At the end of May each year, the gaze of automotive enthusiasts around the world focuses on the historic cars and motorcycles from various eras lining up at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Cernobbio on the banks of Lake Como. The three-day event, hosted by BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel, maintains its stand-out status in the ranks of beauty contests for classic cars and motorcycles by virtue of the elegance it radiates, the incomparable ambience it generates and the small but exquisite field of entrants it assembles. At the same time, the presentation of concept cars and prototypes affords a glimpse of the automotive future. With this in mind, the motto of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016 is “Back to the future – the journey continues”.
A Selecting Committee of international experts run the rule over every car and motorcycle hoping to gain entry into the event – and the first of the anticipated nine competition classes have already been decided:
Pre-war decadence – Flights of automotive fantasy
Pre-war supercars – The fast and the flamboyant
Cars of the stars – From the silver screen to the studio lot
Rally cars – Heroes of the special stage, 1955 – 1985
Daring to be different – Designs that pushed the envelope
“Sur mesure et haute couture” – “One-offs for the connoisseur”
Over the three days of the event, historic cars and motorcycles of outstanding class and with fascinating stories to tell compete for the favour of the high-calibre jury in the various categories. As well as seeking approval from the experts, contestants will also by vying for the affections of the public, whose votes will determine the winners of several special prizes.
An exquisite line-up of models also awaits fans of classic motorcycles. The Concorso di Motociclette has established itself as one of the highlights of Day 2. In 2016 the convoy of rare motorcycles will once again pause at the Historic Car Parade at Villa d’Este on its way from Como to the parkland of Villa Erba in Cernobbio. The jury will then cast their expert eye over the assembled motorcycles once they have reached the end of their journey.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in the northern Italian town of Cernobbio was first held in 1929 as an exhibition for new creations from the auto industry, but since the 1980s it has majored instead on the history of motoring. In 1999 the BMW Group took over patronage of this tribute to automotive rarities, and since 2005 BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel have acted as co-hosts. In addition to classic vehicles boasting stand-out aesthetics and historical significance, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este also presents design studies and prototypes from various eras for visitors to admire.