This year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, held from May 24th to 26th on the idyllic shores of Lake Como, was a celebration of automotive elegance and history like no other. Having attended this prestigious event in the past, we can confidently say that 2024 surpassed all previous years in terms of the sheer level of automotive majesty. Even the weather was on the event’s side this year. Sort of.  The prestigious car event showcased new debuts, breathtaking classics, iconic race cars, and everything in between, all set against the most beautiful backdrop any car event could hope for.

Dual Venues of Elegance: Villa d’Este and Villa Erba

The event is split between two stunning venues: the Villa d’Este hotel and the nearby Villa Erba. The former hosts the more exclusive, intimate Saturday event, while the latter becomes a bustling hub of activity on Sunday as it welcomes over 10,000 visitors every year. Tickets for Saturday’s event sell out quickly, attracting some of the world’s most prominent car collectors who wander through the meticulously landscaped grounds of Villa d’Este and through the iconic Mosaic Garden.

The setting on the edge of Lake Como adds to the magic, with attendees often opting for a serene water taxi over the typically heavy road traffic to travel between the two venues. Villa Erba on Saturday hosts the Wheels & Weisswürscht – Amici & Automobili event, a charming reinterpretation of the legendary Cars & Coffee Events in the United States. On Sunday, Villa Erba Sunday transforms it into a vibrant festival with all the concours cars on display. Among them? A series BMW Art Cars, a display paying tribute to designer Marcello Gandini, and a celebration of 25 years of the BMW Z8.

Awards and Winners: From Classic to Contemporary

While the Best of Show winner is announced on Sunday, the previous day is all about Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este. And this year, a McLaren F1 with a BMW engine under the hood took the prize home. The car presented by Tony Vassilopoulos from Great Britain gained the highest number of votes from visitors to the event. This marked a significant departure from the traditional classic concours cars typically favored in past years.

Photo by BMW Classic / BMW AG

Sunday’s event culminated in the announcement of the Villa d’Este class winners and the Best of Show at Villa Erba. The preservation class car that took the top prize was none other than the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Figoni from the HM Collection in Belgium, represented by Fiskens. The owner received the prestigious Trofeo BMW Group – Best of Show, presented by Helmut Käs, head of BMW Group Classic, and Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne.

Stunning Displays: Iconic Cars and Celebrated Designers

Of course, there are a lot of amazing cars on the shores of Lake Como. One of the coolest cars on display was the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Speciale Aerodinamico (SWB), an exquisite model that turned heads with its sleek design and historical significance. Another highlight was the 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC, a prime example of Italian engineering and elegance. Modern supercars were also well-represented, including the legendary BMW Z8 Coupe, a timeless roadster celebrating its 25th birthday.

Among the many highlights were stunning examples like a1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II and a 1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Liter Blower. Pre-war gems included Corrado Lopresto’s 1923 Diatto Tipo 20S and Nicholas and Shelley Schorsch’s 1927 Isotta Fraschini. Post-war highlights featured Brian Ross’s 1957 Ferrari 335 S, with a racing pedigree that includes the Mille Miglia, Sebring, and Le Mans, driven by legends like Fangio, Moss, and Hawthorn. Other notable mentions were a Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider Frua, a BMW 507 Roadster, a Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary, a Countach LP400 and a stunning RUF – CTR “Yelowbird.”

Villa d’Este also displayed recent concept cars, including the Lotus Type 66, Triumph TR25, and the striking Alpine Alpenglow. BMW showcased its new Concept Skytop, BMW R20 Concept and the 20th BMW Art Car, designed by Julie Mehretu. Rolls-Royce presented the Cullinan Series II. The BMW M brand was also well represented, featuring the new M4 CS, the M4 Facelift, i7 M70 and a BMW XM.

In conclusion, the 2024 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este was once again a magnificent blend of heritage, innovation, and sheer automotive splendor, making it an unforgettable experience for all who attended. The event should be on everyone’s bucket list, whether you’re a car aficionado or not.