Munich/Cernobbio . Historic automobiles of the Rolls-Royce brand are among the highlights of any classic car event. At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 these eternally fascinating ambassadors of British automotive prowess will take centre stage in a rather special way. The 110th anniversary of the Rolls-Royce brand will be celebrated from 23rd to 25th May 2014 as part of the tradition-swathed Classic Weekend held on the shores of Lake Como. It was in December 1904 that the company – founded just a few months earlier – debuted its models at the Paris Auto Salon under the brand name which to this day remains a global byword for automotive luxury.
For 85 years now, the parkland of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, northern Italy, has been the gathering point for all the automotive masterpieces that vie for the favour of the public and good marks from the expert jury. For the 2014 event, to which BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este jointly invite fans of historic cars and motorcycles, around 50 select vehicles will once again take part in the beauty contest. In parallel with this, the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award for concept cars and prototypes will also be staged.
And, for the second time, the BMW Group Young People’s Award for historic vehicles will be presented – a special prize to reflect the growing enthusiasm among the younger generations for classic cars and motorcycles.
A firm fixture of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este since 2011 is the Concorso di Motociclette. Escorted by members of the local police force, a convoy of classic two-wheelers makes its way from Como to Cernobbio on the Saturday, stopping briefly at the Historic Car Parade at Villa d’Este before reaching its final destination in the neighbouring grounds of Villa Erba. Here, once again, an array of particularly valuable and historically significantly motorcycles will be on display. Last year marked “90 years of BMW Motorrad” with a presentation of the key milestones in the brand’s history in the context of their time and alongside their former competitors. This year’s special show will turn the spotlight on sensational one-off custom bikes.
The support programme for this year’s Classic Weekend will also offer greater appeal and diversity than ever before. On the evening of the first day of the event, the park at Villa Erba will be turned into an atmospheric open-air cinema. Entry is free to visitors, who will be able to enjoy the Hollywood remake of the classic movie The Great Gatsby on a big screen, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. The spirit of the Roaring Twenties also sets the scene for numerous other items on the programme. The historic vehicle parades on both Saturday and Sunday, for example, will be accompanied by models dressed in the style of the era, while the themed evening for guests of honour at Villa Visconti will likewise take its cue from The Great Gatsby.
A riveting exhibition in the rotunda at Villa Erba will be dedicated to the Spirit of Ecstasy, the winged radiator figurine that has accompanied Rolls-Royce since 1911 and quickly became the world-renowned emblem of Britain’s motoring heritage. One of the ways in which the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 will pay tribute to the 110-year anniversary of the brand is with a presentation of select rarities from the Rolls-Royce past. The automobiles on display from the various eras all, in their own individual way, embody the “striving for perfection” which company founders Charles Rolls and Henry Royce made their guiding principle early on.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este was first staged in the north Italian town of Cernobbio in 1929. Since 1999 this historic automotive gathering has been held under the patronage of the BMW Group. Each year, the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the adjacent Villa Erba provide a stage for motoring classics of outstanding significance, as well as for concepts and visions that have impacted on automotive design of various eras.
This awareness of tradition coupled with an outlook on the future is what defines the globally unique nature of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. This year marks the tenth time that BMW Group Classic will play the role of organiser of this exclusive show against the picturesque backdrop of Lake Como.
In addition to the high-calibre field of contestants vying for the trophies awarded by the jury and the public, the highlights of the Classic Weekend on Lake Como also include an exhibition and support programme organised by the BMW Group, which invariably delights competition participants and visitors to the Public Days at Villa Erba in equal measure.