HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing automotive and motorsports enthusiast event weeks, takes a more glamorous approach with its annual “Life” exhibit and presents Life of the Rich & Famous sponsored by Marriott Vacation Club. Life of the Rich & Famous is the sixth annual “Life”-themed exhibit on the Festival’s Motoring Midway. Past themes include Life on the Beach, Life on the Farm and, the one that kick-started it all, Life on the Road.
This year’s exhibit, Nov. 1-2 at the Port Royal Golf Club, will be highlighted by three 1956 Continental Mark IIs that pay homage to this year’s Honorary Chairman, Edsel B. Ford II, and the entire Ford family. Each Continental was specially ordered by a Ford family member, including one that was built to the specifications of Henry Ford II for his wife, Edsel Ford’s mother, Anne. All three cars are currently owned by Jim Schmidt and his son, Rick, from Ocala, Florida.
Following its debut at the 1955 Paris Motor Show, the Mark II quickly became the car of choice for many of America’s famous names, including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Warner Bros. studio gave a 1956 Continental Mark II to Elizabeth Taylor, custom-painted to match her distinctive eye color.
“We feel privileged to have all three of these styling masterpieces on display at the Festival this year, including the only Mark II in the world with a cloth-upholstered roof,” said Carolyn Vanagel, President of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival. “To our knowledge, this is the first time that Mr. Ford will be seeing all three of these family cars together – it is an honor to share this experience with him.”
Other vehicles in the Life of the Rich & Famous exhibit include:
- 1955 Porsche Spyder – the exact same year, make and model of Porsche’s first true sports racing car that was romanticized by the late James Dean (The Brumos Collection, Jacksonville, FL)
- 1961 Jaguar E-Type currently owned by Indianapolis 500 Champion Bobby Rahal, an honored guest at this year’s Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival
- 1965 AC Cobra originally owned by Bob Shane, founder and lead singer of the Kingston Trio
- 1985 Daimler Ds420 Limousine originally owned by Lady "W" of America's largest retail family (the name of Lady “W”, according to the purchase agreement, cannot be disclosed)
- 1989 Daimler DS420 Limousine specially built for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s week-long visit to New Zealand for the Queen's 50th year tour in February 2002
- 1990 Jaguar XJR-9R owned by British racing great and team owner Tom Walkinshaw and built from a 1988 XJR-9 chassis and body designed by Peter Stevens for street use
1995 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car, one of only 527 1995 Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars manufactured and one of only 75 actual Pace/Festival Cars used at the Indianapolis 500, assigned to and driven by Steve Rossi, Senior GM Executive
For more information on the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, visit the official website at www.HHIMotoringFestival.com. Tickets for the 2014 Motoring Festival are available for sale online at http://www.hhimotoringfestival.com/tickets.