2022 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este: Time-honored Elegance
Crème de la Crème of car shows where cars meet the ethereal
When you’re looking to be the most prestigious classic car show in the world, it helps to be one of the first.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, which will be held May 20-22 in scenic Lake Como, Italy, has been on the car show calendar since 1929 – a time when hardly any cars could be considered “classic” in the first place. After similar events were launched in France and Monaco, the famously stylish Italians decided it was time to follow suit, even though their timing was poor (only two months before the 1929 stock market crash).
Following a nearly 40-year break that began in the ‘50s, the Concorso returned in the 1990s under the patronage of BMW. But don’t let the German sponsorship fool you: this show is still a quintessentially Italian affair, uniquely located at the historic Grand Hotel Villa d’Este. This residence has been around since the sixteenth century, when it was considered an architectural marvel, and it started a new life as a luxury hotel and resort in 1873.
Already dripping in exclusivity, this year’s show will also be a celebration of some of the world’s most exclusive brands. BMW would have been heavily involved regardless, but this year, they are also set to commemorate 50 years of BMW M cars. The show will feature an M Parade and reveal a new model, kicking off a summer of M pride that will also incorporate the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
But Italian car enthusiasts are also well aware that another huge milestone is underway this year, which is the 75th anniversary of Ferrari. And right now, the Scuderia has promising chances at the Concorso, with a 1956 Ferrari 250 GT TDF winning the jury prize for last year’s Best of Show. Of course, Italian vehicles always have a bit of a leg up at the Villa d’Este, as evidenced by the love shown for Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati in recent years.
The Grand Hotel Villa d’Este is just one of several historic gems on the shores of Lake Como that have been restored and updated for the benefit of elite travelers. Since the natives tend to be on the wealthy side too, the area is famous for vintage car spotting, so much so that the lake itself is filled with the remains of everything from Fiats and Ducati bikes to Jaguars and Land Cruisers. However, at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, you’re much more likely to see cars at the top of their class than at the bottom of the lake. With a gorgeous group of entrants that includes rare Ferraris like the 375 America, as well as Art Deco-era deep cuts like the Lagonda V12 Rapide, we can’t wait to see who emerges victorious.