“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2021
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“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
“Best of Show” ... Ferrari 250 GT TDF wins the Trofeo BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa ...
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Cernobbio, 3rd October, 2021

It is difficult to believe but it is already 2.5 years since the last Concorso d´Eleganza at the Grand Hotel Villa d'Este at the Lake Como. After the 2020 edition fell victim to the pandemic and the 2021 edition postponed from its traditional May weekend it took until last weekend that the famous gardens at the lake were filled with some of the best and most beautiful classis cars.

It was a fight until the last minute but the organizers under the patronage of BMW Classic made it possible, although in a slightly modified form as the traditional public day in the Villa Erba was neither possible under the current regulations as well as the venue was taken by a medical congress as well. So the cars were not only lined up on Saturday at the hotel but also on Sunday with a reduced program of the day before. This gave the judges another possibility to have a closer at the cars in case there were any questions unanswered the day before.

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Eight classes gave quit a variety spanning the history of cars from the 1920s to the Hypercars of the 1990s. Like some of the big events the Concorso opened it classes more to the race and sports cars in recent years than only the traditional coachbuilt pre-war cars but in an attempt to attract also a younger public the class of the poster cars from the 1990s was added and as also a lot of instagram influencers could be seen to spread the word to their young followers these cars were constantly surrounded by a crowd and probably more pictures were taken of them than on any other classes. It is not often that a Porsche GT1, a McLaren F1, a Mercedes CLK-GTR as well as the Ferrari F40 and F50 could be seen on the concours fields of the world. Star of this class was the Isdera Commendatore 112i that was recently sold to the US and brought over just for this event.

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On the more common classes the well known British marques of Bentley, Rolls Royce and Lagonda were shown next to the Alfa Romeo &C 1750 GTC of a duo of Lancia Astura and Dilambda of Italian descent. Show stopper and class award winner and certainly a contender for the Best of Show was the French Delage D8-120 Cabriolet Villars, the very same car that won Pebble Beach in 1996, still looking fresh after all these years.

On the post war side the sports cars were separated in two different classes, one for German and British cars as well as one uniquely for Italians. The first class featured on of the very rare Alloy Gullwings by Mercedes-Benz as well as the rival from Stuttgart and Munich of the late 1950s, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster and the BMW 507.

The Italian class featured a wonderful pair of Alfa Romeo, the one-off Fiat 8V Vignale Coupe that won the class as well as the smaller Siata and Moretti coming all the way from Greece.

Pinin Farina soon became the favourite coachbuilder of Enzo Ferrari and although they have designed a lot of other cars it is not a surprise that the celebration of 90 years of PF was mostly a Ferrari class with the exception of a single Fiat Abarth. The masterpieces of the collaboration included the Ferrari 250 GT California Spider, the 400 Superamerica with its larger Lampredi Engine designed for the American market and the later production models of the 275 GTB/4 and the 365 GTB/4 Daytona.

This brings us to the endurance racers of Class E. Starting with the oldest car, the Osca MT4 Siluro, the narrow bodied cicle-fendered car built by the Maserati brothers after they lost control of their own company. Without the financial means to compete with the upcoming Ferrari and Maserati for overall victories the Siuro was aimed at the smaller capacity race classes.

Within a few years the name Ferrari appeared with full force on the race tracks of the world. Just 2 years after the company was founded they started to win at the Mille Miglia as well as at Le Mans. Unfortunately the winner of both races in 1949 did not show up although announced in the program but another famous race of this era was dominated by the cars of Maranello and the GT racer of these days was even named after it: the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Tour de France. The car on show, chassis 0507gt did only compete in France when already 3 years old but failed to finish. After some modifications the car ended up in a museum in Denmark were it stayed 3 decades before it was brought back to its original configuration. Another correction of the body while being certified at the factory resulted not only in the class victory but also the BoS overall at the Villa d'Este.

While Ferrari always opted for the biggest engine to do the job the next car in the class was the complete different approach, the Alpine M64. With a light fibreglass body and a tuned 1149 cc engine from Gordini the Alpine won the index of “Thermal Efficiency” at La Sarthe in 1964.

Another Ferrari present was the 512 BBLM. After the Scuderia Ferrari withdrawn from the Sports Car Championship in favour of F1 it was the privateers who raced the modified street cars. In the early 1980s it was the purpose built Le Mans version of the 512 BB that was entered by the likes of Nart, Pozzi or Ecurie Franchorchamps. Unfortunately technical problems as well as overweight left the BBLM barely any chance against the Porsche 935 Turbo. The car shown at Como was raced in the US but both in Daytona as well as in Sebring it failed to finish.

This leaves us with the final and certainly most unusual entrant of the concours, the Howmet TX Turbine Car. Developed in 1968 as an experimental car to investigate the possibility to enter a gas turbine driven car in racing. Although other companies including Lotus with the Type 56 tried as well it was the Howmet that should secure a first victory for the technology. Originally designed by Ray Heppenstall the car is based on a Bob McKee chassis and was sponsored by the Howmet Casting company that supplied turbine castings to the aero industry. First it was entered in the sports car championship in Sebring as well as in the UK but minor problems prevented an early victory. So it was back in the US at the SCCA Huntsville race were the car finally took the checkered flag first.

In Como the car was presented by Austrian Restorer Egon Zweimüller on behalf of his client and with a starting procedure of several minutes and the infernal noise the car made quit an appearance in the morning entering the field as well as at the awards ceremony.

So after 2.5 years we were finally back at the Villa d'Este and it was easy to see that the concours was missed a lot. Unlike the big American Shows the Concorso d'Eleganza can look back on a very long history and the ambience of the luxury hotel in the Villa with its gardens certainly beats the golf course ambience of the big shows. One only has to look at the award show were the spectators sit on the terrace of the hotel watching the cars go by rather than on a towel with a camping chair as seen at Pebbe Beach.
Next year the show will most likely go back to the early date in May and although we had some rain in previous years as well the chances of sunshine are certainly better in Spring than in Autumn. The early October showed it caprices as the Saturday was fairly good whereas the Sunday was basically all cloudy and rainy.

TROFEO BMW GROUP - Best of Show
Ferrari, 250 GT TDF, Coupé, Pinin Farina, 1956 Brian Ross, United States

COPPA D’ORO VILLA D’ESTE (Perpetual Challenge) - Best of Show by Public Referendum
Lancia, Dilambda Serie I, Drop Head Coupé, Carlton Carriage, 1930 Filippo Sole, Italy

CONCORSOD’ELEGANZA DESIGNAWARD FOR CONCEPTCARS & PROTOTYPES
By Public Referendum
Automobili Pininfarina, Battista, Hyper GT, Automobili Pininfarina GmbH, 2019



Special Prizes

Trofeo FIVA -
For the best preserved pre-war car
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50 High Speed, Open Tourer, Barker, 1920, Jürg Haas, CH

Trofeo ASI - For the best preserved post-war car
Howmet TX, Coupé, Bob McKnee, 1968, Egon Zweimüller, AT

Trofeo Automobile Club Como - For the car driven from farthest away
Aston Martin DB5, Convertible, Touring Superleggera, 1965, Ian Maxwell-Scott, GB


Special Prizes by the Jury

Trofeo BMW Group Classic
- For the most sensitive restoration
Fiat 508 CS ”Balilla Aerodinamica“, Coupé, Fiat, 1935, Mark Geessink, NL

Trofeo Vranken Pommery - For the best iconic car
Ferrari F40, Coupé, Pininfarina, 1989, Christiano Michelotto, IT

Trofeo Auto & Design - For the most exciting design
McLaren F1, Coupé, McLaren, 1995, Ahmad Gozal, AE


CLASS A | TWENTIETH CENTURY STYLE: FROM TOURING TORPEDO TO RACY ROADSTER
Class Winner

Lancia, Astura Torpedo GS, Open Tourer, Viotti, 1934 Anthony MacLean, Switzerland

Mention of Honor
Alfa Romeo, 6C 1750 GTC, Spider, Zagato, 1931 Gianluigi Trevisani, Italy


CLASS B | DEVELOPING THE THEME: SPACE, PACE AND GRACE
Class Winner

Delage, D8-120 S, Cabriolet, de Villars, 1938 Fritz Burkard, Switzerland

Mention of Honor
Lancia, Dilambda Serie I, Drop Head Coupé, Carlton Carriage, 1930 Filippo Sole, Italy


CLASS C | SHOWROOM SHOWDOWN: BRITAIN AND GERMANY BATTLE FOR LUXURY SUPREMACY
Class Winner

Mercedes-Benz, 300 SL Alloy, Coupé Gullwing, Mercedes-Benz, 1955 David MacNeil, United States

Mention of Honor
Aston Martin, DB5, Convertible, Touring Superleggera, 1965 Ian Maxwell-Scott, Great Britain


CLASS D | GRANTURISMO ALL’ITALIANA: FINDING THE PERFECT GT FORMULA Class Winner
Fiat, 8V, Coupé, Vignale, 1953 Jan De Reu, Belgium

Mention of Honor
Alfa Romeo, 6C 2500 Supergioiello, Coupé, Ghia, 1950 Jonathan Segal, United States


CLASS E | BIG BAND ’40s TO AWESOME ’80s: FIVE DECADES OF ENDURANCE RACING
Class Winner

Ferrari, 250 GT TDF, Coupé, Pinin Farina, 1956 Brian Ross, United States

Mention of Honor
Osca, MT4 Siluro, Torpedo, Osca, 1949 Elad Shraga, Israel


CLASS F | A PASSION FOR PERFECTION: CELEBRATING 90 YEARS OF PININFARINA Class Winner
Ferrari, 250 GT California SWB, Spyder, Pininfarina, 1960 Timm Bergold, Monaco

Mention of Honor
Ferrari, 275 GTB/4, Berlinetta, Pininfarina, 1967 Andrea Recordati, Italy


CLASS G | THE BIRTH OF THE SUPERCAR: LATIN STYLE LANDMARKS
Class Winner

Lamborghini, Countach LP 400 S Prototype Walter Wolf Special, Coupé, Bertone, 1978 Shinjiro Fukuda, Japan

Mention of Honor
Ferrari, F40, Coupé, Pininfarina, 1989 Cristiano Michelotto, Italy


CLASS H | THE NEXT GENERATION: HYPERCARS OF THE 1990s
Class Winner

Isdera, Commendatore 112i, Coupé, Isdera, 1993 Phillip Sarofim, United States

Mention of Honor
McLaren, F1, Coupé, McLaren, 1995 Ahmad Gozal, United Arab Emirates

Report & images ... Peter Singhof
www.classiccarphotography.de