CORRIERE D’ELEGANZA XConcorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2022
Dear Friend of the Concorso,
The days directly before the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este are always full of excitement. All the signs are pointing towards a wonderful start and the first Historic Cars have already arrived at the venue. Everywhere abounds with anticipation and expectation for the upcoming weekend.
Many participants have just driven in from the Prelude Tour, which offered a completely new route this year. The spectacular field started off in the heart of Milan’s metropolis and drove along a picturesque route to Cernobbio, until the cars arrived on the shores of Lake Como.
We are very much looking forward to the gates of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este being thrown open on Saturday morning. More than 50 outstanding Historic Cars will represent a hugely varied range of different chapters in the history of the automobile. Once again this year, the field of contestants is extremely diverse. It focuses on fascinating and maybe even unexpected thematic areas.
It is our pleasure to offer you an initial overview. If you already want to find out today about the seven classes making up the contest in which the participants will be competing this year, you can simply click on this Link.
We all value the incomparable tradition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The roots of the contest extend back to 1929 when the contours of the automobile had achieved remarkable finesse and enormous cultural status. At the same time, we are also accustomed to moving with the times – and we therefore cordially invite you to access our new app free of charge that we are providing for your iPhones and Android devices. The app keeps you fully up to date and informed at all times. It’s also there for those fans who are unable to be present in Cernobbio, and at 14.00 on Saturday the world-famous parade will be sent directly to your screen in livestream for the first time. On Sunday, you will even be able to experience the winners’ ceremony on the app. And on our website, you will be able to find out all about the event at first hand – including details and backgrounds for each participating Historic Car or the current status of the event.
Wherever and however you follow the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, we would like to wish you enjoyment and exciting insights into the unique gathering of automobile jewels from all over the world. We would be delighted to welcome you in one form or the other.
With our very warmest wishes,
Your Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Team
The golden Age of Elegance:
The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design
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
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 six representatives selected in this class provide an outstanding demonstration of this.
Celebrating 150 Seasons at Villa d’Este:
How grand Entrances were once made
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
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”
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
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
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 CONCEPT CARS
Today, we inevitably look to the past when we celebrate beauteous automobile treasures at a Concours d’Elegance. The grandezza of yesteryear and the halcyon days of yore evoke admiration, although early on the original idea was rather different. At that time, the idea was for the most beautiful contemporaneous coachwork to win the day. The contest was all about leading-edge design, the latest fashions and trends, stylistic excursions and daring curveballs.
20 years ago, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este already breathed new life into precisely this perspective. Contemporary concept cars, prototypes and studies entered the competition in a class of their own for the first time. Since then, vehicles that are otherwise only presented at a static display in an exhibition have been brought together in direct juxtaposition.
They are not arrayed here in choreographed limelight but under open skies where the sun and trees are reflected in their paintwork. And they are even roadworthy and capable of being driven – a condition of participation. In a nutshell: they campaign in the contest like real automobiles, not in the guise of static sculptures frozen in time. This unique concept only exists here.