised fennel, leeks, olive tapenade
Sella & Mosca La Cala Verrmentino De Sardegna
Pan seared diver scallops, jumbo red prawns, squid ink pasta, roasted pine nuts, romesco sauce
Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna
Seared duck breast, braised red cabbage, red currant gastrique
Sella & Mosca Tanca Farra Alghero
Chargrilled loin of Lamb, wilted spinach, porcini mushrooms, truffled jus
Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina
Vintage Auto Film Exhibition
Cars & Cigars
Wings of Freedom Tour
Car Club Showcase
For more information about the 10-day 2018 Hilton Head Island Concours D'Elegance, visit: http://www.hhiconcours.com