Take a fabulous park, an impressive grand hotel and 51 exceptional classics of automotive history – this is the Concorso d’Eleganza set against the backdrop of the sparkling Lake Como. It is this mix that makes the Concorso D’Eleganza one of the most attractive classic car events ever year for automotive enthusiasts from around the world. An exclusive weekend that was revived years ago by the BMW Group. Already in 1929, the very first automobile beauty contest took place right here on Lake Como.
In 2018, the Concorso D’Eleganza was themed „Hollywood on the Lake“ – even though few vehicles really had a cinematic history. But the noble bodies and the cinematic atmosphere quickly made this forget. Because every one of the vehicles exhibited in the Villa D’Este park could tell their own movie plot – this is a criterion that influences the rating of the vehicle by the expert jury.
The coveted prize „Best of Show by Jury“ went this year to the only four times built Ferrari 335 Sport. Even the die-hard Ferrari connoisseur might superficially identify Scaglietti’s Spider as Testa Rossa. But the Ferrari 335 is likely to be the crowning glory of all racing vehicles with front engine. After all, his four-liter V12 engine makes a whopping 430 hp, bringing the Ferrari up to a mere 300 km / h.
True racing genes are also owned by the Jaguar XK 120 Competition Type, also called Jaguar C-Type. He was the offensive predecessor of the D-type. The white Jaguar was driven by the American racing driver Masten Gregory in the beginning of his career.
Only 39 times the Ferrari 250 GTO was built. It is considered to be the world’s most valuable automobile, but at the same time it is also considered by connoisseurs to be the most successful and most beautiful race car of all time. The striking blue yellow livery of the vehicle was ordered by the Swedish racing driver Ulf Norinder, because he wanted after buying the vehicle, the national colors of Sweden on his Ferrari GTO.
Also in the prewar class „The Titans, Dirt, Dust and Danger“ there were some real racing legends to marvel. The 1936 Lagonda LG45 Rapide, which participated in 1937 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and was raced until 1964. In 1937 the Briton Alan Hess made a record run with this Lagonda and wanted to break the then top mark of 100 mph. He reached an exact 104.44 mph on the wet Brooklands lane, breaking the magic barrier for British road-legal touring cars.
170 km / h in 1930 was an incredible speed and referred to a real racing car, the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport. The Bugatti type 35 of 1925 was used as factory race car in the Targa Florio. The oldest street racing car, although always attributed to Ettore Bugatti, was built by Giuseppe Stefanini with the 1909 Isotta Fraschini FENC.
Only ten years younger is the Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Super Spinto, at its time the fastest luxury body in the world. The body of this Roadster convertible was built by Castagna. US President Nelson Rockefeller sat personally on the wheel of the Rolls Royce Phantom I with Brougham de Ville body of Brewster & Co in 1967. Particularly striking are the gold-plated trims on this Rolls Royce. Also from the US comes the impressive Cadillac V-16, of which only ten vehicles have survived to this day. It was the first automobile with a 16 cylinder V engine.
For a Lancia dealer in Boccia, north of Turin Pinin Farina created 1936 exclusively six convertibles of the Lancia Astura Series III. The model shown on the Concorso D’Eleganza has been in an unrestored condition for 82 years. Right next to it was an automobile legend, the Bugatti T57 Atalante from 1937, which also presented itself in an unrestored state. Only 33 copies of this French luxury vehicle have ever been built.
Sportiness and elegance combine the vehicles in the class „New World, New Ideas: The story of the GT. Only two copies were from the Ferrari 212 export with Vignale body, built in 1951, built. The design comes from the pen of Giovanni Michelotti. Also from his pen comes the Fiat 8V of 1953, which was also carved at Vignale. Very succinct is the extremely flat window line in this example, which underlines its sportiness. Carroll Shelby’s first attempt to create his own sports car is the Corvette with a Scaglietti body. It is the first of three vehicles.
The Scaglione-built 700 kg version of the Alfa Romeo 33/2 Stradale impressed the public of the Concorso D’Eleganza and thus the owner of the car received the „Coppa D’Oro“, the award for the most beautiful classic at the Villa d’Este.