Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016

If I were only to pick one classic car event a year to go, Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este would be my choice.  Why?  For starters, it’s in Italy, the mecca for classic car disciples.  I simply cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than sipping prosecco while admiring some of the most beautiful classic cars from around the world on the picturesque grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este against the backdrop of Lake Como.  La dolce vita!

“We Italians like to host big parties in small places.”

Federico Fermi, Sales Manager of ZED Milano

“We Italians like to host big parties in small places”, said Federico Fermi, Sales Manager of ZED Milano, better known as Zagato Milano, as we made our pilgrimage towards Lake Como in his Fiat 500.  It’s really not that bad considering where I come from, I’ve seen much worse when it comes to many people in small places.  And today is the private day which means only participants and invited guests are allowed entry.  The rest of the public will have to wait until the next day to see the cars at Villa Erba right next door.

50 of the finest and rarest cars of great historical significance congregate here every year to compete for the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este Award – the holy grail of classic car ownership.  This is equivalent to the Best of Show in other concour events.  Each visitor receives a ballot to cast a vote on their favorite car, the ballots are counted and results announced the next day.  This year’s bragging rights went to the owner of a 1933 Lancia Astura Serie II.  I personally voted for the 1968 Bizzarrini GT Europa 1900GT which received the Mention of Honor (basically came 2nd) in its Class G – GT Man is Back The Golden Era of Car Design, 1950-75.  It’s such a rare car that only 17 1900GTs were ever built.  The Trofeo BMW Group Best in Show Award, voted by a panel of judges, went to a 1954 Maserati A6 GCS. To view the full list of participants, click here.

Neither is it all about classic cars.  Car manufacturers also use the occasion to showcase their new concepts.  Renault showed the Alpine Vision, a successor to its highly successful rally car A110 from 60’s-70’s.  Alfa Romeo displayed the Disco Volante by Touring, Bugatti brought the Vision Gran Turismo, Pinninfarina the H2 Speed and Mazda the RX Vision.

Andrea Zagato, grandson of founder Ugo, was there to launch the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Concept. For only the fifth time in the last five decades, the two companies have collaborated to produce yet another great GT.  Mechanically based on the V12 Vanquish,  the engine is uprated to 600 bhp.  Each body panel is different from the stock version and made from carbonfibre so the car is much lighter.  Production will be limited to 100 so get your cheque books ready.


(Bottom Left) Federico Fermi, (Bottom Right) Darrin Woo & Andrea Zagato


(Top left to bottom right) 1962 Facel Vega Facel II, 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, 1964 Porsche 911, 1980 Lamborghini Athon, 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atalante, 1968 Fiat Morreti 850 Sportiva SS, 1960 Bentley Continental S2 Fastback & 1954 Maserati A6 GCS