Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2018

Photo credits: Francesco Carlo for Lovecars © 2018

The Concorso takes place in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como. It was held for the first time on the 1st of September 1929 following a joint initiative undertaken by the Automobile Club of Como, the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the Comitato di Cura di Como.

The location, as the name suggests, is the jaw-dropping Grand Hotel Villa d’Este built in 1568 as the summer residence of Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. The property comprises 25 acres of gardens, whose statues and landscape have been photographed for centuries.

The favourite playground of an Empress, an English queen and aristocrats, it was transformed into a luxury hotel in 1873. Pictures simply don’t do justice to that place.

The show at the Villa d’Este is, on par with the Pebble Beach Concours in California, on top of the list of the best automotive events in the world.

This year the votes went to a 1968 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale, winner of the Coppa d’Oro award. It also won the BMW Group Italy Trophy and the ASI Trophy for the best preserved post-war vehicle. The car’s owner Albert Spiess from Switzerland, a habitué of the Concorso, has three of them, which is rather impressive for a model with just a 15-unit production run!

In addition to hosting an array of jaw-dropping classics and some bonkers old-school Formula 1 cars like the 6-wheel Tyrrell P34, a variety of modern concepts were also on display on Villa d’Este’s lawn such as the Mazda Vision Coupe or the one-off Ferrari SP38.

I love classic cars as much as I love modern ones, and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is the event that I mostly look forward to attend every year. Admiring priceless bodyworks, surrounded by the wonderful landscape of Lake Como, while having a chat with designers, celebrities and fond collectors is something else!

I would also like to thank the BMW Group for the amazing hospitality and organisation.

Awards by category:

Ferrari 335 Sport, Spider Scaglietti, 1958, Andreas Mohringer, AT Best of Show

Lancia Astura Series III, Cabriolet, Pinin Farina, 1936, Anthony MacLean, CH FIVA Trophy – For the best preserved pre-war car

Alfa Romeo 33/2 Stradale, Coupé, Franco Scaglione, 1968, Albert Spiess, CH ASI Trophy –For the best preserved post-war car

Cadillac V-16, Roadster, Fleetwood, 1930, Frederick Lax, US BMW Group Classic Trophy – For the most sensitive restoration

Rolls-Royce Phantom, Brougham de Ville, Brewster & Co., 1929, Frédéric Leroux, FR Rolls-Royce Trophy – For the most elegant Rolls-Royce

Ferrari 250 GTO, Berlinetta, Scaglietti, 1962, Ann & Chris Cox, US Vranken Pommery Trophy – For the best iconic car

Bentley MK VI, Coupé, H. J. Mulliner, 1949, Fred Kriz, MC Julius Baer Trophy – showcases exceptional craftsmanship from its time

Lamborghini Miura P 400 SV, Coupé, Bertone, 1971, Andrej Friedman, CH Auto & Design Trophy – For the most exciting design

Bentley 4 1/2 Liter, Dual Cowl Torpedo, Jarvis & Sons, 1928, Maurits van Son, CH Como Automobile Club Trophy – For the car driven from farthest away

Alfa Romeo 33/2 Stradale, Coupé Scaglione, 1968, Albert Spiess, CH BMW Group Italy Trophy

Lancia Stratos Zero, Bertone Coupé, 1970, Phillip Sarofim, US BMW Group Boys Trophy

Ferrari SP38, Ferrari Coupé S. p. A. 2018, Loris Kessel Auto SA, Designer: Flavio Manzoni Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes

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Francesco Carlo

Automotive photographer based in Florence. If he's not behind the camera, you'll find him on a roadtrip at the wheel of a supercar.