More than 60 rare, vintage and luxury automobiles, some worth more than $1 million, will be on display side-by-side with static-displays of the latest equipment Fort Bragg Soldiers use throughout the world on Friday from 1 to 3 p.m., on the Main Post Parade Grounds.

The inaugural Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance’s “Iron Mike Rally” is a tribute to our Soldiers and their Families for the sacrifices they have made in defense of our nation.

“It’s a way for us to thank them for all they do for our country,” said Dave Droschak, communications director for the event. “The military tie-in is something that no other concours can offer.”

Given that Friday is a pay day, the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg command group has authorized an early release for 11 a.m., within mission constraints, thus affording the Soldiers an opportunity to attend the Iron Mike Rally.

The event is free and open to military ID cardholders and guests only. This is intended to be a Family event so dependants and guests are welcome. Other automobile displays of this caliber, such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance cost more than $200 per person.

The opening ceremony at 1 p.m. will feature Miss North Carolina, Arlie Honeycutt, singing the national anthem. Twenty-two other Miss North Carolina contestants will also be at the Iron Mike Rally to meet and greet attendees.

The Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance blends the history, heritage and grandeur from three of North Carolina’s proudest traditions — motorsports, golf and military — in a unique celebration of America’s passion for the automobile and for the benefit of the brave men and women who protect and provide the very freedom we enjoy as United States citizens.

“We’re tying in the element of Fort Bragg,” said Dean Kessel, the event’s founder. “We think it is very important. It is the differentiator for us. Everybody knows somebody in the military. North Carolina is the big epicenter of motor sports. We’re tying all these elements together for a celebration of the automobile.”

The automobiles on display will range from a 1904 Cadillac Touring, a 1936 Cadillac V16 Sedan, as well as a 1959 Austin-Healy 3000 and many others. The automobiles are in 12 different categories: Brass Era, 1895-1915; Production Pre-War 1918-1942; Production Post-war 1946-1982; Corvette; Sports and GT Small Bore; Sports and GT Large Bore; American and Euro Classic 1925-1948; Preservation Cars; American Muscle Cars 1961-1974; Porsche; Racecars, and Holman Moody.

“We have assembled an impressive collection of vintage cars by any concours standard,” said Jay Howard, the event’s executive director. “Fans will get an up-close look at all the hard work and dedication the collectors pursue in restoring and maintaining the authenticity of these vintage autos at one of the world’s premier resort destinations.”

“The overall diversity and quality of the cars selected for the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance will leave our patrons with the feeling that this event has been going on for many years and quietly hidden away in these beautiful surroundings,” added Paul Ianuario, the chief judge of the competition. “It is uncommon to have cars of this caliber at an inaugural event.”

Soldiers attending the Iron Mike Rally can vote on their favorites which will be recognized with the “Soldiers Choice” award.

You can also see the automobiles as they drive onto Fort Bragg from Pinehurst between 11:15 a.m. and noon on Longstreet Street and as the depart the post around 3:30 p.m.

Fort Bragg Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation will have food venders on site and parking will be in the parking lot between the post chapel and the theater as well as the pecan grove between the parade field and Reilly Road.

For Soldiers and their Families wishing to attend the larger Pinehurst Councours d’Elegance in Pinehurst, tickets for this event are discounted for them down to $30.

For more information on the Pinehurst Concours d”Elegance go to http://pinehurstconcours.com/concours-delegance. or read the article in “Elite” magazine, http://fbelitemag.com/articles/2013/03/29/1235868. You can also leave your comments about the Iron Mike Rally on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fortbraggnc.