At the Villa d’Este on Lake Como, the judging is done; the black-tie dinner and the parties have ended; the guests are departing: the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza has come to an end.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is among the world’s top classic car events, ranking alongside the Pebble Beach Councours. The venue is hard to beat for the beauty of the Italian landscape around Cernobbio and the elegance of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba. The organizers say visitors can experience “authentic aristocracy” as opposed to the “slightly commercial atmosphere” of other shows.
The first Concorso d’Eleganza was held in September 1929. The “Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este” (“Gold Cup of Villa d’Este”) was organized by the Automobile Club of Como, the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the Comitato di Cura di Como. The show ran until the opening of World War. Following the Allied victory, organizers staged a show in 1947 but decided the Concorso should be a biennial event. The 1949 show was the last: the decline of the custom coachbuilding industry that had been the shows backbone as manufacturers recovered from the war forced organizers to suspend, then cancel, the 1951 show and another never materialized.
The Concorso d’Eleganza was revived in 1995 by Italian author Tito Anselmi, but the show lacked the stability needed to regain its former stature. In 1999, BMW became the show’s patron and the Concorso has grown ever since.
In 2002 a new prize, the Auto and Design Trophy, was created to honor concept cars. This unique prize, which sets the Concorso d’Eleganza apart from other councours events, has its roots in the original show as designers and cars companies would frequently present their latest ideas at the show.
|2012 CONCEPT CARS & PROTOTYPES|
|Pininfarina Cambiano||2012||Electric Luxury Sedan|
|Alfa Romeo 4C||2011||Sport Coupé||Marco Tencone|
|Stile Bertone Jaguar B99||2011||4-Door Sedan||Marco Filippa|
|Rinspeed Dock+Go||2012||2-seat Electric City Car||Hans Roth|
|Ford EVOS Concept||2011||4-Door Sedan||Martin Smith|
|Italdesign Giugiaro Brivido||2012||Hybrid Gran Turismo||Fabrizio Giugiaro|
|Lexus LF-LC||2012||2+2 Hybrid Sport Coupé||Kevin Hunter|
|Rimac Automobili Concept One||2011||Electric Coupé||Mate Rimac|
|Aston Martin Lagonda Project AM 310||2012||GT Sports||Ulrich Bez|
This year, BMW presented its newest concept, the Zagato Coupe, as well as its first concept, the Paul Bracq-designed BMW Turbo of 1972 which later became the template for the BMW M1.
In addition to the public awards, an expert jury selects the winners of several more competitions. This year’s jury was led by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, head of design for Fiat and Chrysler. Jury members included: Charles Lord March, host of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival events; Patrick le Quément, former head of design at Renault; Harm Lagaay. former head of design at Ford, BMW and Porsche; Winston Goodfellow, journalist and automotive historian; Hideo Kodama, designer and illustrator; Stefano Pasini, eye specialist, freelance journalist and author of several automotive books; Nick Mason, founding member and drummer of Pink Floyd and passionate racing driver and Ian Cameron, Design Director for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, served as an Honorary Judge.
|2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Awards|
|Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este – Best of Show by Public Vote|
|1933 Alfa Romeo, 6C 1750 GS, 6th Series Coupé with Figoni body – David Cohen (Canada)|
|FIVA Trophy – Best Preserved Pre-War Car|
|1935 Avions Voisin, C 25, Berline Aerodyne - René Rey (Switzerland)|
|ASI Trophy – Best Preserved Post-War Car|
|1969 Porsche, 917/K, Coupé – Mark Finburgh (UK)|
|BMW Group Classic Trophy – Most Sensitive Restoration|
|1968 Ford, GT 40 Mk3, Coupé – Gary W. Bartlett (USA)|
|Rolls-Royce Trophy – Most Elegant Rolls-Royce|
|1922 Rolls-Royce, Silver Ghost, Picadilly Roadster with Rolls-Royce Custom Coach Work body – Caesar Peier (Switzerland)|
|Vranken Pommery Trophy – Best Iconic Car|
|1956 Mercedes-Benz, 300 SL, Gullwing Coupé – Lionel Scotto le Massese (France)|
|Foglizzo Trophy – Best Interior Design|
|1954 Ferrari, 250 Europa, Coupé with Vignale body – Heinrich Kämpfer (Switzerland)|
|Auto & Design Trophy – Most Exciting Design|
|1975 Lamborghini, LP 400 Countach Coupé with Bertone body – Paul van Doorne (Netherlands)|
|Automobile Club of Como Trophy – Car driven from farthest away|
|1939 Tatra 87, Aerodynamic Sedan, Ringhoffe – Karol Pavlu (Slovakia)|