Blog / Past Meets Future at Concorsa d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

Past Meets Future at Concorsa d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Shanghai. The major auto shows from the first half of 2023 are all behind us, and the second half will kick off in Munich at the beginning of September.

In the meantime, car enthusiasts still have plenty to get excited about, including outdoor meets and classic car shows. We’ve told you about The Amelia in Florida back in March, but an equally prestigious event took place near Italy’s Lake Como in late May. Ever heard of the Villa d’Este Concorsa d’Eleganza?

The inaugural show ran for two decades from 1929-1949. Following three minimalist editions (1995-1997), German automaker BMW restored the event to its former glory in 1999. A jury consisting of eight world-class auto experts as well as celebrities is tasked with crowning the top automobiles on display, with the Trofeo BMW Group being the most coveted prize.

For 2023, the Best of Show winner was a 1935 Duesenberg SJ belonging to a U.S. customer. This gorgeous speedster was a standalone pioneering prodigy of its time, featuring a 6.9-litre engine with 320 horsepower capable of running at 220 km/h—amazing for a pre-WWII non-racing car.

Besides performance, its overall quality and price tag also positioned the Duesy above literally all else available in the luxury segment. The unit shown at Villa d’Este was actually the last of 36 ever produced. A true American legend.

BMW’s Bold Design Taken to New Dimension Again

Classic cars were not the only ones to turn heads at the event. BMW showed yet another expression of its bold design with the Concept Touring Coupé. The closed two-seater’s proportions and name are reminiscent of the BMW 328 Touring Coupé that won the Mille Miglia endurance race back in 1940. The functionality of the shooting-brake concept is a nod to the BMW 02 Series model variants of the early 1970s.

The Sparkling Lario exterior paintwork was specially created for this one-off car. With embedded flakes of blue glass, its grey-brown hues achieve a unique impression of depth. The effect is completed by silver-bronze accents and the bespoke BMW kidney grille with longitudinal bars.

In the interior, precisely crafted leather surfaces from Italian manufacturer Poltrona Frau create a luxurious ambience. The compartment behind the seats provides ample room to stow luggage for spontaneous weekend trips. The luggage itself was also exclusively custom-made at the Schedoni leather workshop in Modena.

“The BMW Concept Touring Coupé celebrates the original Sheer Driving Pleasure,” says Domagoj Dukec, head of BMW Design. “A highly emotional vehicle like this shows that the passion for everything that goes into driving pleasure has been essential through the ages and will be for the future.”