Graber-bodied Jaguar takes Best in Show at Hilton Head

| 5 Nov 2012

A wonderful 1938 SS-Jaguar Coupé with one-off Graber bodywork scooped the coveted Best in Show award at the 11th Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d'Elegance yesterday.

The Jaguar is owned by Frank and Milli Ricciardelli from New Jersey (below), the couple being featured at this year's event as honoured collectors.

They have previously won both the Best of Show title in 2009 with a 1933 Rolls-Royce Coupé and the People’s Choice Award in 2004 with a 1935 Duesenberg.

People's Choice at this year's South Carolina event – held at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn – was awarded to Corrado Lopresto's beautifully restored 1931 Alfa Romeo Gran Sport Spider Corsica, which also made a splash at Pebble Beach in August.

The Milan enthusiast – who won Best of Show at Hilton Head in 2010 with his 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C-2500 SS – bought the car last year and unravelled a fascinating history.

After a series of accidents and eight owners, the car was bought by Giuseppe Aprile in August 1938. Aprile showed the damaged chassis to Mario Revelli who designed the distinctive bodywork that it wears today. 

Most Outstanding Pre-1948 Car was won by Bill Alley’s 1905 Packard Model W5 Passenger Touring while John and Lynn Cote's 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible took the post-1948 title.

The Lee Iacocca Award for "dedication to excellence in perpetuating an American automotive tradition" was given to Carolyn Sikes who has displayed cars at Hilton Head for a decade.

Paul Doerring, the Festival’s Chairman Emeritus, said: "We had, in totality, a larger, higher-quality showfield this year. Receiving more applications than ever before, we had to turn down a number of wonderful candidates.

"Needless to say, we have a good start to filling the 2013 Concours d’Elegance and this year’s top honours are some of the best examples of what a Concours-calibre car truly is." 

Winners at Saturday's 500-strong Car Club Jamboree included Tim Lassiter's 1961 Austin-Healey, which took the People's Choice Award, while Bob Lutz presented the 'Honorary Chairman’s Award' to William Wood for his 1950 Willys Overland 4-73 Station Wagon. Best of Show was taken by Stathy Stathopoulos' 1933 Studebaker Commander.

A Savannah Speed Classic’s Stars of American Racing panel discussion featured such aces as Hurley Haywood, Brian Redman, Tommy Milner, David Donahue and EF Robinson.

Motoring Festival President Carolyn Vanagel said: "The event was better than it’s ever been – higher quality, more variety, and larger exhibits. The crowds were engaged with our wide variety of offerings – presentations, guided walking tours, parade of cars – and I think we have had a record year."

The honoured marque at the 2013 event wilt be Porsche. For more information click here

Photos: Kaufman Photography