As you can imagine from the title, this is my fourth visit to the most prestigious of all European car beauty contests, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013, and it was just as interesting for me as the first one was.
The story – not mine but the Concorso’s – started in 1929, making it the oldest event of its kind and through sponsorship by BMW, this has led to an extremely high standard of organisation and the prestigious event has been elevated back to its pre-war heights. As a result, the ’competition of elegance’ is a massive success for both the public and for the event’s classic car insiders. This year 49 veteran cars contested the event, divided into nine classes between the years 1928-1980. There were also seven new prototypes and for the third year in a row, motorcycles were permitted to compete. The show was rounded off with an auction by global auction specialists RM Auctions, a Chevrolet Corvette 50th anniversary special exhibition and the best of all, a display of the essence of BMW’s 90 years of motorbike production.
This year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013 was very special mainly due to one of the most exciting – and most notable – cars ever produced, the 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic. The last of the four built, and two existing examples of the Atlantic, won the Best in Show title together with four other prizes. For good reason of course, the other cars were also well worth observing and to record these photographically and to illustrate this, I have returned home with more than 25GB of RAW files.
Aston Martin and Lamborghini were allocated special classes because of their 100th and 50th anniversaries respectively – the latter presented two of my favourites of the weekend, the 400 GT Flying Star II and the very first Lambo, the 350 GTV of 1963. The other classes in this legendary competition of elegance included: Kings of the Road; Thoroughbreds; Transitions; Prancing Horse vs. Trident; California Dreamin’; Speed and Style; and Racing Improves the Breed.
If you missed this year’s event, there is always the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este beside the still waters of Lake Como, to look forward to.
By Zoltan Papp