D he shores of Lake Como in May, blooming Hyacinths, Nelson roses and mulberry trees. The narrow, built-up streets on the west bank from Como to Menaggio are dominated by brightly buzzing racing bike pelotons, on the azure blue lake in front of the villa, mahogany brown Riva boats dance ballet and pull rippling waves behind them that glisten in the sun.
At this gifted place of Mediterranean-Alpine uniqueness, 54 classics pose on the gravel catwalk in front of the legendary luxury hotel Villa d'Este. In terms of architecture, Renaissance and Classicism merge here to form a particularly beautiful offspring of Italian architecture. The artfully arranged natural stone mosaics are just as aesthetically pleasing as the elegant stiletto heeled sandals.
Nice ambience, beautiful cars, beautiful women. Motor Klassik editor Alf Cremers looked through the keyhole into sunny paradise and saw 14 classic gems shine particularly brightly from his very personal point of view.
Pegaso Z-102, 1951
Unlike the Pegaso, which was later fitted by Touring, Milano, this home-grown Enasa still looks a bit raw and awkward. It seems to me like the big brother of the Goliath GP 700, but its presence has a noticeable authority. When I approach the pastel green Pegaso as if magically attracted, its owner Johan van Puyvelde starts the 2.9-liter V8 with four overhead camshafts. The sound is electrifying and brings the whole futile myth of the flying horse back to life. Pegaso is the sports car hubris of the Spanish truck manufacturer Enasa, which becomes a sad legend due to failure, but an immortal one!
Lancia Aurelia B 52, 1953
Not much about the imposing one open car is consistent, but that is exactly what makes it so attractive. Lancia is usually obliged to Pinin Farina, but here the sometimes awkward Vignale took over the direction, and he cumulated what was apparently perfect into what was imperfect. He created an Alfa Romeo face rather than a Lancia face, and got entangled in strangely arranged and unmotivatingly bent moldings. But length runs once again at Vignale. Under the sheet metal, the capricious Aurelia with her two-liter original V6 and her revolutionary transaxle drive is unaffected.
Aston Martin DB 4 GT Zagato, 1961
Its iconic status has been undisputed for decades , now you canalso numerically determine the degree of its uniqueness very precisely. You have to shell out three million if you want to enjoy the aesthetic and driving pleasure of this wonderful Aston Martin DOHC six-cylinder, which does not come up with impressive performance data (3.6 liters, 230 hp), instead of enchanting shapes and proportions let the Ferrari 250 GT SWB shine through. The formal eccentric Zagato left it with a sensual hip swing and even dispensed with the signature double bubble in the roof.
Bizzarrini GT Europe 1900, 1968
What you can't do with an Opel can. After Ferrari, Iso Grifo and the bizarre and fascinating homegrown creature derived from the same hero, the dry years of Ingegnere Bizzarini followed, who based on a simple C-record sprint with the Europa 1900 created a nonetheless gorgeous Gran Turismo. Its alternating tapered and wavy rounded side line with deeply decollete has a lot of the silhouette of beautiful women and the magnesium wheels imitate the charming simplicity of filigree steel rims.
Fiat 8V Supersonic, 1954
Not a fascinating one Small series cars were bodyworked in such an impressive variety as the Fiat 8V, and were bodyworked in such a fascinating variety as the Fiat Otto Vu (8V). Zagato, Vignale, Pinin Farina, Touring have tailored the eccentric Fiat eight-cylinder, which in its day was just as much a phoenix from the ashes of the World War as the Mercedes 300 SL gullwing, an exciting dress. Ghia, more attached to the American dream car style, managed the most eccentric interpretation of the Fiat jewel, which was limited to just a few hundred copies. The extremely un-erotic bumpers, of course, were retrofitted by an American eccentric to protect his originally free-spirited body. The benevolent gentleness of the Villa d'Este jury deliberately ignored this sonic boom of bad taste.
Fiat 8V Zagato, 1955
This Zagato swing looks almost subtle compared to the Hollywood swing by Ghia Manuscript on the Italian Agnelli sanctuary. At first glance I thought it was a precious Siata or a hauntingly beautiful Maserati A6, but this Otto Vu with its simple grandeur actually belonged to the Fiat patriarch Giovanni-Agnelli. In addition to the halo of aluminum sheet metal on a lattice tube frame, the engine stands a little back. Anyone who expects an Italian camshaft orchestra with 100 hp liter output will be disappointed. The small-volume two-liter V8 with a central camshaft developed a maximum of 120 hp.
Maserati A6 GCS, 1954
Directly opposite the Otto-Vu-Zagato, the almost larger-than-life size thrives in the shadow of a bougainvillea border Maserati A6 GCS from Pinin Farina. No, it's not the mirage of a dehydrated, over-stimulated chronicler who does sobewitchingly covetous in the heated spring air, it really is him. This dream has become Gran Turismo with the big name and a great six-cylinder that is not stingy with camshafts. I think not even this embarrassing too much red paintwork with white Shelby stripes will prevent this gem, crowned by Neptune's trident, from enticing the jury like the sirens Odysseus once did. Let's get down to earth and certify in shorthand: One of the most beautiful cars of all time.
Facel Vega Facel II, 1962
This beguiling car is my personal best of show. He is imposing, authoritarian, ultra rare and breathtakingly beautiful. Just as every man carries his anima, his unreachable ideal dream woman, so does he with cars. The facel is my anima, perhaps because her perfect face and her more than delicate roof structure have such mercedes-like pagoda features. And otherwise the Concorso is pretty much a Mercedes-free zone this year. The iconographic charisma of the Facel can't even tarnish its 6.3 liter Chrysler engine. The inner values are not brilliant, but adequate to the outside.
Lancia Astura, 1933
The leap from the formally pure, but nevertheless incredibly refined objectivity of the sixties into the playful Art Deco of the thirties is easy to do in view of the emphatically aerodynamic interpretation of the Lancia Astura with a rear fin. The bodybuilder Castagna, who was incredibly renowned at the time, only apparently created an epigone of the Bugatti 57 SC Atalante, which also parks conciliatory on a soft gravel bed next to him.
At the time, the Astura was the flagship of Lancia with a three-liter V8 engine and not exactly an overwhelming 80 hp. The Villa d´Este visitors honored the impressive presence of the Astura with the Coppa d´Oro, which means nothing less than “Best of Show”.
Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental, 1934
No Concorso without the sophisticated nobility of a pre-war Rolls-Royce. This phantom in the distinguished color barents blue, which sounds a lot like the northern Arctic Ocean, would be my number two. Not conservative at all, but a little eccentric from the unbritish imaginative coach image Hooper with a gently tapering rear drag, this lordly Phaeton is a high-output version of the venerable 7.7 liter six-cylinder from the legendary Ghost. The 2 x 3 long-stroke engine is probably the longest-lasting engine of all time in two ways.
This avant-garde tail fin creation will make every car connoisseur desperate. We know Dual as a turntable and Ghia as the courageous coachman who had his heyday in the fifties. But dual ghia? The 5.2 liter V8 including the chassis of this confectioner chasing comes from Hudson, Nash, Rambler, the nucleus of the later AMC. Believe it or not, the dual ghia wasa must-have for US movie stars from the 50s. The legendary Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. brought it to three duals. Although this sultry convertible was anything but “macho”. But Jayne Mansfield liked it; she was the last celebrity to steer him.
BMW 503 Coupé, 1956
Of course, choosing the Graf Goertz creation is a nod to the Villa d ´Este Spiritus Rector BMW. But for me it's a bow out of conviction. Because I find it far more charismatic than the 507, which is always lifted into the sky. For me, the 503, of which there were only 273 coupés and 139 convertibles hand-picked and made, would be third in my personal Concorso ranking. Like Van Gogh, BMW created its greatest works in the saddest of times.
The 140 hp light alloy V8 spurred the German Gran Turismo from Heiko Seekamp's fascinating collection at 190 km /h. Villa d'Este- Hostess Veronica found the 503 just as delightful as I did and spontaneously attached a little bouquet to the windshield wiper. Natural beauty meets timeless beauty. This is only available on the gravel of the villa.
Bentley T-Speciale, 1968
There are shapes that even Pininfarina cannot improve. The two-door Bentley T-Coupé, a twin brother of the two-door Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Corniche variant, cannot be surpassed in terms of refined distinction. Anyone who scratches this understatement monument must inevitably fail. Like this Bentley T-Speziale, which, in addition to an expressionless face, also has a profile that is far too rear-stressed.
Nevertheless, the T-Speciale is a nice attempt, especially to get us mentally and morally on the roll. Prepare Royce Camargue. With him Pininfarina ignited the second stage of nouveau riche radical individualism, which here a few rows further on the Concorso as a cappucino brown special model “Beau Rivage” calls on the taste police to intervene immediately.
Ferrari 250 Europa, 1953
Not a typical Ferrari at all if you project the Enzo icons of the early years like a dream in front of your eyes. Like unattainable V12 goddesses, there appear reduced, ascetic originals like 212 Inter, 250 GT Boano or 250 GT “Ellena”. The 250 Europa, glamorously staged by Vignale, still enchants me as an opulent Gran Turismo in a playful pebble beach look.
The chopped, almost filigree roof sits enthroned on a voluminous base, whose massiveness is loosened in vain by all sorts of beads and fins shall be. Grill and face are far too pompous. Still, the car is extremely fascinating. I was able to experience it driving between the two classical Concorso Poles Villa d´Este and Villa Erba. And it was so moving, as if Marcello Mastroianni took the young Cathérine Deneuve out to dinner and opened the car door for her: sound, presence and silhouettefascinate. A truly exotic beauty, this 250 Europa.