HomeThe MarketMid-century suburban vehicles to be featured at Hilton Head

Mid-century suburban vehicles to be featured at Hilton Head


21-window VW van among vehicles representing mid-century suburban America | Hilton Head concours photos
21-window VW van among vehicles representing mid-century suburban America | Hilton Head concours photos

With the world in turmoil, you might think this would be a great time to reset the clock to the Happy Days of Leave It to Beaver. And you can at the 14th annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance, where the annual “Life” exhibit will focus on suburban living in the middle of the 20th Century and the vehicles that were part of the lifestyle.

“This year’s ‘Life’ exhibit provides a look into American automotive culture of the late ’40s, ’50s, and early ’60s, when a new generation of automotive-based service businesses sprang up, such as delivery service vehicles, drive-throughs and drive-ins,” Phil Capossela, the festival’s chairman emeritus and “Life” exhibit curator, said in a news release.“It’s exhibits like these that truly set us apart from other concours events across the country.”

“Life in the Suburbs” will be the seventh such era-specific “Life” exhibit at the festival, and will be sponsored by the GMC division of General Motors. That sponsorship means that two vehicles from the GM Heritage Collection – a 1945 GMC Sinclair Tanker and a 1951 GMC Canopy Express – will be part of the exhibit. Also featured will be a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster Sedan Delivery owned by car dealer and racing team owner Rick Hendrick and a 1947 Crosley Ice Cream Truck on loan from Donnie Gould and Auctions America.

Other vehicles in the group will include a 1932 Ford 3-window DeLuxe Coupe hot rod, 1949 Plymouth Special DeLuxe “Woodie,” 1950 Ford Business Coupe, 1966 Volkswagen 21-Window Sunroof Deluxe Bus, 1946 Willys CJ-2A, 1947 Cushman 3-wheeler Ice Cream Scooter, 1947 Ford COE Truck, 1948 Divco Milk Truck, a 1964 Dodge 330 Police Car, and a grouping of bicycles and motor scooters including a 1936 Dayton Safety Streamline, 1947 Schwinn WZ, 1950 Maico Mobil, 1951 Schwinn Red Phantom, 1965 Mustang Stallion Motor Scooter, 1966 Honda Dream and 1966 Vespa 150 Sport with sidecar.

“As a celebration of the automobile through the decades, the ‘Life’ exhibit holds true to the Festival’s mission statement of ‘entertaining and educating the community,’” said Carolyn Vanagel, festival president.

1947 Crosley ice cream truck
1947 Crosley ice cream truck

In addition to “Life in the Suburbs,” the festival will feature a two-day exhibit of motoring marine craft and a collection of motorcycles that participated in The Cannonball, a cross-country vintage bike race celebrating the achievements of “Cannonball” Baker.

Additional special features of the 14th annual event include Porsche collector Tim Lingerfelt’s showing of anniversary edition Porsche Turbos.

The festival opens October 23-25 with the Savannah Speed Classic vintage races in Savannah, Georgia, before moving to Hilton Head Island where events October 30-November 1 include an Auctions America collector car auction, Flights & Fancy Aeroport gala and Aero Expo, and the concours at the Port Royal Golf Club.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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