Sulla Strada per Concorso d’Eleganza. (Part 2)

Concorso d’Eleganza: The 90th anniversary spent unexpectedly…

Who would have imagined that the sky crashing down on us could turn into something so magical? Indeed, this years Concorso was deemed to be different.

Part 1 of the story is found here.

That doesn’t only come down to the way of arrival, it continued throughout the event too – in a good way! Forecasts have been predicting the grey and wet weather front and yet we all have had the pleasure to arrive in sunshine on Friday. Saturday continued with the weather one would expect spending a beautiful day at Lago di Como.

Just as Simon Kidston, what a fantastic show he has been delivering over the weekend, started presenting the cars during their parade it all changed. The clouds starting rolling over the mountains, the sky turned darker and darker, soon after we would all find each other in pouring rain, dribbling wet. Sounds negative? I can promise you, it turned out to be a rather positive and pleasant experience! You can’t neglect the fact that it was wet and only a few dry spots outside, under which one could hide to continue with the parade. That of course meant for everyone to squeeze together, come a little closer and suddenly the atmosphere got familiar, friendlier and cosier. Everyone helped one another, kept on smiling and that’s when the real magic of the Concorso came to life – what a wonderful way to experience the best of human traits, all while continuing to admire what has to be one of the best selection of cars so far at Villa d’Este.

Shall we talk a little more cars then? Here is a quick overview of some of our favourites of this years Concorso:

One of the highlights was the tribute to one of Italy’s most influential car designers, Marcello Gandini, with the recreation of the BMW Garmisch concept. The original BMW Garmisch was a concept designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone that debuted at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show. Gandini is responsible for legendary cars like the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Lancia Stratos and many more iconic models. Additionally to these rather famous cars he was also the mastermind behind the Lamborghini Marzal.

The glass gull-wing doors and almost entirely transparent passenger compartment with silver leather-upholstered seats are enveloped by sensational external lines. The most fascinating bit, of course after the extravagant seating position, as you basically sit in the open environment, is the engine. Built on the rear transversely-mounted V12 engine layout of the Miura, the Marzal’s engine was turned 180 degrees with respect to that of its precursor, so that the first gear is down and away from the steering wheel. The prototype was sold by RM Sotheby’s at Villa Erba back in 2011. Owned by Albert and Rita Spiess, lovely collectors from Switzerland, the Marzal has been going through a very detailed and extensive restoration. Not only did it win first in class, but even more fascinating is the fact, that the public clearly have lost their hearts with it – The Marzal went home with the “Trofeo BMW Group Ragazzi” on sunday at Villa Erba. Clearly a crowds favourite, although Ferruccio Lamborghini was contradicting and said it would “offer no privacy: a lady’s legs would be there for all to see.”

Another car which has made us smile is the OSCA MT4 1450 with Frua bodywork. OSCA is the shortcut for “Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili”, a company established by Ettore, Ernesto and Bindo Maserati in 1947, after selling Maserati to the Orsi family in ’37. Only two MT4’s were bodies by Frua, and this is one of them. The MT4, “Maserati Tipo 4 Cilindri”, is the first design of the freshly established car manufacturer, being presented in ’48. By 1956, a total of 79 automobiles had been produced, but only 8 cars were manufactured in the 1450 cc version.

So which car won “Best of Show”?

The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Berlinetta, made by Touring Superleggera, the symphony of elegance and aerodynamics. Once the fastest car in the world, the lightweight aluminium eight-cylinder engine, with its twin superchargers, was revolutionary back in the 1930’s

The classic car world is just a fantastic world, full of enthusiasm and passion – Being able to enjoy this at a place like Villa d’Este turns this whole experience into a dream!

Some more impressions…


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