An impressive parade of all the cars and motorcycles entered in competition and the announcement of this year’s prize winners provided a dazzling Classic Weekend on the banks of Lake Como with a fitting climax late on Sunday afternoon in front of thousands of spectators. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este had once again underlined its stand-out status on the exclusive event calendar for historic cars and motorcycles. All eyes were trained on the line-up of precious classic machines and striking concept cars over the two days of the Concorso. Under a pleasantly warm sun, the event’s “Seventies Style – the Jet Set is back” banner spanned a host of special exhibitions and highlight features, creating a fitting stage for a weekend that will live long in the memory.
As ever, the best was left until last. The jury of experts provided the event with its crowning moment as the Trofeo BMW Group for “Best of Show” was awarded to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider from 1932. The Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este prize decided by public referendum was won by a Ferrari 166M Barchetta from 1950. And in the Concept Cars and Prototypes competition the Bentley Exp 10 Speed Six coupé was presented with the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award. The Concorso di Motociclette beauty contest for classic motorcycles was held for the fifth time this year, and a Münch-4 TTS-E from 1973 took the honours with victory in the Trofeo BMW Group for motorcycles.
Knowledgeable visitors from around the world shower the cars and bikes with applause
The parkland and green spaces of the Villa d’Este luxury hotel and adjacent Villa Erba once again provided the perfect backdrop for this illustrious and long-established event centred around historic cars and motorcycles. Visitors from around the world greeted the parades of competition models with waves of applause in recognition of the elegance and aesthetic beauty of the rare classic machines and the extravagance of the prototypes and concept cars.
Special exhibitions celebrate seventies style
The various special exhibitions and “Seventies Style” motto for the event helped to conjure a richly evocative ambience. For example, the “90 years of the Rolls-Royce Phantom” anniversary was celebrated with a special category of competition, while the 1970s theme was reflected in both a special exhibition focusing on the 40th birthday of the BMW 3 Series and a line-up of BMW Art Cars. The first four examples of this one-of-a-kind project, in which the worlds of art and cars collide in eye-catching fashion, took their places alongside the latest member of the now 17-strong collection. Back in 1975 Alexander Calder painted a BMW racing car for the first time. Following in its tyre tracks later that decade were works of art on wheels by Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. In 2010 Jeff Koons created the latest addition to the BMW Art Cars Collection. All five BMW Art Cars on display in Cernobbio have lined up in the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race.
Creating a bridge between past, present and future
The history of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este began in 1929, when a beauty contest for cars took place at this very spot for the first time. This year’s Concorso d’Eleganza was the eleventh edition of this exclusive get-together to be co-hosted by BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel. Now, as ever, Lake Como welcomes a field of exceptionally valuable and rare historic cars and motorcycles to its shores, but nowadays the event also bridges the past, the present and the future of automotive aesthetics. This role is clearly expressed in the visionary designs of the prototypes and concept cars on show – and reinforced every year by new BMW concept studies presented out of competition.
World premiere for two BMW concept studies
This year the BMW Group presented two head-turning concept studies at the Concorso d’Eleganza. The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represented a formidable statement on the part of the BMW Design team as it paid tribute to the BMW 3.0 CSL – a timeless classic and iconic BMW coupé from the 1970s. “Our Hommage cars not only demonstrate how proud we are of our heritage, but also how important the past can be in determining our future,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Director of BMW Group Design. “The BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage represents a nod to the engineering achievement exemplified by the BMW 3.0 CSL in its lightweight design and performance. With intelligent lightweight construction and modern materials, the Hommage brings the character of that earlier model into the 21st century, showing it in a new and exciting guise,” he adds, summarising the approach the design team took with the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage.
Since the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is also committed to showcasing beauty on two wheels, BMW Motorrad likewise unveiled a world premiere at the event. Under the motto “The Spirit of the Open Road” the BMW Motorrad Design team revealed the BMW Motorrad Concept 101. Elegant, exclusive, extrovert and riding a wave of unbridled power, it represents a totally new take on the touring bike concept. This high-performance, emotionally rich and ultra-exclusive six-cylinder machine turns every ride into a very special experience.