The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has got to be one of the coolest and most unique car events in the world right now. Built 1568, the Villa d’Este Hotel on the shores of Lake Como in Italy is the backdrop for this extraordinary and intimate event, which welcomes classic cars and motorcycles, as well as modern concepts and race cars. Among others, 2015 brought out the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept, a 1961 Ferrari GT SWB California Spider that sold at auction for over $11 million, and Cameron Glickenhaus’s SCG003, fresh off its finish at the Nürburgring 24 hour race.

But, the best in show award went to this pristine 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider, owned by American collector David Sydorick and wearing coach-built bodywork from Zagato. The 8C was Enzo Ferrari’s race car of choice before he started building his own several years later. With a 2.3-liter inline-eight cylinder engine, Alfa Romeo never intended the 8C 2300 to be a road car, but eventually decided to sell it as a rolling chassis due to high demand. Wealthy owners then took their 8C chassis to Carrozzerrias (coach builders), like Pininfarina, Touring, or, in this case, Zagato, to have them fitted with bodies of their choosing.

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Why it matters

Unlike most Concours events, Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este establishes a link between iconic classics and modern cars by hosting a diverse selection of unique cars from all eras. It’s what makes this event so cool. Though, the stunning location doesn’t hurt either.

In other classes, the Coppa d’Oro award, decided by public vote, went to a gorgeous Tour de France Blue Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta, while an endearingly quirky Pegaso Cúpula took home the Trofeo Ragazzi award, voted on by attendees under 16-years-old.

1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Named Best Of Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este Exterior
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Press Release

An impressive parade of all the cars and motorcycles entered in competition and the announcement of this year’s prize winners provided a dazzling Classic Weekend on the banks of Lake Como with a fitting climax late on Sunday afternoon in front of thousands of spectators. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este had once again underlined its stand-out status on the exclusive event calendar for historic cars and motorcycles. All eyes were trained on the line-up of precious classic machines and striking concept cars over the two days of the Concorso. Under a pleasantly warm sun, the event’s “Seventies Style – the Jet Set is back” banner spanned a host of special exhibitions and highlight features, creating a fitting stage for a weekend that will live long in the memory.

As ever, the best was left until last. The jury of experts provided the event with its crowning moment as the Trofeo BMW Group for “Best of Show” was awarded to an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Spider from 1932. The Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este prize decided by public referendum was won by a Ferrari 166M Barchetta from 1950. And in the Concept Cars and Prototypes competition the Bentley Exp 10 Speed Six coupé was presented with the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award. The Concorso di Motociclette beauty contest for classic motorcycles was held for the fifth time this year, and a Münch-4 TTS-E from 1973 took the honours with victory in the Trofeo BMW Group for motorcycles.

Knowledgeable visitors from around the world shower the cars and bikes with applause
The parkland and green spaces of the Villa d’Este luxury hotel and adjacent Villa Erba once again provided the perfect backdrop for this illustrious and long-established event centred around historic cars and motorcycles. Visitors from around the world greeted the parades of competition models with waves of applause in recognition of the elegance and aesthetic beauty of the rare classic machines and the extravagance of the prototypes and concept cars.

Special exhibitions celebrate seventies style
The various special exhibitions and “Seventies Style” motto for the event helped to conjure a richly evocative ambience. For example, the “90 years of the Rolls-Royce Phantom” anniversary was celebrated with a special category of competition, while the 1970s theme was reflected in both a special exhibition focusing on the 40th birthday of the BMW 3 Series and a line-up of BMW Art Cars. The first four examples of this one-of-a-kind project, in which the worlds of art and cars collide in eye-catching fashion, took their places alongside the latest member of the now 17-strong collection. Back in 1975 Alexander Calder painted a BMW racing car for the first time. Following in its tyre tracks later that decade were works of art on wheels by Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. In 2010 Jeff Koons created the latest addition to the BMW Art Cars Collection. All five BMW Art Cars on display in Cernobbio have lined up in the legendary Le Mans 24-hour race.

Creating a bridge between past, present and future
The history of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este began in 1929, when a beauty contest for cars took place at this very spot for the first time. This year’s Concorso d’Eleganza was the eleventh edition of this exclusive get-together to be co-hosted by BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel. Now, as ever, Lake Como welcomes a field of exceptionally valuable and rare historic cars and motorcycles to its shores, but nowadays the event also bridges the past, the present and the future of automotive aesthetics. This role is clearly expressed in the visionary designs of the prototypes and concept cars on show – and reinforced every year by new BMW concept studies presented out of competition.

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