Life on the Orient Express at Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival

World War I had just ended, hard times for most everyone in Europe. WWII was within sight, and sandwiched right in between was the Great Depression. Tough times for nearly everyone here in the States and Europe. However, for Europe’s upper echelon and the ultra-rich, these decades were to become one of the most opulent and exciting the continent had ever seen. Two words capture the period perfectly: Elegance and Speed.

1939 Delahaye Type 165 Cabriolet (web photo)

Roo and I were really excited about this exhibit here at Hilton Head. The cars during this period were just extravagant works of rolling Art Deco. But they performed also. As was written in Britania.com, “Speed took on a new form of social significance. Someone who lived fast lived well…and incautiously. Moreover, speed also implied elegance.”

1938 Dubonnet Hispano Suiza (web photo)

The Elegance Class here at Hilton Head featured English cars like Rolls-Royce, Daimler, Jaguar, French cars such as Bugatti, Delahaye, Voisin, Spain’s Hispano-Suisa and Italy’s Issotta Fraschini.

The Speed Class showed “open” cars that were deigned to travel fast like Jaguar, Peugeot, Dar’l Mat, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia. These sporty cars were as luxurious as their saloon counterparts.

1938 Talbot Lago T150-C-SS (web photo)

These were the automobiles owned by the same people who rode the Orient Express, the super fast, super luxurious rail line that people with means chose for long distance travel.

As mentioned, these were extravagant automobiles designed to showcase the Art Deco style of the time. Long and low, sweeping flared fenders with running boards, beautiful swooping wheel covers. These cars were built to make a statement, and they did, loud and clear. Roo and I drooled over these masterpieces of fine art.

This was the most opulent exhibit in the Motoring Festival, with doscents and car owners alike dressed in period costume as they walked back in time to the 1930’s.

Well, as if planes, trains, and automobiles weren’t enough, how about………… boats! Beautiful wood boats from the early days of power boating were also on display here.

Power boating in style 

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BEST IN SHOW

Sunday was wet. We didn’t stay long. But the show must go on as they say. So we stayed long enough to see the Best in Show award given to this beautiful 1931 Stutz.

1931 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria

RANDOM BITS

There was so much to see here at Hilton Head. Here are a few random pics of other great looking and interesting automobiles.

This is a great Concours event to put on your calendar. Besides the Concours itself, this is Hilton Head! You’re on a beautiful island, gorgeous beaches, golf, hiking, bicycling, history, nightlife. Who needs the Caribbean?

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