|Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este: Jury assessment
Villa d’Este. Around 50 automobiles and more than 30 historic motorcycles will line up at the start this year. All of them are rarities and classic beauties. The strict preselection carried out by the Selecting Committee in itself guarantees that standard. The stringent criteria mean that every owner who is entitled to line up with their rare treasure has a right to be truly proud of their vehicle. The privilege of joining the line-up at the start of the competition alone represents the equivalent of a knighthood in automobile history. But what exactly does the Jury look for?
Important aspects are as follows: “Cars shall be selected on the basis of their historic, technical, and aesthetic interest, their rarity and authenticity, as well as the elegance and sophistication of their styling.” Classic virtues like style, uniqueness and craftsmanship are important. And features such as: “Matching numbers for the engine, chassis and body, harmony of the colour schemes, elegance of the upholstery and fittings, elegance and conformity of the accessories, mechanical efficiency and conformity of the engine bay.”
Beauty, elegance and aura are important aspects. Details such as tyres, spark plugs and battery – if they are not original – should be as close as possible to the original parts. Overly free interpretation of classic features is not necessarily a guarantee of victory: “Highly unusual colour schemes and non-original chrome, nickel, cadmium or other metal plating.”
The Jury works together in groups of three. These teams are responsible for different vehicle classes. Each group of three arrives at a joint score for every participant. The candidates with the highest number of points in each class win the corresponding class. An overall winner is selected from all the class victors – The Best of Show. All the jurors are responsible for this final selection.
What characteristics then should the perfect Concorso candidate have? How can a vehicle progress to being a competitor in this beauty pageant? What attributes do victorious types possess?
The FIVA Identity Card is an important assessment criterion. This authorised vehicle passport is issued by the world association for classic cars (Fédération Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) and it provides a verification of authenticity for classic cars that are at least 30 years old. The previous categories such as “original”, “contemporary” or “replica” and the system of allocating vehicles to various preservation groups have been replaced by maximally precise detailed descriptions. This document therefore contains all the important technical data alongside the vehicle history. Any modifications carried out are also entered in the document. The passport is therefore a birth certificate, curriculum vitae and clearance document all at the same time.
And a vehicle needs to be rare. Being a rarity is sometimes even more important among these attributes than unalloyed beauty. An important factor is how many models are still in existence across the world. What the vehicle has experienced. Who its previous owners were, how well the vehicle is preserved or how true to the original it is after having been restored.
Happily perfection does not take precedence over everything else. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este also rewards the exceptions that confirm the rule. The Selecting Committee and the Jury are also passionate about “genuine types”. Classic cars that have a story to tell. The more unique their story, the greater the chance of success at the world’s most important beauty contest for classic vehicles.