Concorzo d’Eleganza & Co.
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Concorzo d’Eleganza & Co.

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After a memorable Saturday at Villa d’Este’s Concorso d’Eleganza, we’re in for a rude awakening on Sunday. However, the sun beats down on the window, illuminating the room with a pretty ochre light. Lake Como isn’t far away, and just thinking about it makes us jump out of bed with the smell of a good Italian coffee by the water. As soon as we’re up and about, luggage in the boot and hood folded, we’re off in search of the perfect terrace…

Aren’t we here to tell you all about our adventures between Villa Erba and Villa d’Este?

On Saturday morning, Villa Erba would need an umbrella just as much as we do. It’s humid, but the light rain that falls provides a magnificent backdrop for admiring the cars. Adding an unusual dimension, enhancing the curves of the cars parked in the park. It’s unusual to see a Bugatti EB110 besieged by thousands of drops rolling down its perfectly waxed bodywork…

Among the beauties on display, friends from the Hofmeisters collective, brought some thirty BMW Classic cars to Wheels & Weisswursh. A sort of event within an event, since the concept is to exhibit popular cars from the propeller brand, contrasting with the competition cars, while bringing back the friendly atmosphere typical of Hofmeisters. And so, on the shores of Lake Como, we find ourselves wolfing down a white sausage and a pretzel while discussing German tuning.

As the clouds get darker and darker, we meet Riccardo, President of Totem Automobili, who has come along with his latest creation. An opportunity to take a closer look at this beautiful electric restomod based on an Alfa Romeo, and to be surprised by the level of finish and quality of workmanship. Italian craftsmanship is on another level!

As the rain intensifies, and before swimming the breaststroke between a BMW 507 and a Lamborghini Countach, we take refuge in the hall adjacent to Villa Erba. To our great surprise, we came face to face with the BMW Classic Art Cars, including all those raced by Hervé Poulain. Seeing these works of art in person is quite an experience, especially when they are so well displayed. And the icing on the cake, somewhat “hidden” behind these monuments: the Z4 GT3. Present in our workshop last October, we were moved to see her again in Italy.

“Elegance is not just a matter of appearance, but a way of being, a certain grace in gesture and harmony in style.”

With the arrival of the first rays of sunshine, we decide to head for Villa d’Este. In a jovial atmosphere, accompanied by friends from Hofmeisters, we take the boat across Lake Como, amazed by the picturesque scenery and eager to reach the competition venue.

On arrival, the atmosphere had changed: more formal, more exceptional, on a par with the cars on display.s. The setting of Villa d’Este, with its sumptuous gardens and breathtaking lake views, clearly adds to the magic of the event.

Strolling through the park surrounding the Villa, we admire the cars, each more elegant than the last. Rare models from the pre-war years, such as a Bugatti 35 in its original condition, to timeless classics like the Miura, Ferrari 375 and McLaren F1, to concept cars offering a unique show. If motor shows allow us to see these cars, the Concours d’Elegance allows us to sublimate them through its setting.

And, above all, to add a little dynamism! At the end of the afternoon, the cars are paraded in front of the judges before being parked out of sight, ready to be admired one last time the following day at the Ville d’Erba. The perfect moment to add a soundtrack based on V12s and other engines singing the soundtrack to a sweet moment out of time.

Georges Abitbol said: “You’re conflating coquetry and class […] it’s a bit has-been”. Lulled by the words of the classiest man in the world since we were teenagers, it’s inevitably him we think of when we go to a Concours d’Elegance. In fact, it’s said that elegance is not just a question of appearance, but a way of being, a certain grace in gesture and harmony in style. That it manifests itself as much in the objects as in the way we admire them. So that’s it.

A stroll through the city of Como was the perfect way to round off this crazy day. It was a car festival here: everywhere you looked, pretty cars dotted the streets. The town’s lively cobbled streets and bustling squares created a festive atmosphere.

A pizza seemed the perfect end to this Italian adventure. In our BMW 420i cabriolet, kindly made available by BMW, we set off in search of the ideal pizzeria to enjoy this last evening. Riding in this convertible car, with the wind in your hair and the magnificent views, added a touch of freedom to the experience.

This weekend at Lake Como, crowned by the Villa d’Este Concours d’Élégance, will remain a moment engraved in our memories. The combination of beautiful surroundings, classic cars and a refined, friendly atmosphere created a magical experience, a true tribute to elegance in all its forms. No, Georges, it’s not a has-been. The memories of these moments, from cars glistening in the rain to sunny crossings of the lake, make us want to come back next year!

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