Who had the head start on the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este tour?
Yesterday morning, some 15 owners and their cars departed the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este for a day-long tour encompassing the finest roads, landscapes, and culinary delights Lake Como and its neighbouring areas have to offer. An opportunity not only for owners to eye up their competition in the forthcoming Concorso d’Eleganza, the preceding Tour d’Eleganza also provided local dwellers and enthusiasts the chance to witness a selection of the most exquisite classic cars in action, against one of the world’s most sensational backdrops.
After meandering around the lake in the morning and ascending into the mountains to the lunch stop, the Concorso cavalcade made the short hop to the Swiss border and the gorgeous lakeside town of Lugano, the home of Classic Driver dealer Ronnie Kessel.
Every car on the road was worthy of note, though some certainly stood out more than others – take the ex-Baillon Collection Ferrari 250 GT California Spider, which is fresh from a comprehensive restoration by Paul Russell, arguably one of, if not the best in the business when it comes to renewing these old Prancing Ponies. Compared to its former state of disrepair, the pristine car looks almost unrecognisable.
We also loved the Ferrari 275 GTB painted in the lesser-seen shade of Nocciola (gelato lovers will know that’s hazelnut in English), which just looked so ‘right’ against the glamorous Jet Set backdrop of Lake Como. Ever the bon vivant, Simon Kidston took part in his black Lamborghini Miura SV, fresh from its brief tenure in the shop window of Larusmiani in Milan, while fellow Classic Driver dealer Weekend Heroes brought along a stunning bright yellow Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada formerly owned by the famous singer Little Tony.
However, no car turned more heads than the Abarth 1100 Sport with its vast and audacious Ghia bodywork. The Jet Age-inspired 1950s coupé has been nominated for ‘Best of Show’ at Pebble Beach before and we wouldn’t bet against it picking up some silverware this weekend.
As the owners safely returned to the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and tucked their cars away for the evening, so our focus shifts to this weekend and the 90th running of the Concorso d’Eleganza, the absolute jewel in the classic car world’s crown. Who will drive away with the ‘Best of Show’ trophy? Which car will the audience name their Coppa d’Oro victor? Who’ll cut the sharpest dash out on the gravel? Stay tuned on Classic Driver to find out…
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2019