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Cernobbio, 23rd - 25th of May

Since BMW took over the event more than 10 years ago the Concorso d´Eleganza also features a class for modern concept cars to follow the tradition of the original event to show the latest design.

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This was also the reason for the move to the later May date as the former weekend in April collided with the Shanghai Motor Show, a very important date for the international automobile industry in the booming market in far east. Now in May several manufacturers bring their new models, is it a concept or one-off. This year featured an Infinity Crossover Concept, a Giugiaro Coupe, two Zagato models including the Lamborghini 5-95 and last year’s Aston Martin DBS Centennial. Out of competition was the new Mini Superleggera Vision and a BMW Concept Future Luxury.

The top price for this class is not awarded by the Jury but by the public vote of the visitors at the public day in Villa Erba was the cars are presented in front of the main building. When the winning Maserati Alfieri was brought to the centre stage the applause showed that the Italians love their cars.

Traditionally the Best of Show is awarded on Sunday evening at the Villa D´Este after the Gala Dinner just before the fireworks end the weekend. All the class winners were lined up in front of the Villa D´Este including the Rolls-Royce Phantom II, the Hispano Suiza H6B, the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Aprile, three Ferrari and two Maserati plus the Abarth 2000 Scorpione.

It was very difficult to name a winner upfront as this year did not include a real show car that would have been a clear favourite like last year’s Bugatti Atlantic. The small Alfa Romeo was the one the closest to this predicate but being a rebody this might have been discouraged the Jury to give the top honour to this car. The Hispano-Suiza was a nice car but the Sedanca Landaulette body was not extravagant enough making this a winner. Maybe the Boat tail Phantom II was a good design and is also part of a famous collection but the Concorso d´Eleganza is not restricted to pre-war cars for a BoS like Pebble Beach. The problem of the California Spyder was the fact that these cars are regulars to the concours so they are always good for a class award but less for a BoS. The most stylish of the Ferrari was without doubt the 250 Europa in its elegant two-tone livery and the white wall tyres but this was not honoured by the Jury as well.

Leaving the Abarth and three race cars, after the Alfa Romeo Canguro winning several years ago one knows that the Jury is into very special design so not few saw the Abarth as a favourite but at the end it was the Maserati 450S winning the top laurels. Not few of the entrants were quite surprised when the spot stopped at the Maserati after a few laps over the lined-up cars and according to various sources the applause was very restrained. No doubt this is a great car to drive and listen to but it is not necessarily a show car just as the Ferrari 250 GT LWB that was competing for the BoS as well. Furthermore this particular car did not even feature an impressive race history, most likely the BoS was reminiscence to the centenary of the trident but most entrants had the opinion that the V4 would have been the better choice in this case. So this year’s BoS was discussed very controversial and we leave it to your own opinion whether you want to approve to this choice or not, at least it shows that the Concorso d’Eleganza is always good for a surprise.

Report & Images ... Peter&Wolfgang Singhof

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