- Where you can see the 50 most beautiful classic cars
- A collection of top carats
- Participation in itself is a win
- The Concorso is three times overbooked
- At least six-figure prices
Where you can see the 50 most beautiful classic cars
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The Italian car collector Corrado Lopresto is delighted with the Coppa d’Oro, the gold cup at the Concorso d’Eleganza at the “Villa d’Este”. This trophy is the audience award vo…n the first day of the legendary classic car competition, and on the second day, the spectators were weighed in on the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider from 1931 and voted it the winner again (Trofeo BMW Group Italia). The car also won the Trofeo BMW Group Ragazzi, for which only young people up to the age of 16 vote. But the jury’s prize …
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… The 1956 Maserati 450 S racing car took over. The eleven experts honored the car’s eventful racing history as well as its rarity, design and current condition….
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At the Concorso d’Eleganza, a brand-new car is also chosen every year – the Maserati Alfieri received the design award for concept studies, again determined by the public. That kna…pp The five-meter-long coupe was shown for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in early March; its name is reminiscent of one of the company’s founders who built up their business 100 years ago.
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Each time the Concorso is divided into several classes, class A this time was dedicated to Rolls-Royce because the brand is already celebrating its 110th birthday. Five magnificent cars entered…en (including a station wagon!), the winner was the Phantom II Boat Tail, built in 1934 and body by Gurney Nutting. The car …
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… looks like a boat from the back and has only two seats.
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The general motto of the Concorso this time was "The Great Gatsby", and that is why the class B was called – "Il Grande Gatsby", as the Italians say. The winner was born in 1922…aute Hispano-Suiza H6 B. This model is the only Hispano-Suiza that was built as a Sedanca Landaulette: open at the front, closed at the back and with an additional folding roof.
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The jury and the audience agreed on the victory in class C. Streamlined cars from the 1930s gathered here, and the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS wasn’t too s…hit. Not only because Alfa 6C variants often win titles anyway. This car is special in that it was first built as a roadster by Zagato in 1931 and then changed its design. In 1938, coachbuilder Aprile bought the car (for 4000 lire!) And gave it the particularly aerodynamic Speedster shape that is visible today.
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After 2008, the Alfa was extensively restored by its current owner – with the help of the Milan Polytechnic, they even tried to find the original colors using black and white…to determine b-photos.
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Class D bears the simple name "Villa d’Este" and brings together timeless Italian sports cars. Here won the Ferrari 250 Europa, built by Ferrari and Pininfarina in 1953. The… The car was quickly sold to the US, where at some point it was even fitted with a Chevrolet V8. It wasn’t until 2007, when the Ferrari was back in Europe, that the original twelve-cylinder was found and put back into operation – the restoration of the car was certified by Ferrari.
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"From St. Tropez to Portofino" – a beautiful title for a beautiful class of car, elegant roadsters from the 50s and 60s. They are reminiscent of the times when the Cote d’Azur was still …There was little traffic and long journeys by car were a pleasure. The 1959 built Ferrari 250 GT LWB (for "long wheelbase") won the race. The roadster built by Scaglietti was immediately exported to California, where it went to an 18-year-old. He took part in acceleration races with it and just a year later got another Ferrari: the 250 GT SWB (“short wheelbase”). Today the winning car is maintained in England.
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The weirdest types of this year’s Concorso competed in class F: "Le Fuoriserie – Unique Flights of Fantasy". Only individual pieces were presented to the jury. The adventurous Fiat …Abarth 2000 Scorpione, built by Pininfarina in 1969, was shown for the first time in Japan in 1977 at an exhibition in Tokyo. Shiro Kosaka desperately wanted to own the car, but Pininfarina only wanted to sell if the Japanese would found an Abarth Museum in Tokyo. It actually happened in 1993, the Fiat is still owned by Kosakas today and was back in Europe for the first time since 1977.
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When a brand like Maserati turns 100, it doesn’t have to fight long to get its own category at the “Villa d’Este”. And there was au about the winning car…Little discussion: The V4 Sport from 1929 not only has a beautiful Zagato body (since 1934), but also has one of the few 16-cylinder engines in automotive history under the hood. 305 hp from a four-liter displacement made it an incredible 246 km / h – which regularly overwhelmed the tires.
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Class H was dedicated to the “Gentleman Drivers”, or as the Italians say, the “Piloti per Diletto”. Amateurs who took part in races or rallies with their sports cars, however…r also curled up with it to an evening party. Scaglietti’s Ferrari 250 GT Tour de France won here and has an interesting sporting history behind it, including a GT class win at the last Mille Miglia race in 1957. The car was brand new at the time.
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A size too big for gentleman drivers are usually the real racing cars, and this category also includes the Maserati 450 S from 1956, which in the eyes of the jury is not nu…r its class, but dominated the whole Concorso as the most valuable, most beautiful and most interesting car. Only ten of them were built, as Maserati withdrew from motorsport in 1957 after Juan Manuel Fangio had won his fifth world title on a Maserati. The 450 S was caught between the chairs, because although Maserati built it, there was no support from the factory for the races. Between 1959 and 1962 the car competed in various teams.
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There are 50 cars to choose from at the Concorso d’Eleganza, and there are not quite that many prizes, but you can still win some small extra trophies. The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost …from 1908, for example, the best unrestored pre-war car was – in fact, very impressive, which can be achieved with careful care and maintenance.
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Such a price is also available for post-war cars, this time the Hudson Italia Prototype H01 from 1953. The car was supposed to compete against Corvette and Ford Thu in the 1950s…nderbird, but the customer interest was limited because the price was set too high. So the Hudson Italia never went into production.
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The 1936 Lancia Astura Type 233 from Pininfarina received the prize for the “most sensitive restoration”, and there was also one …
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… an award for the most elegant Rolls-Royce: Silver Cloud III Drophead Coupe, bodied by Mulliner in 1963.
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The 1965 Shelby American 427 Competition Cobra was named the show’s best auto icon, and the …
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… Mercedes 300 SL Alloy from 1955 (sports version with a light aluminum body, only 29 pieces) won the interior design award.
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Of course, the Hispano-Suiza H6 B, with its crew completely clad in Gatsby style, had to win the award for the best appearance of car and occupants, and …
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… then there was still a prize left for another Maserati: the A6GCS Berlinetta from 1953 is now considered the car with the “most exciting design”. Finally …
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… The only trophy that cannot be discussed: This 1958 Mercedes 300 SL Roadster had made the longest journey on its own – its German…The owner brought it from Stuttgart to Lake Como.
At the Concorso d’Eleganza on Lake Como, people who want to see vintage cars meet others who like to show off their treasures. So much so that they’ll spend a fortune to be there.
D.he little man in the straw hat walks purposefully towards the silver Ferrari. Then he leans forward a little, pulls out the digital camera and takes a few pictures – like thousands of other visitors, but the photos of Hideo Kodama may have more meaning.
Kodama is on the jury of the most important European classic car meeting. If he is interested in a car at the Concorso d’Eleganza on Lake Como, then that is completely different than when the visitors, who have paid 14 euros each for admission, shout “bella macchina”.
Of course, Kodama, who was previously responsible for the design of the smaller series at Opel, has not yet revealed which car he and his ten fellow judges have decided on. But he lets it be known that the jury does not need the second day of the exhibition to come to a judgment. The second day is more for the audience. "We already had a thorough consultation yesterday evening," says the Japanese, who is now a pensioner and still lives in Germany.
A collection of top carats
Two other well-known retirees are on the jury, Patrick Le Quement, former Renault chief designer, and Harm Lagaaj, who was responsible for the design at Porsche from 1989 to 2004.
They are all looking for the old car that delivers the best combination of authenticity, state of preservation, meaning and beauty. Such a choice can really only go wrong, because what is gathered here in the gardens of the “Grand Hotel Villa d’Este” (day one) and the “Villa Erba” (day two) can justifiably be seen as a collection of top carats describe.
This year things are not as clear-cut as in 2013, when Ralph Lauren fashion designer with a Bugatti 57SC Atlantic came from the USA. This car is worth a good 30 million euros (if Lauren wanted to sell it), and there are only two of them left – Lauren won the audience award and the jury award.
This time, however, the opinions of laypeople and experts differ. Both the paying guests on the second day and the invited audience on the first day, i.e. the participants and their families themselves, journalists and other guests, a total of around 600 people, are in favor of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS, an incredibly perfectly restored one Speedster in the streamlined design of the 1930s.
Participation in itself is a win
Yes, you can, and the objection that the car is somehow too flawless, well, at the "Villa d’Este" it doesn’t really count. Almost all the cars look like they have been peeled from an egg, although there are also a few that are labeled as “preserved” – as well preserved without ever having been restored.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost from 1908 is such a candidate. And one can only take off our hats to the love that has been bestowed on this car over 106 years. It flashes and flashes that it has a style, and such an old used car with only two previous owners has to be found first.
The jury gave this wonderful vehicle a special prize, but their absolute favorite was the Maserati 450 S, although it has changed hands around ten times since 1956. But the turnover rate is also higher for racing cars, and the Maserati deserves its award , not only because of an interesting story (see picture gallery), but also because its 400 hp V8 is so beautiful that it could win a design award.
Ultimately, even participating in the "Villa d’Este" is a win. Because not everyone who wants to can take part here. It is an honor to be selected, the absolute cap is 54 cars. Exactly how many there will be also depends on which vehicle classes are formed and how many competitors are competing in each class.
The Concorso is three times overbooked
This is monitored by a selection committee on which, in addition to the hotel director of the "Villa d’Este" and two external consultants, four representatives from BMW sit – the car manufacturer has been the main sponsor of the event for 14 years. Around 150 applications are received every year, so the Concorso is roughly three times overbooked, which is considered a good ratio.
But if you don’t get a chance, you shouldn’t let hope go – good cars are put on resubmission. After all, who knows for which categories you will still be able to use them in the next year or the year after?
Whoever wins the bid then has to dig deep into their pockets. Because the transport to and from Italy is at your own expense. For classic car owners from Italy itself, from Switzerland or Germany, this may still be acceptable, Great Britain can also be organized somehow.
But twelve cars had been brought in from the United States this year, two from Argentina, and one each from Brazil, Thailand and Japan. In addition to travel and transport costs, there are also tariffs at the location of the event: depending on the room category in the “Grand Hotel”, classic car owners pay EUR 3,275 to EUR 12,300 for their three-night stay including all meals and events – each for one car plus two owners.
At least six-figure prices
But since there are no models among the classic cars present that do not have at least a six-figure price, and since most owners not only have this one car in their garage, they can also afford to take part. Some of them have even been in Italy for a longer period because they had taken part in the Mille Miglia the week before.
It’s a meeting of rich and very rich people who share the pleasure of beautiful cars. And who kindly not only receive these cars, but also give people who otherwise only buy model cars a glimpse of the treasures.
What does look mean? Hundreds, thousands of visitors crowd around the old cars on day two, backpacks and bags swing dangerously close to the paintwork. But everyone stays relaxed, chat with the curious and has a little joy in showing their possessions.
And the Italians have no envy when it comes to beautiful cars. Every minute you notice the love this people has for cars. “Bella macchina”, these words are not a cliche here on the lawn, you really hear them a lot. Because they not only mean “beautiful engine” but also “beautiful car”. And because they are an expression of an attitude that needs to be preserved just as much as the cars themselves.
The trip to the Concorso d’Eleganza was supported by BMW. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at www.axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit
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