Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale wins Trofeo BMW Group +++ BMW 328 Hommage celebrates its world premiere +++ First motorcycle concours and auction
Munich/Cernobbio. This weekend just gone the town of Cernobbio on the banks of Lake Como reprised its status as the centre of attention for all car enthusiasts – and this year motorcycle fans also had much to admire. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este brought together a selection of classic models and new concept cars to the acclaim of the assembled audience. And for the first time the cars were joined by motorcycles competing for class and overall victory in a competition of their own, as fans of two-wheeled classics headed to the Villa Erba for Saturday’s motorcycle concours. Another new feature of the Concorso was the sale held by RM Auctions on Saturday evening, which tempted collectors with a line-up of 32 extraordinary cars. “Our aim was to take this long-established event into new territory while preserving its character,” said Karl Baumer, President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and Director of BMW Group Classic, outlining the reasons behind the changes. “The main initiative we introduced to give people extra opportunity to visit the Concorso was the addition of a second Public Day,” continued Baumer. Dr Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa d’Este S.p.A., also declared himself pleased with the weekend: “We’ve seen cars and motorcycles which made our hearts beat a little faster – both within the small, exclusive environs of the Villa d’Este and together with the wider public at the Villa Erba.”
The jury awarded the Trofeo BMW Group, and with it “best of show” honours, to a 1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, while the time-honoured Coppa d’Oro prize decided by public referendum went to an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS from 1942. The “Concept Cars and Prototypes” category, meanwhile, was topped by the Aston Martin Zagato celebrating its world premiere at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Another model making its debut at the event was the BMW 328 Hommage, unveiled by the Bavarian company to mark the 75th birthday of its iconic BMW 328 sports car from the 1930s.
The Trofeo BMW Group in the first Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este for motorcycles was won by an American Pierce Four from 1910. After presenting the award, General Director of BMW Motorrad Hendrik von Kuenheim shifted the spotlight to plans for the years ahead: “We are looking to develop this concours into a meeting point for all enthusiasts of motorcycle design. That fits in with both the tradition of the BMW motorcycle brand and the passion for bikes here in Italy.”
The extent to which tradition can inspire and the potential – and desired – impact of the past on the future of car design were both on the agenda at the high-powered annual Design Talk round table, which this year addressed the issue of heritage in design under the heading “Tradition & Future in Automotive Design”. Adrian van Hooydonk, Director BMW Group Design, joined Lotus Cars chief designer Donato Coco and Laurens van den Acker, Vice President of Renault Corporate Design, to mull over future-oriented design at car brands with a strong heritage.
Munich/Milan. “The concept cars at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este represent a rare opportunity to see these prototypes in close proximity, outside the context of the dazzle of the international motor exhibition circuit, a chance to examine their details, features and form in the natural light close up in the reality of the outside world”, said the President of the Concorso d‘Eleganza Villa d’Este and Director of BMW Group Classic, Karl Baumer at the press conference of the Concorso in Milan. “As fascinating essays in the automobile in the years ahead they are fully in the spirit of an event that, for over eighty years, has celebrated not only the history of personal transportation but also its future”, Dott. Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa d’Este S.p.A. emphasizes. Some may be dead ends, others glimpses of the cars we will be driving 5, 10 or 20 years hence but all are offered here for the inspection of the visiting public to give their personal verdicts and decide which will be awarded Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Design Award. The following vehicles are starting in this year’s competition:
Ferrari Super America 45 (2011
Convertible, 12 cilindri, 6000 ccm
A recent and fascinating trend in the rarefied world of top end Ferrari collectors is the commissioning of one off bespoke version of high end models from Italian coach builders. Several ‘special clients’ have approached Pininfarina (and others) in recent years to build uniquely styled cars, an idea that goes back to the fifties went customers like film director Roberto Rossellini had a special car built for his wife, Ingrid Bergman. The Villa d Este is the natural setting for the exposure of such special vehicles and as well as the Glickenhaus P4/5 this year we have this very special Ferrari Super America belong to the New York
Audi Quattro Concept (2010)
Fastback Coupé, 5 cilindri, 2500 ccm,
So up-beat was the Quattro Concepts reception at the Paris Motor Show last year that it seems highly likely a version of the car will eventually see production. It’s tough, compact look is inspired by the short wheelbase Quattro Sport of the eighties and indeed the car was built to celebrate 30 years of the ground breaking four wheel drive Audi Coupe. Styled by Wolfgang Egger it is a fully functioning prototype based on an RS5 chassis but shorter by 150mm to give more agility and that chunky presence on its massive 20 inch wheels. It features light alloy and carbon fibre to save weight and in fact it weighs almost exactly same as the Quattro sport homologation special of the eighties.
Mercedes Benz Concept Shooting Break (2010)
Shooting Break, 6 cilindri, 3500 ccm
This concept takes its name from the traditional gun carrying cars used by the landed gentry for sporting pursuits but it is much more than just another estate car. With its powerful wheel arches – home to 20 inch wheels – and AMG style front grille it is essentially a variation on Mercedes successful CLS coupe/saloon theme, the squat roof extended into a load carrier with a fifth door. Strictly a four seater the shooting break has a modern take on traditional wood and leather treatments inside and is powered by a 306bhp 3.5 litre V6 petrol unit that is said to set new standards of economy in its class.
Infiniti Etherea (2011)
Coupé, 4 cilindri, 2500 ccm,
Introduced at Geneva this year the Etherea is a five door hatch back that manages to look like a 4 door coupe. With its futuristic and spacious cabin and aggressive stance this 245bhp hybrid drive cross-over is aimed at younger buyers than Infiniti’s traditional demographic. One of its most pleasing features, giving an aura of cool spaciousness, are the ‘clamshell’ doors; in other words the rear doors are hinged on the rearmost pillar and open to reveal open plan access to the cabin – there is no centre pillar, a feature of many classic sedans of the 20s to the 50s.
Italdesign Giugiaro Go! (2011)
Ital Design/Giugiaro has a relationship with VW going back to the early seventies when it designed the bodywork for the firms first generation of water cooled models, the Passat, Polo and – most importantly – the first Golf. Now that the famous Italian styling house had been integrated into the VW group it was only natural that some exciting VW show cars would emerge. The GO! – shown alongside the sporty Tex at Geneva this year – is the latest ideas in the realm of the MPV, a genre Giugiaro virtually invented in the seventies with the Megagamma and the 1976 New York Taxi concept. Go! Is fully electric powered with battery packs under the seats offers large MPV space within a Passat sized wheelbase plus large glass areas and a full sized boot while retaining a resemblance to the rest of the VW family.
Rinspeed BamBoo (2011)
This extraordinary beach vehicle concept, powered by a 54kw electric motor, is designed to evoke memories of classic sixties and seventies fun cars like the Citroen Mehari and Fiat Jolly that one might have seen at St Tropez or other Riviera destinations. It can be open topped or, if it rains, there’s a typical canopy. Designed in Switzerland and seen for the first time this year at Geneva its maker describes it as a ‘grown up golf cart’ with Bamboo elements to its interior and a dashboard that can display Face book pages.
Renault DeZir (2010)
This dramatic electric powered coupe is one of the spearheads of Renault’s new more emotional design language under Laurens Van der Acker and is also a teaser for the brands future front end styling identity. It sets out to prove that electric powered cars don’t have to be earnest and boring with an exciting sculptural shape in Kevlar over a lightweight frame and an ethereal interior that features that now rarely seen item – the bench seat! Behind it sits the cars motor a batteries which give a 100 mile range.
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus P4/5 (2011)
2 Door Coupé, 8 cilindri, 3996 ccm,
This one-off was built by Pininfarina as a personal project for the American film director James Glickenhaus. Based around the last unsold Ferrari Enzo it has been re-bodied in the style one of Ferraris 1960s P Series sports racing cars but with a futuristic feel that avoids retro clichés. The $4 million dollar project was revealed at Pebble Beach in 2006 and shown again at the Paris show that year. The seats were created around the dimensions of the owner and his son; his daughter chose the seat material. With 6 litres, 660bhp this 233mph vehicle was designed to be easier to use and service than the standard Enzo.
Hors Concours: MINI Rocketman and Rolls-Royce 102 EX
Traditionally the BMW Group takes part in the competition for prototypes and concept cars “hors concours“, i.e. they will not be evaluated by the jury. This year two of the stars from the Geneva Auto-Salon will be shown on the Villa d’Este catwalk – the MINI Rocketman and the Rolls-Royce 102 EX.
The MINI Rocketman Concept combines traditional values with innovative technology to redefine the creative use of space which is a fundamental principle of the brand. As a 3+1 seater featuring a unique space concept, 3 doors and an exterior length of just over 3 metres, the highly regarded study points the way to the future in terms of individual driving fun in urban conurbations.
Rolls-Royce produces cars that represent the pinnacle in luxurious motoring for the world’s most discerning customers. However, the company also recognises the need to look to the future and to plan for long-term sustainable growth. An investigation into alternative drive-train options is an important step in that process. With 102EX, also to be known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), it is the company’s intention to carefully test the opinions and reactions to alternative drive-train options of a range of stakeholders including owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and the media.
Munich/Geneva, 01.03.2011. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is the world’s most tradition-laden beauty contest for automobiles. A tradition of this kind demands to be nurtured, something the President of the Concorso d‘Eleganza Villa d’Este and Director of BMW Group Classic, Karl Baumer, is very much aware of: “This kind of tradition can only thrive through ongoing development; in other words, it’s a matter of cultivating a tradition of change, so to speak.” The best-placed person to judge this is Dott. Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa d’Este S.p.A. Since the Concorso was revived in the 1990s, he has been the event’s regular host. “Together with BMW, we have steadily developed the Concorso further, always with an eye to maintaining its unique nature and not succumbing to arbitrariness.” There are many definitive examples of this cautious approach to its development, such as the introduction of the Concept Car competition, the initiation of the Design Talk, and the opening up of the Concorso to a wider audience with the public day on Sunday. 2011 sees a whole quartet of key changes: the new date at the end of May, the introduction of a second public day on Saturday, the first Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este for motorcycles and, last but not least, a high-end car sale by RM Auction held during the Concorso.
It was the positive and, above all, growing acclaim over recent years which the Concorso d’Eleganza elicited on the Sunday that prompted the decision to offer the public an added attraction on the Saturday. That it would be a motorcycle concours awaiting the fans of classic beauties in the grounds of Villa Erba was an obvious move for Karl Baumer: “BMW is one of the most successful and traditional motorcycle manufacturers in the world, which makes it a nobrainer to introduce a motorcycle concours – especially as two-wheelers often fall short on the design front.” There will be five competition categories, as well as an hors concours design show.
Based on the criteria familiar from the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este – such as design, state of preservation and originality – a jury of five will select the best in class and an overall winner from among the 40 or so competing motorcycles. In this first year there will be no prizes awarded by public referendum. “That is sure to follow in the coming years, but our aim right now is to create a new pillar for the Concorso step by step and with due caution,” says Karl Baumer.
This year BMW marks the 75th birthday of the BMW 328. The celebrations will kick off not far from Lake Como – at the Mille Miglia, where the BMW 328 racing car will be the centre of attention. A week later, at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the spotlight will turn on the functional aesthetics of this legendary two-seater. “There is no doubt that, with the BMW 328, our predecessors created an icon of motoring history which to this day still defines the style of two-seaters produced by our company,” says Karl Baumer, underlining the significance of the BMW 328. It remains unclear what kind of birthday present will be appropriate for such an outstanding representative of the BMW product family – “But we’ll definitely come up with something special,” says the Director BMW Group Classic in happy anticipation of the party to be held on the shores of Lake Como.
As every year, the competition for the classic cars will be divided into several vehicle groups. Split up into eight different categories, the 50 or so classics will await the verdict of the five-strong jury. A novel aspect this year is the special focus within the competition: under the overarching theme of “the sixties”, around 20 iconic automobiles in three vehicle categories will represent this style-setting decade for the motoring enthusiasts gathered at Lake Como. The names of the sixties vehicle categories alone promise a high level of quality and style-consciousness: “The Glamour”, “The Sport” and “The Unexpected”.
For the Concorso d’Eleganza competition, the selecting committee has once again picked some unusual beauties from six decades of automotive history. During the annual press conference at the Geneva Motor Show the selecting commitee offered a few tasters from the exclusive field of participants.
Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Town Car, Brewster, 1933
The Rolls-Royce from American Rolls-Royce dealer and coachbuilder Brewster&Co is nothing less than the most expensive car of its inception year. But it wasn’t just the price tag that lent it a superlative status in motoring history – it was the car’s design as well. This Rolls-Royce Phantom II blends styling elements of its day into a harmonious and unique whole. The long bonnet, the low-slung greenhouse and, not least, the V-shaped windscreen are the defining features of this one-off. Its inner values are similarly unmatched: gold-plated hardware, indirect lighting and highgrade leather, along with wool carpeting, are designed to spoil and cosset its occupants. All in all, these attributes make up what countless experts deem one of the best and most significant Rolls- Royces ever built.
Jaguar E-Type Coupé, 1961
The Jaguar E-Type ranks among the most famous cars in the world. For many auto fans, its shape remains to this day a stunning synthesis of athleticism and delectable design language. But beyond the features it shares with all its sibling production models, this E-Type boasts a unique history. It made its appearance at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, and thus counts among the first E-Types ever built. Over the decades, however, its distinguished origins fell into obscurity – until 1999, that was, when an ad appeared in a Swiss paper and it quickly emerged that this was the “Geneva car”. A Swiss collector undertook a comprehensive restoration of this “first-born” EType based on original documentation. It would be almost a decade before the work was completed. This rare E-Type differs from the production model in more than 30 ways, inside and out. There’s an opportunity to identify them at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
Alfa Romeo TZ2 Coupé, Zagato, 1965
Alfa Romeo presented the TZ model at the 1962 Turin Motor Show as a roadgoing racing car. It derives the T in its nomenclature from tubolare, a reference to its tubular spaceframe, and the Z from Zagato, the coachbuilders. A limited production run of no more than 102 was built until 1965, before the Alfa Romeo TZ2 would prove far more successful on the race track. Output had been raised to 165 hp, while its weight was once again whittled down, this time to 620 kg, and the chassis was also improved. Alfa Romeo clocked a breathtaking top speed of 265 km/h for its sports car. With the TZ2, coachbuilders Zagato turned out a significant example of Italian car design of the 1960s. By the time production ended in 1967, just 12 examples had left the construction hall. This is yet another example of a car that is not only an exceptional beauty, but also a hand-picked rarity, being showcased at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011
On the weekend of 20 – 22 May 2011, the splendid grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and neighbouring Villa Erba in Cernobbio on Lake Como will once again serve as a unique stage for the most beautiful cars and motorcycles from the past and the most extravagant concept cars of today. First held in 1929 at the same venue, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este ranks today as the world’s most traditional event of its kind.
Following the launch of the event for invited guests in the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on Saturday, the Concorso gives all car and motorcycle fans an opportunity to experience these dreams on two and four wheels in the park of the adjacent Villa Erba on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the cars and motorcycles already presented on the previous day, there will be numerous other high-end classics on display in special exhibitions.
Munich. No other automotive beauty contest worldwide can match the tradition and heritage of the Concorso d‘Eleganza Villa d’Este. “We need to preserve this tradition but also build on it,” explains Karl Baumer, President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and Director of BMW Group Classic. “The paramount aim is to put on an exceptional weekend for the participants and visitors.”
A new element of the Concorso this coming year will be an auction organised by RM Auctions. “We’ve been keen to integrate an auction into the event for some time now,” says Baumer. “With its concept of putting fewer but higher-quality vehicles up for sale, RM Auctions underlines the essence of our Concorso. We’re looking forward to this new partnership.” Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe, adds: “We are proud of the company in which we keep, including the joining of forces with BMW Classic to stage this idyllic weekend of automotive bliss.”
Another change to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este next year will be the date. Up to now the event’s time-honoured place on the calendar has been the last weekend in April. In 2011, however, the Concorso will draw the crowds of automotive aficionados to Lake Como on 20 – 22 May. “The event has clashed with the major motor shows in Shanghai and Beijing on a number of occasions over recent years. So all those involved in the Concorso agreed that moving it back a few weeks could only be a good thing,” says Dr Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa d’Este S.p.A., explaining the rescheduling.