Hot Wheels: Tickets On Sale for Prestigious Car Event
Tickets are now on sale for the inaugural Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance, to be staged in May, and they are expected to go fast.
The first-ever Concours show competition at Pinehurst Resort will feature the staging of 118 prestigious cars, some valued at more than $2 million, in celebration of the 118-year-old resort.
"People are always interested in things they can't see on a regular basis, and this event features cars that you read about or see in magazines, or cars we grew up with that you don't see on the road anymore, so I expect tickets to go very fast," said Dave Droschak, a spokesperson for the event.
About 7,500 tickets will go on sale today at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online at www.pinehurstconcours.com.
A Concours d'Elegance is a gathering of prestigious cars, and is French for a "competition of elegance." It is a tradition that dates back to the 17th century French aristocracy, who paraded horse-drawn carriages in the parks of Paris during summer weekends and holidays. Over time, the carriages became horseless and the gatherings became a competition among automobile owners.
In addition to tickets going on sale, the event has a new chairman.
Bob Ingram, one of North Carolina's most influential business leaders and himself a collector of vintage automobiles, has been named honorary chairman of the inaugural Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance.
Ingram, a Durham resident, is a former CEO of Glaxo SmithKline and now chairman of Elan Corp., a major drug firm based in Ireland. He will serve as spokesman and adviser for the vintage automobile show at Pinehurst on May 3-5. Ingram has an extensive collection of Porsches that is world-renowned.
"As a car enthusiast myself and entrant of past Concours competitions, I was thrilled and flattered when approached to be honorary chairman of the inaugural Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance," said Ingram, who was named 2011 Business Leader of the Year in the Triangle. "There couldn't be a more appropriate setting for this historic event than Pinehurst Resort, a true industry leader and trend setter in Southern hospitality. Fans can expect a real treat."
The official judging takes place on Sunday, May 5, with the 118 cars displayed on the first holes of course Nos. 3 and 5, with the historic portion of the resort clubhouse as a backdrop.
"The inaugural Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance is going to bring different guests to the area, folks who aren't necessarily golfers but who appreciate the scenery, the beauty and our history," added Pinehurst Resort Executive Vice President Tom Pashley. "And when you combine that with vintage cars and the enthusiasts who follow these rare automobiles, it's a unique combination, a nice marriage."
Jay Howard, the new executive director for the Concours d'Elegance, said as the event nears there is a buzz building
"The event now has a lot of momentum," he said.
Howard replaces Dean Kessel, who stepped down from the same position. Howard is the president of JHE Production Group. In the last quarter-century, Howard's company has helped put on some of the biggest events in the world. This weekend he is in Florida for the Daytona 500. He is also an avid car collector.
"I'm in the event business," Howard said. "This is in our wheelhouse."
Droschak said Howard's expertise in event planning will be a huge plus for those attending the Concours d'Elegance.
"He is going to make sure this event is going to be a great experience for fans," Droschak said.
The event is scheduled to kick off May 2 with an Aerodrome Party at Moore County Airport. There will be a road rally on May 3 from the resort to Fort Bragg. A collector car auction will be held May 4, and the 150-car Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance will take place May 5.
Traditionally, vehicle judging at a Concours d'Elegance is much more demanding than that of a general automobile show. Trained judges examine each vehicle thoroughly. They rate each and every component. Only those vehicles that are judged perfect - or very nearly so - in every way are considered eligible for trophy class.
Individual tickets for the Sunday competition can be purchased at www.pinehurst concours.com beginning at 10 a.m. today at an introductory price of $40 through April 30. Tickets are $50 from May 1 until the start of the event, and can be purchased on-site May 5 at Pinehurst Resort. Teenagers will receive $10 off individual tickets, and kids 12 under are free with a paying adult.
Events on May 3-4 leading up to the main judging competition include an Iron Mike Rally on May 3 in which show cars will make the 75-mile round trip from Pinehurst to Fort Bragg for a military appreciation day on base, and RKM Collector Car Auctions will offer bidders the opportunity to drive away in their dream car during a live sale at the Pinehurst Fair Barn on Saturday, May 4.
There will also be 1,000 tickets available for Saturday's event.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
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