The 2023 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este is still the place to be.
June 6, 2023
Even this year, the three-day festival of elegance and timeless beauty on four wheels celebrated enthusiasm for automobility, the joy of driving and technical excellence with a large audience. The grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como created a fantastic stage for the exquisite diversity of historic automobiles contesting this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The exclusive event, held between 19th and 21st May, enthralled the numerous visitors and international press world with eight appealing award classes.
A 1935 Duesenberg SJ Speedster, with coachwork by Gurney Nutting, chosen by the international jury of experts, won the contest and, on Sunday, the owner William Lyon, received the prize Trofeo BMW Group – Best of Show – by Helmut Käs, Head of BMW Group Classic und President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange und Söhne. In the pre-war era, many Hollywood stars drove a car like this. Duesenberg self-assuredly positioned itself at the top end of the market and the crowning glory came in 1932 with the extravagant SJ model. The turn of phrase “it’s a Duesy” was coined as a synonym for the quality of the vehicles.
The Public Referendum voted for the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California with body by Pininfarina/Scaglietti. So, this car, owned by Jonathan Hui, Keybridge Collection, Hong Kong, won this year’s Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este.
A further highlight was the first-time award of the Trofeo Il Canto del Motore for the most beautiful sound of an engine. Jonas Kaufmann, one of the greatest tenors of our time, presented the prize to Christophe Count d’Ansembourg from Belgium as a salute to the impressive sound emanating from his 1970 Porsche 917 K.
This year, the public audience was able once again to experience all the joys of the festivities on the shores of Lake Como. Since the Public Day at Villa d’Este was a sell-out long before the beginning of the festive weekend, the parkland of Villa Erba offered an event on the Saturday with the members of the numerous BMW Clubs participating with more than 160 vehicles. The Sunday was also diverse with the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Public Day – Il Festival that attracted more than 9.000 visitors. The offer ranged from the performance by the dancer Yoann Bourgeois and the exhibition marking 100 Years Le Mans, to the parade of all the award classes in the Concorso.
Also present at the Concorso was a car that will soon be counted among the Automotive Masterpieces: the 1955 Lancia Florida Coupé Pinin Farina. Created as a one-off for the Salone dell'Automobile di Torino, it bears witness to the big vision of the Lancia marquee and anticipates the new course of Lancia design, with taut lines that the Flaminia model would only adopt four years later. The car is part of the Corrado Lopresto collection.
Photo ©️ BMW Group Classic