2022 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance Recap

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“Held annually, the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance is, in many ways, Europe’s version of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance”— Paul Ebeling

This event takes place in a beautiful location, and it brings together an impressive selection of rare and valuable cars. It’s a real treat for the eyes, the ears, and, if you’re into champagne, the palate.

The 2022 edition of the show was no exception: About 50 cars were shipped to Lake Como from over a dozen countries, and it wasn’t just the usual suspects. Sure, there were a lot of pre-war cars (including a couple of 1-off models), but some of the icons that younger enthusiasts grew up with were present as well.

This year’s event was split into eight categories:

  • The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design,
  • The Supercharged Mercedes-Benz,
  • How Grand Entrances Were Once Made,
  • Eight Decades of Ferrari Represented in Eight Icons,
  • “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday,”
  • BMW’s M Cars and Their Ancestors,
  • Pioneers That Chased the Magic 300 KPH,
  • And a design award for concept and prototypes.

The jury gave the coveted “best of show” award to a 1937 Bugatti 57 S owned by Andrew Picker of Monaco, while the aforementioned classes were won by, respectively:

  • The Bugatti 57 S, shown below,
  • A 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet,
  • A 1956 Chrysler Boano Coupe Speciale,
  • A 1966 Ferrari 356 P Berlinetta Speciale Tre Posti,
  • A 1961 Porsche 356 B Carrera Abarth GTL,
  • A 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL,
  • A 1989 Porsche 959 Sport,
  • And the Bugatti Bolide concept unveiled in 2020.

Winning at Villa d’Este is a big deal: The cars are judged by a panel of highly experienced judges.

The 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, a grand-prix racer that was once owned by King Leopold III of Belgium and that has never been restored its patina is inimitable.

Another is a 1961 BMW 700 RS. One of 2 built (the other is in the BMW collection), it’s a tiny, ultra-light roadster related to the 700 and powered by a 697-cubic-centimeter air-cooled flat-twin tuned to develop 70 horsepower. It won several hill-climb events during the 1960s, and it’s one of the rarest cars ever to wear a BMW roundel. 

Aston Martin’s freshly-restored 1979 Bulldog concept was cool to see as well; cassette player integrated into the headliner!

Speaking of BMW, its models are often well represented at Villa d’Este because the German firm is one of the event’s sponsors, but this year’s display was more impressive than usual because it celebrated the M division’s 50th birthday. While it wasn’t entered in the event, the 1972 Turbo concept on display was an unexpected treat; it features a wedge-shaped silhouette, gullwing doors, and a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine related to the unit that powered the 2002 Turbo. It was not approved for production but it had a significant influence on the M1, the first M car. It still runs, too.

BMW also unveiled the M4 CSL and the M 1000 RR 50 Years M motorcycle at Villa d’Este.

Have a terrific holiday week, Keep the Faith!

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