Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014: Glorious tradition, radiant winners

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Munich/Cernobbio. The presentation of the Trofeo BMW Group set a glorious seal on the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 in Cernobbio, northern Italy, on Sunday. Visitors from around the world once again flocked to Lake Como in their thousands at the weekend to experience the parades of exclusive classic vehicles at the tradition-laden beauty contest for historic cars and motorcycles. The jury presented this year’s Trofeo BMW Group for “Best of Show” to the Maserati 450 S from 1956.

BMW Classic

The winner of the public vote, and therefore the recipient of the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este, was an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS from 1931. In the Concept Cars and Prototypes category, the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award went to the Maserati “Alfieri”, and the highlight of the fourth Concorso di Motociclette was the presentation of the Trofeo BMW Group for motorcycles to the vintage 1929 Opel Motoclub Supersport.

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Over three days, the parkland of Villa d’Este and the adjacent Villa Erba on the banks of Lake Como provided a magnificent backdrop for the historically rich and highly exclusive line-up of historic cars and motorcycles. The spectacular parades of competition models and array of special exhibitions shone a bright spotlight on the elegance and aesthetic appeal of classic vehicles, once again drawing attention to prominent milestones in design and technological development.

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The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este eloquently reprised its role as an exclusive stage for two and four-wheeled rarities that capture the imagination with their flawless condition and fascinating backstories. Warm, summery temperatures greeted the thousands of visitors who came on Saturday and Sunday to track the progress of both the Concorso di Motociclette and the parade of historic competition cars, helping to turn the battle for the favour of jury and public alike into a highly atmospheric occasion.

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Among the other highlights of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 were the special exhibitions laid on for the 110th anniversary of British luxury car brand Rolls-Royce and the centenary of Italian sports car maker Maserati. The two landmarks were also celebrated with special categories of competition for the two marques. Hailed as class winners by the jury were the Rolls-Royce Phantom II Boat Tail from 1934 and the Maserati V4 Sport, a Zagato-designed spider from 1929.

This was the tenth Concorso d’Eleganza to be co-hosted by BMW Group Classic and the Villa d’Este luxury hotel. A glittering support programme headed “The Great Gatsby” saw the organisers harking back to the Roaring Twenties and the roots of the event’s “Days of Elegance”. 85 years ago a beauty contest for cars took place here for the first time, and today the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este bridges the past, the present and the future of vehicle aesthetics. Nowhere is this role more clearly expressed than in the visionary designs included in the Concept Cars and Prototypes competition. This year, moreover, the BMW Group presented a trio of attention-grabbing concept studies out of competition.

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The BMW Vision Future Luxury study vehicle offers a preview of how exclusive driving pleasure might shape up in the years ahead. Here, pioneering operating systems and driving comfort, innovative lightweight construction technology and a design that opens up a new dimension in automotive elegance come together to create a fascinating interpretation of luxury on four wheels. Elsewhere, and celebrating its world premiere at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014, was a roadster in the classical mould. Boasting a hand-made aluminium outer skin, electric drive system and minimalist interior design, the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision study car fuses British heritage and Italian flair into a recipe for concentrated driving fun and pure emotionality. The Concorso d’Eleganza is also a committed advocate of beauty on two wheels, of course, and BMW Motorrad duly joined the fray with a second world premiere. The BMW Concept Roadster embodies a strikingly dynamic and emotionally powerful interpretation of undiluted riding pleasure. The signature features of this motorcycle study are its contemporary evolution of the classic roadster concept, the latest incarnation of the time-honoured boxer engine, a self-supporting rear structure fashioned from gloss milled aluminium, and innovative LED headlight technology.

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