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Saturday, 9 August 2014

'Paparazzi' at work

Review Concorso d'Eleganza-Trends & Emotions

The Concorso d'Eleganza is a beauty contest for historic cars. The Show Room of the event is the Grande Hotel Villa d'Este and Villa Elba, both idyllic located lakeside at Lake Como in Italy, Cernobbio. The history of the event is rich in tradition, as early as in 1929 the most beautiful motorcars in the world are battle for the "Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este Award. Until 1949 the best new automotive releases have been awarded every year. But with the start of mass production automobile the small auto Haute Couture businesses who participated regularly at the Concorso with their unique models all but disappeared. It was not until 1999 that the BMW group took over patronage and the long-standing tradition and spirit returned.
Some years later, in 2002 the tradition got revitalized, when a new class for contemporary concept cars got introduced. Over the years, the elegant "Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este" gained more and more importance for the essence of automotive spirit of days long gone. Today it has become a pilgrimage site for an international top-class audience.

To maintain the uniqueness of the event at a high level, changes were required. Under the carefully management of Karl Baumer the ex head of the BMW group classic and Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa d'Este S.p.A, the future was set with design panel discussions and  a open to the public day. In the year 2011 more attractions got launched like a judging class for motorcycles, a second public day and an classic car auction.

According to the strict selection of the FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) for classic cars from 1920-1970 approximately fifty cars are allowed and awarded in various categories and classes. As with any automotive superlative event, paparazzi of all ages are magically attracted hunting for the specific photo.

Beside shiny historic motorcars, extravagant concept cars and rare prototypes one can be admire the influence that made the automobile industry. Under the theme "Design meets Future" many contemporary concept cars apply for various desired design awards.
 Design Award 2014  for the Maserati Alfieri Concept
  A one off Zagato Lamborghini 5-95
From dozens of applications only a handful of concepts are selected. For many of them it will be their world premiere.
Mini Superleggera vision

Applications for entry number many hundreds of applications, all hoping to receive a positive sign of entry comparable to the knight accolade of the British Queen.
All expenses to make this event and participate are included in the invitation acceptance. Although travel costs and accommodation at the Grande Hotel Villa d'Este have to be taken by the lucky few selected to show their Grand Routers. This year twelve cars took the long voyage for far away as the USA, Japan and Argentina.

Each year a specific theme is celebrated. This time it was the roaring 1920's. BMW invited to the Open air night with the movie remake of 'The Great Gatsby-2013' based on the novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald starring Leonardo di Caprio and Carey Mulligan in costumes design by Miuccia Prada. This year the theme of the 1920's was not only reflected in the wonderful costumes and hats of the models, which ran along with the historic cars on the catwalk, the whole event had a breeze of a time travel back to another era.
 1969 Fiat Abarth 2000 Scorpio Concept by Pininfarina

With a special exhibition the 110-year anniversary of Rolls Royce was recognized along with the 100 year anniversary of Maserati with its exclusive judging class.
But what exactly catches the fascination of the annually Consorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este? For sure not only the beautiful cars and the scenic beauty of Villa d'Este and Lake Como, maybe it is the emotional moment of the audience, the competitors and the paparazzi. The Image here shows exactly this particular moment as it could have not been captured by any well known old master. In  a museum we would certainly stop by and ask ourselves "What is the Artist's message of this work?" One of the choice actors at the event was clearly the Mercedes SL 300, a very rare one of only 29, which whole body is made of aluminium. We do not know about what owner Bernado Hartog is talking- he is the guy on the left side with the blue shirt, but it gives him great pleasure, while the paparazzi on the right side make an effort to secure the best view with their cameras. The Gullwing was restored by HK Engineering and won two prizes, one for the best 'interior design' and an honorary prize.

 The Summary      
The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is a gigantic spectacle that should not be missed by anyone with a passion for design and historic automobiles. The beautiful surroundings of Lake Como offers a welcome change to a busy everyday life. Due to the amazing organization of the BMW classic group the program remains every year new and exciting, also is leading for new trends and signals in the automotive collectors market.

Winner of the "Coppa  d'Oro Villa d'Este" & 2 BMW prizes: The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS - 1931

Photocredits © and C.G.
Source: HK-Engineering, BMW press release 2004, 2014



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