It is not often when both quality and quantity are found together. However, at Concorso Italiano they are always found together! Quantity manifests itself in a variety of ways at Concorso. Every year there are a very large number of classy, show prepared Italian automobiles on display, often exceeding 1,000 cars. The annual Centerpiece Display provides special recognition to a particular marque or model. Marques and models with Silver or golden anniversaries of are arrayed with special recognition. There is also abundance in the number of ancillary attractions at Concorso Italiano including on-stage appearances of cars with their owners, industry headliners, the on-stage fashion show, even a few boats and motorcycles, and the Fashion Village adding lifestyle attractions as well as art, jewelry, a beauty studio, items for children, and fine artists actually at work.

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The element of quality is infused throughout Concorso. Extraordinarily rare cars and supercars are commonplace at the event. Top industry personalities, executives, car designers, and drivers are on-stage, or may occasionally be seen beside their marques. A plethora of fascinating topics are discussed by qualified commentators over the public address system and on-stage. This quantity partnering quality was not unique to the event just concluded on August 20, but it happens each and every year at Concorso Italiano!

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Probably for many of us, the Miura (1966-73) is the first ever Lamborghini. But it is actually not the very first. The first Lamborghini produced by Ferruccio Lamborghini’s factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese was the GT 350 in 1963. Most of us have simply heard more about the Miura which burst onto the scene at the Geneva auto show fifty years ago. It got plenty of attention with its mid-mounted, transverse V12 engine, highly advanced styling, and the low profile which still grab attention today. Due to Concorso’s recognition of this golden anniversary, Miuras showed up in various colors on the grass, and awards were given for several categories: farthest traveled (from Concorso), most driven (mileage), best interior, best finish, people’s choice, President’s Award, and best Miura.

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The Miura was not the only Lamborghini model to admire at the event. Murciélagos, Diablos, Aventadores, and more were on display on the fairways in their always exciting colors of paint.

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Horacio Pagani, founder Pagani Automobili S.p.A., made an appearance on stage with his son, and later they both joined a Pagani Huayra (2012-present) on the grass. Up close the Huayra is utterly stunning! It is not too much of a stretch to say that it nearly knocks you over. The impression the car gives is of the ultimate in quality, with attention to detail ubiquitous. Performance is evident too with a twin-turbo V12 engine pushing the car to 230 mph. Quality appears on every perceivable item, and in the details at all levels. In examining the car, one is left with the certainty that great thought, foresight, and scrutiny were put into the design and craftsmanship throughout this lovely machine.

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This car was presented in spotless, glossy black, with the interior in a shade of tan distinctly jumping out of the surrounding pool of dark inkiness, revealing every astute detail in the passenger compartment. The styling on both the interior and exterior is fabulous. Every curve, line, and item of this car has a great sense of the aesthetic in it – the instrumentation and controls, the gull-wing doors, the wheels, the flower-stemmed rear-view mirrors, the road lamp treatment, the bodywork sculpting and flow – everything! This automobile is a real piece of work, and that work has generated a real object of art.

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For 2016 Concorso also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the exemplary Mangusta (mongoose; 1967-1971). The car was first produced by De Tomaso in 1967 featuring wide, avant-garde styling with the rear/mid mounted V8 engine under gull wing doors. Just over 400 were eventually made, and were followed by the Pantera (1971-1992).

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Over the years I have seen a number of Mangustas at car events. However, I have rarely if ever seen any as beautifully show-prepared as the three magnificent red ones placed near each other, gracing the fairways at Concorso 2016. The Mangusta is definitely worth a look by exotic car fans.

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The racy-looking De Tomaso Pantera is often customized by their owners in the aftermarket, more so the engine, but the styling too. There were some lovely De Tomaso Panteras at the show, including one with beautiful deep plum-burgundy metallic paint, and a yellow-orange model once owned by the Pantera’s original designer, Tom Tjaarda, with the facia bearing his customization.

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A pair of Ferrari models were celebrated for their 50-year introduction anniversary. One was the 330 GTS (1966-68), succeeding the 275. The other was the Ferrari 330 GTC (1966-68). Both were styled by Pininfarina.

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I have never seen simultaneously in one place such an array of Ferrari’s that most observers would call Ferrari’s top five supercars of all time. But there they were, all at Concorso Italiano displayed in a semi-circle on the grass. What a sight! As if that were not enough, most were scattered about in multiple copies and colors too:

  • The light weight, 288 GTO (1984-87), with twin-turbos boosting a V8 engine
  • The winged F40 (1987-92) “bad boy”, powered by a twin-turbo enhanced V8 engine
  • The curvaceous F50 (1995-97) sporting a large number (60) of valves for good breathing by its V12 engine
  • The exotic, modern, V12-powered Enzo (2002-04) with stylish, vertically opening doors
  • The very latest LaFerrari (2013-15), with V12 combustion engine, also employing a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) for added power bursts, combined, generating nearly 1,000 hp

In the presence of these rarities, one has the impression that they have passed and are strolling through Ferrari Heaven.

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Over the course of the day an extraordinary array of personalities appeared on stage and over the public address system. They included Robert Melville, McLaren’s Chief Designer, Valentino Balboni, the former chief test driver for Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann, the recent President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, and Horacio Pagani, founder of Pagani Automobili S.p.A. Many more speakers also took to the microphone during the event. I wished I had the time to listen to them all, but I was busy making sure I viewed everything as well as taking photos, while catching bits and pieces of the commentary as best I could. Topics were diverse as from how to spot new racing driver talent, to car styling by computer versus human.

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Fiat made an appearance and also joined in their 50-year anniversary recognition with models 850 Spider and 124 Spider. The 124 employed a Pininfarina design in which designer Tom Tjaarda was heavily involved. Festivities also included the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder, honoring coachbuilder Touring Superleggera’s 90th anniversary. I would say Concorso 2016 was a fairly complete day, and it probably left most breathless!

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