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2018 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Each year the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance  features leading automotive collectors from around the world. Among the notable names that visitors and enthusiasts will encounter at the 2018 event are this year’s chosen Pinnacle and Honored Collectors, Peter & Merle Mullin and Paul Ianuario, respectively. They will bring several cars from their collections. The Pinnacle and Honored Collector exhibit, sponsored by Reliable Carriers, will be featured both Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4, 2018, at the Port Royal Golf Club on Hilton Head Island.

“No celebration of the automobile exists without the support of collectors, and we are truly honored to have Peter & Merle Mullin attending this year’s event as our Pinnacle Collectors. It will be their first time to the Hilton Head Island Concours, and we cannot wait to see the expressions on our attendees’ faces when they see these breathtaking vehicles.And to have them coming from their museum all the way from Oxnard, CA means so much. The Mullins’ own one of the finest collections of French cars in the world; it will be a special treat to share their cars with our guests,” said Carolyn Vanagel, president of the Hilton Head Island Concours.

“Paul really is a fine choice as our 2018 Honored Collector.He has been involved with every facet of the HHI Concours. He provided guidance to our founder, Dr. Paul Doerring, before the event opened, helped us with the transition to the Port Royal Golf Club, regularly sources cars for the Concours, and has served as an Honorary and Chief Judge. Paul has been a consistent mentor and he deserves to be recognized and honored for his contributions both to our event and to the hobby,” said Merry Harlacher, chairman of the Hilton Head Island Concours.

2018 Pinnacle Award Collector: Peter & Merle Mullin (Los Angeles, CA)

The Pinnacle Award debuted in 2013 in conjunction with the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance’s move to the world-class Port Royal Golf Club. This year Peter & Merle Mullin, founders of the Mullin Automotive Museum (Oxnard, CA), join fellow Pinnacle Award recipients Ken Gross (2017), Miles Collier (2016), Fred Guyton (2015), Joseph and Margie Cassini (2014) and Sam and Emily Mann (2013). The Mullins have hand-selected three incredible automobiles from their collection (the work of more than three decades) showcasing their passion for French automotive styling and the decorative arts that influenced the genre.


Shown throughout the world, coachbuilt by Fifoni and Falaschi in Paris, this car has been recognized with class awards at Pebble Beach in 1984, 1990, 2000, 2005, and 2008 and the Best in Show and Most Elegant Car at the European Concours of 2001. As the epitome of aerodynamics, speed, design, and elegance, the “Teardrop” Talbot-Lago is a simply stunning car. Famed designer, Strother MacMinn, said that “the Talbot, Goutte d’Eau coupe represents what may be one of the finest examples of assembled form ever applied to the automobile.” This vehicle was originally owned by “Bentley Boy” and chairman of Bentley Motors, Woolf Barnato. After two decades in England, the Talbot-Lago was sold in the 1960s to Otto Zipper, brought to the US and displayed at the Briggs Cunningham Museum. The car was subsequently sold to John Calley and then Pat Hart, who undertook a multi-year restoration. It was purchased by Peter Mullin in 1985 and the restoration was completed.


The unique “Xenia” was awarded the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance “Most Elegant Closed Car” in 2000 and “Best in Show” at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2009. Andre Dubonnet was the heir to the Dubonnet aperitif fortune and the man responsible for this automobile. He served in the “Stork” squadron during World War I and is credited with five aerial victories. Dubonnet was an accomplished amateur racing driver and inventor. Designed by Jean Andreau and built by Jacques Saoutchik’s Parisian Carrosserie, “Xenia” was hidden during the war, and did not reappear until June 9, 1946 at the opening of the Saint Cloud highway tunnel outside Paris. Alain Balleret, President of the French Hispano-Suiza Club, purchased “Xenia” in the 1960s and subjected the car to restoration. In 1999 the American, Charles Morse, purchased it at auction. Peter Mullin bought the “Xenia” in 2003, and it has won awards and been featured in fine art museums for several years.


This car, another Figoni and Falaschi coachbuilt masterpiece, was awarded “First in Class” at the 1992 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and it was built to represent France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. While the engine was not completed in time for its display, the modernity and sublime beauty of this roadster’s sublime styling drew throngs of admirers from the public and the press. Its V-12 engine was completed when the car was restored. Delahaye produced only two of these twelve-cylinder Type 165 roadsters, as production variants of its successful Type 145 competition car.

2018 Honored Collector: Paul Ianuario (Duncan, SC)

Every year the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance recognizes one Honored Collector for his or her continued participation and support. The 2018 Honored Collector will feature the four vehicles listed below, hand-picked from the eclectic collection of Paul Ianuario that spans 1908 to 1972, a collection he’s been cultivating over the past 50 years.


The 1908 single cylinder Cadillac was significantly altered and its appearance changed from the earlier single cylinder Cadillacs built prior to 1908. The 1908 Cadillac was the first American automobile to win the prestigious Dewar Trophy, and in 1908 the Cadillac slogan “Cadillac the Standard of the World” was initiated.1908 was the last year that single cylinder cars were built by Cadillac and this 1908 Cadillac Double Tulip bodied Victoria Touring is the only one known to exist today.


The “Chalmers Detroit” automobile was only manufactured two years; 1909 and 1910. During these two years, the Chalmers Detroit won 89 major competitions including the 1909 Indiana Cup and the 1910 Glidden Tour. This Chalmers Detroit Touring stands 7’-9’ tall and rides on 37’x 5” tires, and has both coil and magneto ignition systems. The crankshaft in the engine turns on ball bearings. It is believed by knowledgeable collectors that fewer than a dozen Chalmers Detroit cars exist today.The Chalmers Detroit was part of the foundation for the Chrysler Motor Company.


The 1912 Hudson “Mile A-Minute” speedster is believed to be the first car built in America to be advertised as a “purpose built race car.” Hudson’s advertisements for this car boldly stated: “Faster than its name implies."It even came equipped with a 100 MPH speedometer to encourage the new owners to push the upper limits of the car. The “Mile-A-Minute” was not cheap at $1,600.00, considering that a decent annual salary was about $450 per year in 1912. Knowledgeable automotive historians believe that less than 200 of these special cars were built of the 1,000 originally planned. This “Mile-A-Minute” speedster, car # 160, is one of five original examples known to exist today.In May of 2011, Paul was invited to bring this “Mile-A-Minute” to the Centennial of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and drive it on the race track as part of their celebration.


This Packard is a one-off design by the incomparable Raymond Dietrich. It was built especially for Lloyd W. Smith, the CEO of what is now known as Chase National Bank. Mr. Smith paid more than $11,000 for it, in late 1928. This was quite expensive at the time, when a Model A Ford roadster was $450. The Packard had a radio installed in it at the time of its manufacture, making it one of the one of the earliest automobiles with this accessory.Radios were not commonly installed in cars until 1930, and not mounted in the dash until 1934. Its radio is one of the earliest “superhetrodyne” radios known to exist. This Packard’s custom body has never been removed from its chassis. A “body on” restoration was performed in 1996.It only has 31,000 actual miles.

For a special preview from Paul Ianuario, the Hilton Head Island Concours’ 2018 Honored Collector, see video below.

Tickets for the 2018 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival are now on sale at more information, visit the official Hilton Head Island Concours website at


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The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance will celebrate its 17th year in the fall of 2018. The Festival kicks off with the Savannah Speed Classic, October 26 – 28, on the Grand Prize of America road course situated on the property of The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, Georgia. The festivities continue on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, November 2 – 4, at the Port Royal Golf Club, where the Concours d’Elegance (Nov. 4) takes center stage.Motoring Festival Partners for the 2018 Festival include the Port Royal Golf Club, The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, BMW, Porsche, Volvo, Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems, Reliable Carriers, Inc., Hargray, the Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah.

For more information, visit www.HHIConcours.comonline.


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