What is there to say when it comes to THE classic car concorso in Europe. Let’s try…
TEXT AND PHOTOS by Alexander Kuhlmann
Every year end of May the classic car elite is gathering at the shores of the wonderful Lake Como, Italy. Just in time for all those who participated the Mille Miglia earlier in May to have exchanged the racing overall for the proper gentleman’s attire. This year’s motto: „Around the World in 80 Days – Voyage through an Era of Records“.
During the days before the gates of Villa d’Este open the town of Cernobbio is already buzzing with the ever present sound of untamed engines of both modern and vintage origin.
At Villa Erba you could already satisfy your car lust with a presentation of BMW’s classic Coupés. Or would you rather stroll a few paces further. Set in front of glistering Lake Como you would find what could only be described as an insane selection of pure bread classics – soon to be auctioned off to the highest bidder in the upcoming RM Auction. If you are not an Alfa guy just pass by the stunning Giulia GTA on to the Maserati 3500 GT Spider. Or would you prefer the silver Porsche 959, the Lamborghini Countach LP 400 Periscopio by Bertone or one of the many Ferraris. And in the unlikely event that you are not a car guy – well just suit yourself with an exquisite selection of motorcycles that was also up for auction. If you had the pocket change you were in for a tough descision.
All in all the bar was already set high by the Villa Erba presentation – but all was forgotten once you set foot on the premises of Villa d’Este – one of the few true 5 Star Hotels that actually lives up it’s reputation.
The first impression wasn’t all to bad being salutetd by 1 of only 50 Maserati MC12.
A few steps further down the freshly raked gravel is a melange of various impressions. Past the Renault Tresor with the most amazing body surface you catch a glimpse at new and outragously stylisch BMW 8 Series.
During a short break at the A. Lange & Söhne complimentary area you could enjoy the sight of the beautiful Riva boats going back and forth with more guest or, had you planned for it and packed your speedos, go for a swim in the lakewater pool.
Once you were well rested and ready for more – you were greeted by the daringly beautiful, 17,2 million dollar one-off Rolls-Royce Sweptail.
Over at the display of the participants, the superlatives just kept coming and coming – just to give an idea of the caliber of cars that awaited. A beautifully restored Lamborghini Miura P400, an Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo, a Lancia Dilambda Torpedo Sport, an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Turismo, a Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California Prototipo, a Maserati A6G/2000 Gran Sport with some heavy fire damage – but still mesmerising.
You could probably go on and on for (p)ages with the supercar frenzy only at the risk of risk to make the whole story sound like a Münchhausen’s tale. Best to stop when it is at it‘s best and leave some for the imagination.
In the classic car scene there are classic cars and there are icons. These are the cars you were lucky to have in your childhood quartett but seeing them in real life… well, that is a blessing. And the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is one of the few where that can happen.
Thank you Villa d’Este for being such a wonderful host.