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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Concorso D'Eleganza Villa D'Este 2004

Lake Como showcase event for the most beautiful automobiles Munich/Cernobbio. Visitors to the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este 2004 from 23rd to 25th April were able to celebrate three anniversaries in one. This longstanding beauty contest for outstanding automotive design marked its 75th edition this year. The BMW Group, under whose patronage the event at Lake Como has been held for the last six years, celebrated the centenary of Rolls-Royce along with visitors to the Concorso d´ Eleganza Villa d´Este, as well as the start of BMW car production 75 years ago. With 52 historic models and ten contemporary concept cars, the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este once again posted record attendance figures. On Saturday, participants, judges and motoring specialists gathered in the grounds of Villa d´Este to appraise the vehicles on show. In Sunday´s glorious weather, several thousand visitors flocked into the parkland of the neighbouring Villa Erba to pay tribute to the four-wheeled gems on display there before selecting the winner by public referendum. Ever since the revival of the Concorso d´Eleganza, interest in the event has swelled year by year, as witnessed not only in the long lines of visitors on Sunday but also in the expanding numbers of media representatives. The main prize by the jury for the most beautiful car in the show went to a Ferrari 250 GT Convertible with Pinin Farina body. Built in 1957, the automobile is now owned by the well known American collector Peter Kalikow. The Coppa d´Oro Villa d´Este (Best of Show by Referendum) was awarded to a Lancia Astura Double Phaeton with bodywork by Castagna from 1933. A historical footnote: this car also took the award in the year of its launch. This car also won the Trofeo BMW Italia. As a tribute to Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni, the Chairman of the Jury who died earlier this year, the Concorso d´Eleganza introduced the first special prize for the most elegant car body. This went to the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Coupé Villa d´Este Helvetia 1951. Each year, a car designer constitutes the focus of the event. This time around the Concorso was complemented by the creations of Zagato. In a special exhibition, the Italian company presented works from its 85-year history. In honour of this anniversary, the Jury presented a special Zagato award. The Trofeo Zagato went to Alfa Rome 1900 SZZ Coupé Zagato, 1954. In keeping with the traditional spirit of the contest, the last three years have also featured a design award for the best contemporary concepts and prototypes. This year ten cars were showcased, including a Nissan that marked the first involvement by a Japanese car manufacturer. The Concorso d´Eleganza Design Award and the BMW Group Design Award both went to the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, which premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year.
BMW Group Design Talk sets impulses
The Design Talk event initiated by BMW last year similarly revolved around the theme of modern automotive styling. This year saw Dr. Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa d´Este S.p.A., BMW Group Head of Design Chris Bangle, Andrea Zagato, Furniture Designer Carl Magnusson (Knoll Design), Rolls-Royce Chief Designer Ian Cameron and Chris Dercon as Director of Munich´s "Haus der Kunst" discussing the interplay of design and marketing as well as contemporary car designs. Bangle questioned the thesis that modern car design had become purely a marketing instrument. He argued that only design which was not a slave to fleeting fashions could survive down the years and would be worthy of being presented at future events such as the Concorso d´Eleganza.
What people thought about the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este
"The Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este has grown in significance in recent years. Today it has every right to lay claim to the status of the leading event of its kind in Europe. A unique aspect worldwide are its ties with the event´s original roots, where we don´t merely showcase gems of the motoring past but also present design studies for the appraisal of a specialist panel of judges as well as the public." Holger Lapp, Director, BMW Group Mobile Tradition "A fantastic setting for two major anniversaries of the BMW Group. The themes of prestige, luxury, elegance and dynamics are presented here in the best possible way. And this is also where you will find the roots of the global culture of the premium car." Chris Bangle, Head of Design, BMW Group "A fantastic event. I am moved by these beautiful cars. The wonderful models from the thirties, which I still remember from my youth, come alive for me here. But there are some particularly beautiful examples among the prototypes as well." Albrecht Graf Goertz, designer of the BMW 507 "An extraordinary event at which three significant anniversaries come together: 75 years of the Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este, 75 years of BMW cars, and 100 years of Rolls-Royce at a single event. Fantastic. The standard of the cars is the best yet." Lord March, member of the panel of judges and organizer of the Goodwood Festival of Speed The next Concorso d´Eleganza Villa d´Este will take place 22 - 24 April 2005.

Related entries:

2007 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este
Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2007


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