Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019

Rating

90 100
DATE 24-26 May 2019
DESTINATION Lake Como
DURATION 3 days
DRIVER ABILITY Deep pockets essential
MORE INFO Event Website

Is there a finer setting than the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on Lake Como, Northern Italy? We doubt it. The event was first held in 1929 and has always featured a mixture of modern and classic cars with the emphasis very much on styling.

So influential has the Concorso been that in the early post-War years Alfa Romeo launched a special version of its 6C 2500, penned by Carrozzeria Touring. It won the 1949 Concorso d’Eleganza and was named ‘Villa d'Este’ in recognition of that honour.

Where Pebble Beach might focus on expansive and dramatic one-offs from the ‘Great Gatsby’ inter-war years, Villa d’Este is a broader church and gives more emphasis to groundbreaking designs from the 20s to the 70s. These could be one-offs and concepts, or simple, timelessly elegant cars such as 2009’s winner, the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta by Touring, or 2015's stunning, ex-Agnelli 1952 Ferrari 16 MM Barchetta by Touring owned by Clive Beacham that won the prestigious Coppa D'Oro Villa d'Este. In 2018, the Jury chose the dramatic 1958 Ferrari 335 Sport with 'pontoon' bodywork, a car owned and enjoyed by enthusiast Andreas Mohringer.

Entry is by invitation, and each year criteria and themes change. The Saturday is very much a private event for owners, judges, the great and the good, while on the following day the cars are on show at the nearby Villa Erba, where the knowledgeable public awards votes for the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este, the Best of Show by Public Referendum. In recent years, when not conflicting with the Monaco Historics, the event has been accompanied by an auction by RM Sotheby's.

Worth it alone for the setting and the spectacle.

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019

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