Day Trips: Classic cars park at Pinehurst Saturday

Tell the truth: If you were a millionaire driving to Pinehurst, wouldn’t you prefer tooling over there in a classic car as loaded as your bank account?

This Saturday, the golf-resort town two hours east of Charlotte is having its annual Concours d’Elegance – an automotive day of gawk and awe with highly polished motorized antiques showing their stuff.

Among them:

▪  A rare 1953 Cadillac coupe Series 62 with bodywork by Ghia. It was once owned by Hollywood siren Rita Hayworth.

▪  A midnight-blue 1931 Cadillac that was restored in 1987 and is equipped with a V-16 engine.

▪  A 1938 Steyr roadster – one of six ever made and a veteran competitor on the international Concours d’Elegance circuit. The guy who restored it, Roger James, of D&D Classic Automobile Restoration of Dayton, Ohio, said, “It is the epitome of French styling, but it is not French. It is an Austrian design and the body was built in Germany, but it has a beauty that will rattle any French car. This was once a show car that was sent to Berlin.”

All of the above rarities will be displayed at Pinehurst Resort. (The Steyr and ’31 Cadillac are both former best-in-show winners at Pinehurst.) The event is staged on two fairways of two courses, both across Morganton Road from the clubhouse.

In all, the event, now in its third year, will have 13 classes of contestants showcasing more than 250 original and restored cars and motorcycles – with more than 100 competing for best in show. The show field is across Morganton Road from the club house.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the USO of North Carolina, and the grand marshal this year is actor Dennis Haysbert, who played baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the three “Major League” films and was cast as David Palmer on the Fox television thriller “24” (a character who became the first African-American president of the United States).

These days, he has a recurring role of Det. John Almond on Fox’s “Backstorm.” If the face and voice are still hard to place, know that Haysbert is also the on-air pitchman for Allstate insurance – the guy who says, “Are you in good hands?”

Stick around after the judging concludes and on the show field stage you can give a hand to Three Dog Night, the venerable pop band that scored 21 top-40 hits between 1969 and 1975. The current lineup includes two of the three original vocalists: Danny Hutton and Cory Wells.

Bordsen is the Observer’s travel editor.

Want to go?

Directions: Follow outbound Albemarle Road (N.C. 24/27 east to Biscoe (Montgomery County); take I-74 south to Candor/Pinehurst exit 44, then N.C. 211 east to Pinehurst. Pinehurst Resort is at 1 Carolina Vista Drive (close-in map:

Concours d’Elegance admission (online and at the gate): $40; military family ($25; limit of four tickets per valid military ID); 12 and younger free with paying adult.

Gates open at 9 a.m.; opening ceremonies are at noon; the awards ceremony starts at 2 p.m. and “best in show” is crowned at 4 p.m. This is a rain-or-shine event. Recommended attire: Resort wear or business casual (and comfortable shoes).