For more than 100 years, Pinehurst has crowned champions in some of the most prestigious events in the world.  The U.S. Open Championship.  The PGA Championship.  The Ryder Cup.  Now a new champion will be named on the storied links, this time for “Best in Show” for automobiles at the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, May 5, 2013.

The Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance will combine the world-class amenities of Pinehurst Resort, special experiences for all attendees, some of the greatest vehicles ever created and an opportunity to benefit and honor the men and women of the military from nearby Fort Bragg, NC. 

Four days of events are planned for the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance starting on Thursday, May 2nd with an Aerodrome Party at nearby Moore County Regional Airport. On Friday, May 3rd, many of the concours-participating vehicles will take part in a road rally, with plans being finalized with Fort Bragg for a special route from Pinehurst to the base.  A collector car auction will be held on Saturday, May 4th, as well as a “Heroes” Gala event that evening at Pinehurst Resort.  The inaugural Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance, featuring more than 150 of the most historic automobiles and motorcycles from around the world, including significant military vehicles, takes place on Sunday, May 5th.

The Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance was created and developed by Dean Kessel, an avid auto enthusiast and 20-plus year motorsports marketing veteran.  Kessel and his team of highly regarded and experienced automotive and motorsports staff, as well as an extremely knowledgeable advisory board, have spent nearly two years cultivating this initiative.  The overall goal is to offer an experience at the iconic resort of Pinehurst to show-goers, entrants and corporate partners that will become a “must-attend” for all automotive enthusiasts.   

“North Carolina is recognized as the epicenter of motorsports activity in the U.S., a $6 billion industry, and is home to major corporations in banking, technology, and other prominent business sectors,” said Kessel.  “The state is also home to some of the greatest golf courses in the world, picturesque driving locales, and the best of southern hospitality and for these reasons the region is a worldwide destination.  Combine these attributes with some of the best car collections and collectors – many of them located nearby – and the history and prestige of Pinehurst and Fort Bragg, and the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance will rank among the top experiences in the automotive world.”

Pinehurst is a world-class destination and an ideal locale for a Concours d’Elegance.  Known as the birthplace of golf in the United States, Pinehurst has hosted more single golf championships than any other site in America, including the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Ryder Cup Matches, PGA Tour Championship and many others.  In an unprecedented decision by the USGA, it will serve as the site for both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in back-to-backweeks in 2014.  Pinehurst is accustomed to major events, hosting more than 40,000 people per day at the U.S. Open Championships and tens of thousands of others throughout the year.

Amenities at Pinehurst abound, from the quaint Village of Pinehurst to a multitude of hotels, including the flagship Carolina Hotel and the famed Pinehurst No.2 course, all within a short walk or shuttle ride, enabling patrons, entrants and residents to easily experience most every activity scheduled from May 2nd through 5th

“We’re excited to welcome this event and its traditional loyal following of visitors to Pinehurst Resort and the Village of Pinehurst,” said Tom Pashley, Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Pinehurst Resort. “Vintage automobiles and classic golf courses share many similarities.  Both tend to be visually stunning, their architecture is studied by enthusiasts for inspiration, and they withstand the test of time.  It seems a natural fit to host the event at Pinehurst.”

Fort Bragg is one of the largest and most active military installations in the world and is located just a short distance from Pinehurst.  From World Wars I and II through current conflicts in the Middle East, and elsewhere around the world, tens of thousands of America’s sons and daughters have answered the call to duty and have lived, trained, and been deployed from Fort Bragg.  Plans are currently being made between the Commands at Fort Bragg and the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance to involve the base and military members throughout the four-day event.  Tentatively, these plans may include a road rally to the base, an insider’s view of Airborne and Special Operations Forces, and plenty of interaction between the Concours entrants, attendees, soldiers and their families, all geared to create memorable experiences that will last a lifetime.     

“To have an event as prestigious as the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance located so close to Fort Bragg is a win-win for all involved,” said Tommy Bolton, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.  “As these plans continue to come together, we certainly recognize there are many automotive enthusiasts at Fort Bragg that can have the opportunity to see these vehicles and get to meet the people behind them. 

“The entrants will also have the great opportunity to meet some of America’s greatest warriors and their family members,” Bolton continued.  “Offering entrants and attendees an opportunity to gain an active perspective of a ‘soldier’s experience’ can only enhance the exceptional nature of this event.  The mutual benefits should be quite unique for everyone.”

The Next Steps on the “Road to Pinehurst”

Many announcements from Kessel and the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance will be forthcoming within the next few months, including featured marque, Grand Marshal, auction details, corporate partnerships, ticketing and special event information.

Prior to the first event, a special video series will be debuting on the Concours website, YouTube and Vimeo pages.  The “Road to Pinehurst” series will allow viewers “behind the scenes” access to the cars, people, challenges and fun as this world-class event develops from the ground-up. 

The official Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance event production company is JHE Production Group Inc.  Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Harrisburg, N.C., JHE is an award-winning event experience company delivering innovative solutions for national live entertainment, creative services and experiential activation. Specializing in live entertainment, JHE delivers unparalleled expertise with special events, concerts and opening ceremonies for national sporting events.  Jay Howard, president and founder of JHE, is also on the Concours advisory board as a large-scale event expert.

“The excitement about the event among those with whom I have spoken – from car collectors to potential corporate partners to our military contacts – has been overwhelming,” said Kessel.  “Our entire outlook is fueled by this enthusiasm and a great anticipation is brewing as we continue our preparations for a true world-class event.  With partners like JHE and Pinehurst Resort, we believe the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance is destined to become a much looked forward-to annual tradition for automotive enthusiasts throughout the U.S. and internationally.”

Additional information about the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance, including the latest news about the event, may be found at  Please also see the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram and Pinterest page, all accessible via the website.

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