The automotive industry is currently undergoing a massive transformation. However, for one weekend, one can dream of the good old days and the sheer fascination with cars. The Concorso d’Eleganza by Lake Como allows car enthusiasts to dream at Europe’s most spectacular automotive event.

The scene at the legendary Villa d’Este by Lake Como, just an hour’s drive north of Milan, is almost surreal even with the moderate weather at 13 degrees Celsius and an unpleasant wind. In the park surrounding the historic Grand Hotel of Cernobbio, more than 50 classic cars are on display, each as unique as the location and setting. Invited guests, dressed up and with glasses of champagne in hand, stroll past various vehicle classes, meticulously orchestrated into themes over several months. Collectors from around the world present unusual models at the Concorso, such as a 1923 Diatto Tipo 20 S, a 1934 Cadillac V16, a 1955 Mercedes 300 SL, a 1971 Maserati Quattroporte AM 121, and a red 1972 Mercedes 600 with a short wheelbase. The audience savours the moment, chatting and taking photographs while judges scrutinise the classics to honour the best of the beauties.

The weather at Lake Como has been anything but pleasant in recent weeks, and after last year’s incessant rain, everyone involved was relieved that this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza remained mostly dry, albeit cool and uncomfortable, with the sun shining on Sunday. The open-air event thrives not only on the unique location by the northern Italian mountain lake, the historic villas nearby, or the presence of the rich and beautiful but also on the weather. Especially because the Concorso features not only classics from 100 years of automotive history but also new vehicles that are just as captivating and look different in the bright sunshine. At the event, BMW not only unveiled the 20th Art Car, which will compete for victory in a few weeks at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but also the spectacular BMW Concept Skytop, a stunningly beautiful luxury Targa, which has a good chance of being produced in a limited series of 50 vehicles. Price: over 500,000 euros. Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce showcased its freshly updated Cullinan Series II, while car enthusiasts ogled at current concepts like a Lotus Type 66, the charming Triumph TR25, or a Koenigsegg CC 850.

However, the Concorso d’Eleganza offers much more than million-dollar classics on the grounds of Villa d’Este. A few hundred metres down the road, the equally beautiful Villa Erba hosts an equally entertaining event. Here, clubs of all brands, car enthusiasts from across Europe, and collectors from various eras gather. It’s a family and fan festival attracting up to 10,000 visitors who enjoy automobiles and proudly display their own beauties alongside the classics from collectors and manufacturers.

The highlight: a special exhibition featuring the most famous models by the recently deceased star designer Marcello Gandini, who created automotive beauties such as the Lamborghini Miura, Lancia Stratos, Fiat 132, and the first BMW 5 Series.

For those who still want more, a 20-minute walk considering the terrible traffic between Cernobbio and Como leads to the Fuori Concorso, an event that is gaining more and more attention. Here too, unique treasures are on display—from historic race cars of the 1950s to the modern Aston Martin Vantage. The atmosphere is splendid, and as with this Concorso, it’s not just the cars that create the magic. The scenery by Lake Como makes all the difference, spreading this incomparable charm. Not even the colourful Monterey Car Week in mid-August, the world’s most exclusive and beautiful automotive event culminating in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, can offer such a setting. If the Concorso d’Eleganza continues to open up and evolve, the grand event on the Californian Pacific coast will face real competition from Lake Como.

Previous articleOfficial: BMW Skytop Concept Debuts at Villa d’Este
Next articlePorsche 911 GTS T-Hybrid: A Revolution In Performance


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here