Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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DISCOVER THE CLASSES FROM A TO GConcorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2022

DISCOVER THE CLASSES FROM A TO GConcorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2022

Beauty and elegance can always be guaranteed to trigger emotions.

In order to sharpen the perspectives in this process, the Selecting Committee of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has traditionally created classes with highly diverse profiles giving each one a clearly defined focus. The automobiles in Class A appear as if under a magnifying glass: This category is open to representatives of the golden, multifaceted era of coachbuilding. In the spectacular Class B, the supercharged Mercedes-Benz models demonstrate how power and luxury were morphed together over a period of just a few years to create a captivating unity. The thematic arc is more generously configured in the case of Class C: This award class gathers vehicles that have from the very beginning reflected the nuanced grandezza of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este. By contrast, the vehicles in Classes E and G reveal how different designers have translated the topic of speed into aesthetic prowess. Classes D and F celebrate two major anniversaries by offering reviews seen through a wide-ranging prism on the exciting history of Ferrari and BMW M.


The golden Age of Elegance:
The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design

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Concorso - Class-Overview A

The greatest era of coachbuilding spans a period of nearly two decades. From the beginning of the 1920s, the image of the automobile underwent huge development. Having started life essentially as an engineering product, it gradually gained an independent identity as an object of desire and elegance reflecting the aspirations towards perfect form of its era. Flamboyant Art Deco and the refined modernism of Bauhaus competed with each other over those years, but the consensus remained that engineering and speed no longer sufficed to define the character of exclusive automobiles. The language of elegance moved in but there was strict division of labour. The customer first selected their preferred chassis before ordering a body to cloak the frame according to their taste.


The Supercharged Mercedes-Benz

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Concorso - Class-Overview B

The exclamation mark after “Kompressor”, or supercharger, is more than justified. No other name shaped the international world of automobiles from the 1920s onwards as much as Mercedes-Benz with its mighty supercharged engines. After the merger of the hitherto independent brands Mercedes and Benz in 1926, a model portfolio was created from the unsurpassed vehicles in their era, with famous names behind their grandiose and sometimes brutalist engineering – first and foremost was Ferdinand Porsche, at the time Head of the Design Office and Board Member of engine constructor Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. Mercedes-Benz demonstrated with its impressive models just how closely luxury and power could be melded together – thereby also facilitating a synthesis of boulevard and race track. The five representatives selected in this class provide an outstanding demonstration of this.


Celebrating 150 Seasons at Villa d’Este:
How grand Entrances were once made

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Concorso - Class-Overview C

When the status of a venue like the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este is measured by qualities that meet the very highest standards across the world, this prompts its guests to insist on the freedom to cultivate supreme individuality. The consensus arises from the level of these aspirations, not in their formal manifestations. While the hotel has built its class firmly on traditions, the perspectives on the luxury of the moment remain more multi-layered. They include the automobiles driven by the guests as they cruised up to the hotel’s portals in order to relax and get some down-time on the shores of Lake Como. The interpretations not only went through changes as the different eras passed by. Even contemporaneously contoured visions and ideas presented a highly varied diversity.


The Cavallino at 75:
Eight Decades of Ferrari represented in eight Icons

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Concorso - Class-Overview D

This year, the entire automobile world is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the brand with the famous Prancing Horse as its emblem. In 1947, Enzo Ferrari lent his name to a model for the first time. In doing so, he marked the start of an unparalleled development of motor vehicles that always focused simultaneously on fascinating technology and success on the race track. However, these goals inevitably left more than enough scope for a large slice of elegance in their distinctive expression. The sector always perceived the supreme challenge as developing a holistic interpretation for high speed and technical excellence that would find a suitable expression in the language of form for the spirit of the Ferrari marque. Many great names in coachbuilding succeeded in rising to this challenge, ranging from Scaglietti through Pinin Farina and Touring through to Zagato, to name just a few.


Born for the Racetrack:
“Win on Sunday, sell on Monday”

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Concorso - Class-Overview E

There are some phrases that are so striking that they become etched on the collective memory for ever. Sir William Lyon, who established the Jaguar car company, coined such a slogan to define his agenda: Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. This expressed the ethos that many customers – and by no means only his own – appreciated so enthusiastically when it came to automobiles with sporting credentials. These were sports cars that could be taken seriously, which won races on a Sunday and could be seen on a Monday as a model at dealer showrooms. More to the point, they were generally available for sale. The sporting gentleman might not always line up at the start with daredevil ambitions. But he certainly aspired to drive the model that was entering the major races – and ideally also the first to cross the finishing line.


50 Years of Mean Machinery:
BMW’s M Cars and their Ancestors

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Concorso - Class-Overview F

Exactly half a century ago, the newly established company BMW Motorsport GmbH started a new chapter for the heritage automobile manufacturer from Munich in Bavaria. A little later, the subsidiary enjoyed success with the M1, the first automobile to fly its own flag, and launched an era in which that magic letter M represented maximum power. The idea of powerful sports models with impressive contours goes back much further, as still demonstrated today by this superbly elegant and incredibly agile BMW 328. This vehicle tells us that high power can have an understated appearance. It simultaneously opens up greater scope for interpretation for those models that took to the race track with the sole aim of not losing a hundredth of a second.


Breaking the Speed Barrier:
Pioneers that chased the magic 300 kph

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Concorso - Class-Overview G

A delightful aesthetic appeal can be created from a number of different perspectives. It invariably reflects differing positions, and the profile of this class arises solely from the mesmerising magic embodied by a barrier. Breaking through the barrier of 300 km/h was long considered as the great unattainable adventure. Much more than in previous eras, when achieving 100 km/h and later 200 km/h was still formulated as a distant goal, aerodynamic enablers were increasingly important in shaping the contours of the bodywork. Mere visions and conceptual flights of fancy were progressively transformed into precise transcriptions of physical laws, creating a design that respected these established facts and metrics – and yet afforded scope for penning an individual signature.

Class A presents automobiles from the golden and diverse era of coachbuilding, starting at the beginning of the 1920s. Over a period of nearly two decades, the motor car emancipated itself from being a technical product to become an object of desire and elegance.

In the spectacular Class B, focused on the subsequent era, the supercharged Mercedes-Benz models demonstrate how power and luxury were morphed together over a period of just a few years to create a captivating unity.

Class C celebrates the historic heritage venue of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este: This award class gathers vehicles that have from the very beginning reflected the highly nuanced grandezza of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the individuality of its guests.

Another Italian anniversary is celebrated in Class D paying tribute to 75 years of the Prancing Horse as a marque emblem. Since 1947, coachbuilders ranging from Scaglietti, through Pinin Farina and Touring, to Zagato have risen to the challenge of developing a unified interpretation showcasing the high speed and technical excellence epitomised by Ferrari.

Class E combines the best of two worlds: sports cars that could be taken seriously, which campaigned in the major important races while at the same time being prestigious and marketable models for sporting gentlemen.

The models in Class F have written motor-sport history. This class is all about the magic letter “M”. In the history of BMW, “M” stands for maximum power and a new chapter that started precisely half a century ago with the BMW M1. This year, the anniversary is celebrated as a unique class on the shores of Lake Como.

And Class G at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este celebrates the fascinating magic of a boundary. Breaking through the barrier of 300 km/h was long considered as the great unattainable adventure. The automobiles collected here transformed physical laws into individual design and this enabled the racers to set records.

You can view all the automobiles participating in the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este 2022 and those from past editions under the menu item “Contributors/Participants”.

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