Ricciardelli cars set to star at Hilton Head Island

| 1 Aug 2012

Frank and Milli Ricciardelli will be the first-ever Honored Collectors at the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance meaning four of their spectacular classics will be showcased at the event.

The Ricciardellis, of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, will see their cars take centre stage in South Carolina from 26 October to 4 November.

Earliest of them is a 1926 Hispano Suiza Cabriolet H6B (below). Rumoured to have belonged to the King of Tunisia, the car was brought to the US in the ’50s. It had a nut-and-bolt restoration before winning its class at Pebble Beach in ’04.

The couple’s second exhibit is a 1930 Cadillac V16 Convertible (main pic). One of only 105 built, a Virginian dentist originally purchased the car for $5350. In 2001, it was treated to a full restoration, before being bought by the Ricciardellis.

Since then, the car has won numerous awards including a National Award from AACA in 2002 and three separate awards at the 2011 Amelia Island Concours (Best in Class, Most Elegant Cadillac and The Barry Meguiar Award for Best Finish on an Automobile). The Cadillac was also the Poster Car for the Burn Foundation in 2006.

A 1935 Duesenberg J-Dual Cowl Phaeton (above) will take up the Ricciardelli’s third slot at the show. Designed in-house by Gordon Buehrig, it is one of only 19 short-body chassis originally fitted with a La Grande dual-cowl phaeton body. The convertible features 17in wheels, skirted fenders and a low-profile roof.

The original owner took delivery in 1936 and it was later purchased for $20,000 by the owner of the New York Times’ as a birthday gift to his son.

It has since been restored, taking awards that include first in its  class at August’s 2003 Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach, and Best in Class, plus the People’s Choice award, at the 2004 Hilton Head Island Concours.

The fourth and final Ricciardelli car will be a 1938 Jaguar SS Coupé (below). A one-off car, its body was styled by Swiss coachbuilder Hermann Graber. It was fully restored in the ’90s, before being Ofreshened up’ by RM Auto Restoration and going on to take the Most Elegant Jaguar Award at the 2012 Amelia Island Concours.

Paul Doerring, of the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance said: “We couldn’t be more elated to have Frank and Milli accept this inaugural honor. Their support, passion and contributions to the automobile collector hobby is what makes this event, and many others, what they are.  We are excited about the vehicles they have selected to showcase at this year’s event and think the crowds will be blown away 

To find out more visit the festival’s website.