The I.C.E 2024

Perhaps some classic car owners have always dreamed of owning a groundhog. This is the only plausible explanation for those who keep their cars warm during the winter season. But putting away the keys and lovingly covering the bodywork with a blanket is just one way of denying yourself the pleasure of driving with the heater on full blast, experimenting with countersteering on snow and discovering frost-bleached landscapes. In St-Moritz, Switzerland, hibernation is not an option. The Concours d’Elegance, aptly named The I.C.E, features a demonstration of exceptional vehicles on the frozen lake… at least, that’s what was planned for 2024.

Nestled in the Swiss mountains of St. Moritz, the I.C.E. is a unique combination of exhibition and dynamic demonstration. Unlike other concours d’elegance events, which focus primarily on the beauty of the cars, The I.C.E. offers a dynamic and exciting experience. Here, the owners set off on a track marked out on the frozen lake. It’s the promise of an exciting spectacle where we can admire the power and grace of sports cars that aren’t used to being driven in these conditions. Each bend promises a different choreography, set to a soundtrack in tune with the V12s of another era. This event pushes the boundaries of traditional concours d’élégance, and we just had to see it for ourselves.

Oh! We were happy to hit the road for the Alps, to attend the first event of the year. Camera in hand, the whole team was ready to spend an emotional day, with the aim of bringing you as many images as possible. This was without counting on an important message that arrived at the same time as the pizza from the day before: “The I.C.E is cancelled due to heavy snowfall”. Snow in winter. At first, we thought it was a bad joke. But when we arrived on site the following day, we could see that the runway was out of use, and that the weather conditions were not conducive to an outdoor exhibition. So, a little shaky, but not discouraged, we adapted to the situation to try and capture a few good automotive moments. We didn’t cross the snow-covered passes from France to St. Moritz for nothing!

Heading for Manx Café. Perhaps we’ll come across a few participants who would still have liked to ride. Wrong, but it’s time for coffee, the only real stimulant at the moment. Then the sound of a flat-six can be heard in the distance, and the Banzai team arrives with a redecorated ex-police car. OH YES ! We’ll be able to take a few photos in this atypical spot. Part gas station, part cafe, this vintage-looking place contrasts with the white of the mountains. It’s cool, and by the time we’ve exchanged a few words with the new arrivals, a 550 Spider and a Range Rover modified by Empire Project have arrived. A chance to chat, take a few photos and brighten up the day.

St. Moritz is renowned as one of the first modern ski resorts, developed from 1864 onwards and equipped with lifts since 1935. High up in the mountains, the town has a very special atmosphere. It’s a parallel world of luxury brand stores, majestic hotels, art galleries and… beautiful cars! Especially on a weekend like The I.C.E. With the idea of finding a few cars hidden in the streets, we scoured the city like novice car-spotters.

I’d like to say it’s fun, because it feels like going on a hunt and every shot fills up the Pokedex with more car photos, but street conditions aren’t always ideal. It’s an activity apart from photography, with the temperature teasing minus ten degrees, and we decide to find a little warmth…All is not lost. The I.C.E. organization has adapted the underground parking lot housing the vehicles for us to explore. Let’s be honest, it feels like Retromobile, but in the underground parking lot of the local shopping mall.

High up in the mountains, the town has a very special atmosphere.

Of course, we’re delighted to be able to drive around an Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, to discover an Alpine A220 SWB or to see for the first time the Ferrari 156, F1 World Champion in 1961. It’s always a pleasure to be able to stroll down a driveway full of cars you rarely see, and to learn a little more about the ones that catch your eye. As night begins to fall, the snow gets heavier, and we have to make our way back to the shores of Lake Como, where we’re staying. Ciao St-Moritz.

The lines that precede this conclusion surely exude frustration. It’s hard to adapt your speech when the circumstances aren’t ideal. So, as Yannick told us on the way back, “at least we’re together”. It’s true, it was quite an adventure just to get to St Moritz. It’s also true that we had a great time at the Manx Café, scouring the streets and detailing the cars like real geeks in the parking lot. Despite our lack of understanding of the cancellation, we adapted and managed to spend a good day in good company. So even when the plan changes dramatically, there’s always a plan B to share the good times!

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