Wheels and Waves Briefs

Former General Motors executive Bob Lutz is in the driver’s seat of VIA Motors’ first extended range electric truck. Lutz, which is on the board of the electric car company, will be honorary chairman of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance in early November (AP Photo).

• Former GM exec Lutz to headline Hilton Head car fest •

A certified “car guy” will be the big-name guest at arguably the fanciest car show and party in South Carolina.

Bob Lutz, author of Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: the battle for the soul of American Business, will be “honorary chairman” of the 11th annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance Oct. 26-Nov. 4.

Lutz was vice chairman of General Motors among other high-level posts in the automotive field.

He considers himself a fan of the cars themselves rather than a strict adherent to the bottom-line but has also said that bean counters are necessary to give the industry balance.

According to the festival’s vice president of operations Lindsey Harrell, Lutz will take part in events at the Coastal Discovery Museum in the Honey Horn outdoor convention area on Hilton Head Island.

He will participate in a question and answer session that will be open to the public and will be the main event at an “Evening with Bob Lutz,” an exclusive dinner on Saturday Nov. 3.

Lutz will also be a guest judge at the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Among the luminaries who have previously served as chairman are Nicola Bulgari, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Bobby Rahal and Dennis Gage.

“We couldn’t have gotten a better fit,” said Carolyn Vanagel, the festival’s president. The iconic Ford Model T is the Honored Marque for this year’s Concours d’Elegance, and the festival has an overall “Americana” theme.

She termed Lutz, who has helped lead each of Detroit’s Big 3 (GM, Ford and Chrysler), the “best-known auto executive of the last two decades.”

Lutz has a notable collection of autos, motorcycles and military jets. He pilots his Aero L-39 Albatros advanced Czechoslovakian jet fighter trainer and an MD-500 helicopter. The executive’s stash of bikes includes five classic BMW models, the K1200RS, K1200S, R1100S, K-1 and HP2 Sport.

“With his major involvement in the automotive industry and his well known affinity for straight talk and honest answers, Lutz’s involvement should raise the level of excitement for this year’s attendees,” said Stew Brown, the festival’s board chairman.

Festival venues are The Westin Savannah Harbor Resort on Hutchinson Island in Savannah and the Coastal Discovery Museum on Hilton Head Island. Signature events are the Savannah Speed Classic Oct. 26-28, Car Club Jamboree Nov. 3, Motoring Midway Nov. 3-4 and the centerpiece Concours d’Elegance Nov. 4.

Gate ticket prices start as low as $20 and are available at a discounted rate online through October 15. Children under 12 get in free and ages 12-18 are $5 per day. Military receive half-off general admission ticket prices at the gate.

For more information, visit www.HHIMotoringFestival.com.

• Massengill joins Scout Boats •

One of the Charleston area’s largest boat makers has signed a former marina manager and real estate developer to an engineering post.

Robbie Massengill has been named Director of Engineering & Quality Assurance for the Summerville-based Scout Boats.

Massengill graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in 2000.

He will head up engineering activities by leading a team of engineers, computer-assisted design technicians and compliance specialists in new model development and current model production.

He will also produce quality assurance policies and programs for incoming and outgoing products to ensure quality standards are met during production. “We have a tremendous team of talented, skilled employees at every level within our organization, and our appointment of Robbie to this position is no exception,” said Steve Potts, Scout Boats chief executive and founder.

Massengill previously was the owner and broker of his own real estate development company and a marina manager in North Carolina.

Scout builds sportfishing, fish ‘n ski, walk around, flats and bay boat models ranging from 15 to 35 feet.

For more information, visit www.scoutboats.com.

• Trident show winners cited •

A host of car buffs won trophies at Trident Technical College’s 20th annual Spring Spin-Off held in April.

The show, which will take place next year on April 27, drew crowds to view more than 140 classic, new and customized vehicles.

Proceeds of the car, truck and motorcycle show benefit the W. Athell Yon Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to Trident students pursuing careers in automotive technology.

In the overall awards, Randy Newton of Summerville won Best Engine, Best Paint, and the new People’s Choice Trophy for his 1968 Chevrolet Corvette.

Jeff Madden of Wando won the Advisory Board Trophy for his 1931 Model A Ford. Robert Haight of Moncks Corner won the President’s Trophy for his 1936 Plymouth P2 four-door. Best Interior went to Scott Combs of Charleston for his 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon. And Al Bailey of Summerville won Best in Show for his 1956 Mercury custom convertible.

Also, the college awarded first-place winners in each class.

They were antiques: Jason San of Huger, 1930 Ford Model A Coupe;British: Ed Tilton of Charleston, 1967 Austin Healey 3000 MK III BJ8; Buick-Olds-Pontiac: Kevin Bogden of Charleston, 1970 Olds 442 Convertible; Camaro and Firebird: Gary McCullough of Summerville, 1969 Chevrolet Camaro; Chevy: Scott Combs of Charleston, 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Wagon; Chrysler/Plymouth: James Peters of St. George, 1972 Plymouth Duster; Corvair: Jim Clees of Charleston, 1964 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Convertible; Corvette: Susan Ralston of Moncks Corner, 1959 Chevrolet Corvette; Dodge/Desoto: Kevin Kramer of Charleston, 1970 Dodge Challenger; Drag Cars: Pete Dambaugh of Summerville, 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II; Ford: Al Bailey of Summerville, 1956 Mercury Custom Convertible; Import: Tabitha Mew of Goose Creek, 1993 Honda Del Sol SI; Miata: Joe Mills of Charleston, 2005 Mazda Miata MX-5 Mazdaspeed Miata; Motorcycle: Trevor Haywood of Lexington, 1998 Ural Deco Classic Custom; Mustang: Duane Helzer of Mount Pleasant, 1967 Ford Mustang; Open: Dennis Martin of Hanahan, 1982 Chevrolet El Camino; Porsche: Sharon Newton of Summerville, 1977 Porsche; Pro Street: Casey Kinney of Ladson, 1966 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova; Street Rods: Tommy Crawford of Dorchester, 1934 Ford three-window coupe; Trucks: Bill Hall of Summerville, 1957 Chevrolet Pickup; andVolkswagen: Steve Barbieri of Summerville, 1967 VW Convertible.

For more information, contact Automotive Technology Program Coordinator Walter “Buzz” Varella at 843-574-6184.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.