16 September 2013

Concorso D'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2013

Cernobbio, 24th - 26th May 2013. Photos courtesy of BMW Classic.

The Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza, an exclusive auto show on the shores of Italy's Lake Como. It has taken place here every year since 1929 during the last weekend of April in Villa d'Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. BMW Group has organised the Concorso, jointly with the Grand Hotel Villa d'Este, for the last ten years and since 2011 the event takes place in the second half of May.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este today probably ranks as the most traditional show of its kind in the world. There is an extensive programme throughout the weekend, maintaining an exclusive ambience for those involved but at the same time offering the wider public a chance to experience the "Classic Weekend” on Lake Como in the company of classic car and motorcycle enthusiasts. As well as the automobile Concorso for invited guests in the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on the Saturday, the adjacent parkland of Villa Erba openrd its gates to all car and motorcycle aficionados on the Friday evening for an open-air cinema, and on the Saturday and Sunday for the public days.
In addition to the show, RM Auctions held an auction at Villa Erba, and made a few wealthy car collectors and investors very happy.

- Mr Fabulous 


Naturally, BMW uses the Villa d'Este Concorso to show off the Rolls-Royce range, including the brand new Wraith. With a V12 engine producing more than 620bhp, the Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce ever made, but not the most elegant.


1938 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic owned by fashion mogul Ralph Lauren. Of the four Atlantic Coupes, only two remain. This one was the last to be built, almost two years after the other three, and it is the only one to feature separate headlights. It drew the largest crowd, with and without Ralph Lauren in the passenger seat, and won almost every award it was eligible for.

BMW sponsors the event, meaning they can't enter the competition. But it didn't keep them from showing off some external concepts. The Gran Lusso Coupé Concept is Pininfarina's idea of an uber-luxurious BMW Grand Tourer. While it appears to be a logical successor to the 8 Series, is highly unlikely that BMW will transform this into a production Coupe above the 7 Series.

Lake Como lounging:

Un duetto di Alfa: This Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring Superleggera was named Best Concept Car, and it's easy to see why. Based on the Alfa 8C, it reinterprets the classic 1900 C52 Disco Volante (Flying Saucer) racing prototypes from the 1950s:

Just like the Disco Volante, this Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale by Zagato is a driving tribute to a legendary race car of the past. Both are not shy to borrow design clues from their role models, in this case the Alfa Giulia TZ2. But while Touring based the Disco Volante on an Alfa, Zagato goes a little further and borrows the chassis of a Viper ACR.

Aston Martin celebrates their 100th birthday this year, so it came as no surprise that they brought along their very own centennial birthday present: the CC100 Speedster. Based on the V12 Vantage and inspired by the 1959 DBR1, the CC100 features some design cues we might soon encounter in Aston Martin production cars; the multi-layered grill has already found its way onto the front of the new V12 Vantage S:

Pininfarina entered the prototypes and concept cars competition with its Sergio Barchetta. Based on a Ferrari 458 Spider, the Sergio displays an extraordinary attention to aerodynamic detail, such as a deflector in front of the cockpit that creates a virtual windscreen:

Keeping a McLaren P1 company:

The Infiniti Emerg-E is a concept car developed by Nissan's Infiniti division and was unveiled to the public at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. It's based on the Lotus Evora platform and the hybrid powertrain shown in 2012 as the Lotus Evora 414E concept car.

To distinguish among the vast number of models in the 250 Series, many Ferraris were given nicknames. Some from between 1956 and 1959 earned the moniker 'Tour de France' as Ferrari dominated this endurance race nine consecutive times. In the late '50s, two of the most important Ferrari distributors convinced Enzo to build a drop-top version of the TdF: This is when the California was born.

Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta:

Many early Ferrari production cars were merely homologated racecars to ensure the participation in the FIA GT Series. In 1964, Ferrari turned to Pininfarina to make the 250 LM more civilized and more appealing to potential customers. They came up with this, the Stradale Speciale. Out of the 32 LMs built, only this one got the Speciale treatment.

This car, one of three Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione by Pinin Farina raced in the Le Mans & Spa 24 hour races and the Carrera Panamericana in 1953. It sold at the auction for a staggering $12.8 million.

This Dino 166P/206P was mainly built to compete in hill climbs and was less successful in endurance racing. As it sported a V6 engine, it was not allowed to bear the Ferrari name, which in those days was exclusively reserved for V12 powered race and road cars.

Only 83 540K Cabriolet A vehicles were built by Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s. This one was specifically customised for the 14th Maharaja of Indore in 1937 ,and it remained in his possession until the 1970s. Two years ago this car sold for $1.8 million at the Villa Erba RM Auction.

It may hard to imagine for some, but there was once a time when Fiat built a car with a V8 engine. Fiat thought Ford owned the rights to the "V8" name, so called their version the 8V Rapi Berlinetta.

Given its compact size (157 inches long), low weight (2030 lbs) and 250bhp engine, the Jaguar XKSS counts Steve McQueen amongst former owners. Built on DType race car chassis, only 16 remain today, including the one you see here.

A gorgeous Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato from 1961. Only 19 Zagatos were ever built, and this is one of the two Lightweights that were raced at Le Mans.

While Lamborghini is celebrating its 50th birthday by introducing faintly ridiculous concepts such as the Veneno and the Egoista (which is saying something for a company that produced the Countach), the Concorso's tribute was a little more tasteful. This 350 GTV prototype, for example, marked the beginning of Ferruccio's production car adventures.

Only two 350 GTS Spiders were built in 1965, and only one of them is gold. What a colour.

A selection of vintage Lamborghinis can never be complete without a Miura. But even this sky blue 1972 SV has a hard time competing with the stunning beauty of Lake Como.

This 400 GT Flying Star II by Touring Superleggera is without a doubt one of the most practical Lamborghinis ever built, and also one of the most exclusive. This is the only one in existence.

With BMW Motorrad celebrating two significant birthdays this year (90 years since the founding of BMW Motorrad, and 40 years since the launch of the BMW R90 S), it's understandable that it should produce a tribute motorcycle to the most famous Boxer Twin. Hence, BMW debuted the BMW Concept 90, seen here alongside the classic BMW R90 S:


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