The Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza has opened on the shores of Lake Como under cloudless skies and with the usual eye-widening selection of cars competing. Just 51 cars are invited to be displayed on the lawns of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
One contest has already been settled: the Villa d’Este Coppo d’Oro is decided by public vote on the first day. This year it was claimed by a tearful Corrado Lopresto with his sensational 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport, which was raced in the 1930s before being given its current, slippery form by the Carrozzeria Aprile.
Goodwood is making its contribution, with Lord March serving on the jury alongside design luminaries such as Patrick le Quement and Fiat Group Head of Design Lorenzo Ramaciotti
Sunday sees the judges deciding the various best in class awards, and the Best in Show, won last year by Ralph Lauren with his 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe. The Alfa is of course a hot contender for the main prize, alongside the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 Superflow show car and a sixteen-cylinder, Zagato-bodied Maserati V4 Sport Spider from 1929.
Goodwood is making its contribution, with Lord March serving on the jury alongside design luminaries such as Patrick le Quement and Fiat Group Head of Design Lorenzo Ramaciotti. And Goodwood-based Rolls-Royce is using Villa d’Este for the public launch of its Phantom Drophread Coupe Waterspeed limited edition. Just 35 will be built, and the car commemorates Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Rolls-Royce powered Bluebird K3 which set the world water speed record on nearby Lake Maggiore in 1937.
But the main concept-car news comes from Mini, which has commissioned Italian design house Touring to make a artfully simple Mini speedster, which cleverly integrates both Mini design cues, Touring’s hallmark creased body sides, and Union Jack rear lamps. Don’t expect it to be offered for sale any time soon, but it looks perfect for a tour of Lake Como in this glorious weather.
Check back soon for the cars that rocked Villa d’Este for us, and for the verdict of the judges.
Photography by Richard Pardon