COMO, Italy – Concours d’Elegans at the Villa D’Este, held annually, in various ways, the European version of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegans. It takes place in a beautiful place and it combines an impressive selection of rare and valuable cars. This is a real treat for eyes, ears and palate if you are into champagne. The 2022 edition of the show was no exception: about 50 vehicles were shipped to Lake Como from more than a dozen countries, and it was not the only common suspect. Of course, there were plenty of pre-combat cars (including a couple of models), but some icons with which young enthusiasts grew up (such as the Lamborghini Countach).
This year’s event was divided into eight sections:
- Art Deco era of motor car design,
- Mercedes-Benz, supercharged
- How the Grand Entrance was once created,
- Eight decades of Ferrari represented by eight icons,
- “Win Sunday, Sell Monday,”
- BMW’s M Car and their ancestors,
- Pioneers who chased the Magic 300 KPH,
- And a design award for ideas and prototypes.
The jury awarded the coveted “Best of Show” award to Bugatti 57S, owned by Andrew Picker of Monaco in 1937, when the above-mentioned classes won, respectively:
- Bugatti 57S, shown below,
- A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet,
- A 1956 Chrysler Boano Coupe Special,
- A 1966 Ferrari 356 P Berlineta special three seater,
- A 1961 Porsche 356 B Carrera Abarth GTL,
- A 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL,
- A 1989 Porsche 959 Sport,
- And the Bugatti Bold concept was unveiled in 2020.
Winning at Villa D’Este: The cars are judged by a panel of highly experienced judges.
No one gave me a scoring sheet, probably for fear that I would reward the late-model Fiat 600 hidden in the parking lot for points, but I noticed several cars that did not win prizes. One is the 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, a Grand Prix racer that was once owned by King Leopold III of Belgium and never recovered – its patina is impeccable. Another is the 1961 BMW 700 RS. Built between the two (the other is in the BMW collection), it is powered by a tiny, ultra-light roadstar related to the 700 and a 697-cubic-centimeter air-cooled flat-twin to develop 70 horsepower. It won several mountaineering events in the 1960s, and is one of the rarest cars to wear a BMW Roundtable. Aston Martin’s newly-recovered 1979 Bulldog concept was also great to look at; Check out the integrated cassette player in the headliner!
Speaking of BMW, its models are often well-received at the Villa d’Est because the German firm is one of the sponsors of the event, but this year’s display was more impressive than usual as it celebrated the 50th anniversary of the M Division. Although it did not enter the event, the 1972 turbo concept on display was an unexpected behavior; It has a wedge-shaped silhouette, glowing door and a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is similar to the 2002 turbo-powered unit. It was not approved for production but it had a significant impact on the M1, the first M car. It still runs, too. BMW has also unveiled the M4 CSL and M 1000 RR 50 Years M motorcycle at Villa d’Este.
Check out these cars and more in our gallery and let us know which of your favorites in the comments