Three anniversaries were celebrated at Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d’Este 2004 recently. It was the 75th anniversary of the event itself, BMW were also celebrating their 75th, and Rolls-Royce of course their centenary.
With a total of fifty-two historical, and ten modern (concept), cars in the competition it was a record event. In the park on Saturday the jury met to decide who was to be awarded the main prizes. On the Sunday the event was open to the public and its success could be measured not only by the long queues forming around the cars but also in the unprecedented interest from the media.
Ferrari 250 GT, 1957, 12 cilindri a V, 2962 cm3
Body: Cabriolet, Pininfarina
Entrant: Peter S. Kalikow (USA)
The Ferrari GT 250 was introduced at the 1954 Paris Motor Show and underwent constant evolution in the first 10 years of production. One after another, each of the great Italian coachbuilding masters succumbed to the charm of the young vehicle. Sergio Scaglietti was head of the project at Pinin Farina and soon distinguished himself as the ideal designer.
The main prize from the jury, for the most beautiful car in the show, went to Ferrari this year, American collector Peter Kalikow’s 1957 250 GT Cabriolet Pininfarina.
The public’s prize, the ‘Coppa d'Oro di Villa’, was presented to the owner of a 1933 Lancia Astura Double-Phaeton with a body by Castagna - amazingly a winner of the same event in 1933.
Lancia Astura, 1933, 6 cilindri in linea, 4250 cm3
Body: Double-Phaeton, Castagna
Entrant: Guido Lamperti, (I)
The Astura V8 embodies the height of Lancia’s success in the 1930s. The chassis charmed even the most celebrated Italian coachbuilders, so much so that all of them worked on building the coachwork to the latest trends. This double screened torpedo, which carries the Castagna name, was the 1933 winner of the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza.
In honour of the recently deceased jury-president Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, a special prize was awarded to a 1951 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 GT 'Coupé Villa d’Este “Helvetia”, Touring', for its most elegant styling.
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 GT, 1951, 6 cilindri in linea, 2443 cm3
Body: Coupé Villa d’Este “Helvetia”, Touring
Entrant: Albert Obrist (CH)
Villa D’Este became a real style-researching exercise for Touring, resulting in countless variations in a surprising number models; enough to make you think that no further variations could be possible, despite Touring’s tireless creativity. Only a small number of this spacious 4/5 seater coupé were produced. It was named “Helvetia” as it was built exclusively for the Swiss market.
Every year a designer is chosen to be spotlighted at the meeting. This year Milanese coachbuilder Zagato was honoured, and in a special display the company presented its work over the last 85 years. The ‘Trofeo Zagato’ was awarded to a 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 SSZ Coupé.
Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Z, 1954, 4 cilindri in linea, 1975 cm3
Body: Coupé, Zagato
Entrant: David Sydorick (USA)
The Alfa Romeo Super Sprint variation glorifies the sporting features of this Coupé and is an important example of Italian style in the 1950s. In the 1954 season, the finely Zagato clad Alfa Romeo 1900s made their compeitve appearance and achieved an outstanding victory in the famous race“Stella Alpina”.
For three years now there has been a special prize for the best modern concept vehicles. The ‘Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d’Este Design Award’ went to the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione which debuted at 2003’s Frankfurt Show. On Sunday this vehicle also received the ‘Trofeo BMW Italia Design Award’.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of Rolls-Royce, dealer Hammer-Gruppe Köln presented the 100EX design exercise to a group of their customers. Sales manager Michael Gleissner had accompanied his guests to the Concorso d´Eleganza.
“An amazing event with the three anniversaries being celebrated. The standard of the cars this year is the best I have seen so far.” - Lord March, member of the jury and organiser of the two Goodwood events.
To the most sensitive restoration by the Jury – Ferrari 375 America Coupé Pinin Farina, 1955, 12 cilindri a V, 4522 cm3
Body: Coupé, Pininfarina
Entrant: Jack Thomas (USA)
The “America” Coupé was an important vehicle developed for the American market. It made its debut at the 1953 Paris Motor Show. Coachwork for 9 out 10 chassis was by Pininfarina. The Ferrari 375 America was aimed at a demanding and sporty market and was later brought out in cabriolet version, first by Vignale and then by Michelotti.
“A fantastic meeting. These beautiful cars really affect my emotions. Particularly the cars from the 1930s, the cars of my youth, that come alive at Villa d’Este. In addition, seeing the modern prototype cars is wonderful.” - Albrecht Graf Goertz, designer of the BMW 507.
I would like to thank Mrs. Martine Rapp and Mr. Andreas Klugescheid, BMW Group – Mobile Tradition, for the possibility of being allowed to photograph this unique occasion.
Similarly, I thank all participants whose cars I was able to take photographs of, and can only ask for the understanding of those whose vehicle I was unable to use.
Those photographs shown above (and many more) are available at 300dpi resolution, and 17 x 22 cm format, for Press or other purposes from the address below -
Gudrun Muschalla Photography
Winzererstrasse 49 b
Tel.: 0172/59 93 338
E-mail: [email protected]