HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA (November 1, 2009) – The premier winners, the coveted ‘Best of Show’ and ‘People’s Choice’ awards along with the two recently established honors ‘Most Outstanding Car – Pre-1948’ and ‘Most Outstanding Car – Post-1948’ were chosen on Sunday for the prestigious Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, held at the historic Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.

Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance top honor, “Best of Show,” was awarded to a 1933 Rolls-Royce Coupe owned by Frank & Milli Ricciardelli of Monmouth Beach, NJ. First Owned by Sir Hugh Cunliffe-Owen, Baronet of Brey, County of Berkshire, Chairman of British American Tobacco Company and Director of Midland Bank, this car is a one off example with a PII Continental High Speed Chassis. It was built specially for demonstration purposes. Other significant awards on Sunday included “People’s Choice” awarded to a 1932 Packard Opera Coupe owned by Grace Clark of Yonges Island, SC. The car was restored by her father 17 years ago. Most Outstanding Car – Pre-1948 went to John W. Rich Sr.’s 1914 Renault EF and Most Outstanding Car – Post 1945 went to a 1957 Ford Thunderbird owned by Vernon Smith.

Philip Capossela, Event Chairman for the Hilton Head Island show, said, “we certainly had a tremendous show this year with more entries. This year’s top honors were well deserved and we’re proud to have them in the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival’s history book.” Added to that sentiment, Dr. Paul Doerring, one of the founding members of the Hilton Head Island event, stated, that “because we are able to display such outstanding cars, we had to showcase more of our remarkable entries with additional top awards over the past two years. We’re proud that selecting a single “Best of Show” has becoming nearly impossible.”

Saturday’s top honors for the Car Club Jamboree were the “Best of Show Award” given to a 1967 Ferrari owned by Reinhold Preik, “People’s Choice Award” given to a 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster owned by Ray Morgan, and the Chairman’s Award awarded to a 1950 Chrysler Town & Country Woodie Wagon owned by Aiken Ryan.

More than 600 automobiles made their way to the Hilton Head Island, SC/Savannah, GA Lowcountry this weekend to participate in the 8th anniversary event. Dennis Gage of the SPEED Channel’s My Classic Car was on-site filming the Savannah/Hilton Head Speed Classic track event on Savannah’s Hutchinson Island for his 2010 season. Plus, Gage, was on-hand to select his favorite motorcycles from the Motoring Midway including “Best Midway Motorcycle” awarded to a 1966 Honda CA 77 owned by William Aldrich of Lake City, FL and runner ups H.C. Morris for his 1967 Triumph T120TT and Robert O’Kelley for his 1970 Norton Commando S. Michael Spezia, Executive Director and CEO of The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan, served as the 2009 Honorary Chairman.

Carolyn Vanagel, Executive Director for the Motoring Festival today remarked, “The event was better than it’s ever been – higher quality, more variety, larger exhibits – , the crowds were engaged, and I think we have had a record year. There was a lot of excitement on the show field.” Vanagel stated that the combination of the four glorious events, the Savannah/Hilton Head Speed Classic, the newly established Motoring Midway, the Car Club Jamboree and, of course, the pinnacle, the Concours d’Elegance, as well as the increased number and variety of sponsors, all helped to boost this year’s success.

Positioned as one of the last Concours in the national annual show circuit, the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival has quickly climbed the ranks among national Concours events. In just eight short years, Hilton Head Island is already considered by many as being among those elite USA events with the likes of Pebble Beach, Meadow Brook and Amelia Island. Key sponsors of the event included BMW Group/Hilton Head BMW/Critz BMW, Porsche of North America/Porsche of Hilton Head, Jaguar Motor Cars, NA/Jaguar Hilton Head, Mercedes-Benz USA, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Hargray, the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the Savannah Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, Adventure Radio, Savannah Morning News, Celebration Events, Classic Party Rentals and Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd.

The 2010 event is already generating excitement amongst its organizers. The dates have been set for November 5-7, 2010. For more information, visit www.hhiconcours.com.

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