HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA (April 29, 2009) – The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, one of the nation’s signature automotive events, will proudly showcase Mercedes-Benz as the Honored Marque when this popular Motoring Festival returns to the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn on Hilton Head Island, S.C. October 30 – November 1, 2009.

Mercedes-Benz, recognized amongst collectors and automotive enthusiasts as the inventor of the automobile, ties in seamlessly with the Motoring Festival’s theme of ‘past, present and future.’ “Mercedes-Benz unique and storied past creates significant desire within the present market and is always at the forefront of automotive innovation such as its line of clean diesel BlueTEC vehicles,” said Jim O’Sullivan, past National President of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and a current member of the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival’s Automotive Advisory Committee.

Since Karl Benz’s creation of the first automobile in conjunction with Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach’s conversion of a carriage with a petrol engine in 1886, Mercedes-Benz consistently leads the way on technological advances. Mercedes-Benz is credited with an overwhelming number of “firsts,” including:

-The first passenger road car to have brakes on all four wheels (1924)

-The first “Safety cage” or “Safety cell” construction with front and rear crumple zones, which, from a safety standpoint, is considered to be by many as the most important innovation in automobile construction (1951)

-The first anti-lock brakes (1978), traction control (1986) and airbags (1980) in the European market

-The first to introduce pre-tensioners to seat belts on the 1981 S-Class. In the event of a crash, a pre-tensioner will tighten the belt instantaneously, preventing the passenger from jerking forward in a crash.

-The first 6-cylinder racing engine

-The first supercharged passenger car

-The first aerodynamic production car

-The first diesel passenger car

-The first direct fuel injected passenger car

-The first electric car with fuel cell drive
“Given our initiative at this year’s Motoring Festival to feature the leading innovations in today’s automotive marketplace, Mercedes-Benz was an obvious choice to fill the role of Honored Marque. We will have special exhibits in the new Motoring Midway show field to be open Saturday and Sunday, participating Mercedes-Benz clubs in the Saturday Car Club Jamboree and a featured class in Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance,” said Carolyn Vanagel, Executive Director for the Motoring Festival.

“Mercedes-Benz is a marque that resonates with everyone. Whether you’ve owned one, knew someone who owned one or just simply dreamed of owning one, this exhibit will provide the general public with the opportunity to see a wide variety of highly prized classic and contemporary Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” said Dr. Paul Doerring, Event Chairman for the Motoring Festival.

Gate ticket prices are $15 for Friday and Saturday’s vintage track event, the Savannah/Hilton Head Historics, $25 for a Two-Day Track Pass, $25 for Saturday’s Car Club Jamboree, $30 for Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance, $50 for a Two-Day Festival Pass (good for both locations on Saturday as well as Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance) and $60 for a Three-Day Festival Pass (good for all events, both locations). Discounted tickets will be available online at www.hhiconcours.com and will go on sale summer of 2009. Children under 12 get in free, students are $5 per day (with a Student I.D.) and military and their families receive a 50% discount at the gate (with an Active Duty I.D.).

For more information, call (843) 785-SHOW (7469) or visit the official Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival website at www.hhiconcours.com.

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