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Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance

By Lance Cpl. Elyssa Quesada | | November 7, 2008

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The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival was held Oct. 30 - Nov. 2 at Honey Horn on Hilton Head Island.
The slogan - Concours d’Elegance - is a French phrase meaning Parade of Elegance. The event originated in Paris in the early 1900s.
The seventh anniversary of the event on Hilton Head Island, which is one of the nation’s signature automobile events held celebrated the history of the automobile with Brass Era cars as the honored marque of the event. 
The four-day event featured the Hilton Head Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by Worldwide Auctioneers, historic automobile race exhibitions and the Club Car Jamboree.
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Color Guard marked the start of Saturday morning’s events.
“Being able to perform at non-military events is a great experience,” said Cpl. Edward Phillips, an H&HS Color Guard rifleman. “People we don’t know come up to us and tell us how much they appreciate everything we do.”
The event featured everything from vintage motorcycles, Italian sports cars, muscle cars and luxury cars.
Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 also showcased a static display, explaining and demonstrating what a seven-ton truck and humvee can do in a war time environment.
“I wanted to point out the wonderful job that these four Marines did in enlightening the public about the vechicles they brought down with them as well as answering the hundreds of questions the public had about their lives as a Marine,” said Grant Evans, president and founder of a program called Operation R&R.
“Being able to represent the Marine Corps at events like this is the greatest honor,” Phillips said.
Other celebrations throughout the event included the 60th Anniversary of Porsche and the 100th Anniversary of the American Grand Prize.
The event exhibited the collections of custom coachwork on new automobiles by European couture houses. Such events were stopped during World War II, but resumed afterward in Europe. 
The Concours made its American debut in 1950 at Pebble Beach, Calif.  Today there are several dozen shows that have adopted the Concours name, but only a handful can be considered elite.
During the Sunday Concours d’Elegance, the brass classes traced the beginnings of the automobile by featuring at least one car from each year between 1899 and 1915. 
Many exhibitors consider the Hilton Head Concours to be one of the top four Concours in the nation, according to Abshire Public Relations.
In 2007, the Concours established its Driving Young America charitable fund dedicated to supporting, inspiring and helping educate youth in the Lowcountry, who have an interest in the automobile and career opportunities.
In addition, the Concours encourages economic development within the Lowcountry.
Concours also partners with neighboring charities to promote the automotive industry as a career path for local youth with programs such as the Boys & Girls Club’s Driving for Success, according to Abshire Public Relations.
“I understand these men took time to do this on their days off,” Evans said. “Which I feel is above the call of duty and just wanted to again recognize and thank them for a job well done!”

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