The Grand Hotel Villa d’Este still hosts one of the most famous, prestigious concours events in the world of historic cars. The Villa, on the shores of Lake Como in Italy, has hosted the Concorso d’Eleganza since 1929. In 1949 an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500, styled by coach – builder Touring, won the Coppo d’Oro prize. To date it is the only car that carries the name Villa d’Este in its designation. The classic form of the event ended in 1952. In the mid-1980s it was revived, and today it is run by German manufacturer BMW.
The spectrum ranged from rarities from the 1920s, a time when aesthetics started influencing car design in addition to functional considerations, to the spectacularly designed hypercars from the future. As part of the jury, we spend months before the event meticulously researching each car and documenting our findings. Obviously, we focus on the groups or cars assigned to us and exchange information among our jury group. That exchange of our knowledge, some of it privately archived information, some of it from our excellent network, enables us to study the cars in detail so that we are as prepared as we possibly could be for the presentation. During the evaluation phase on the lawn, we only have 15 minutes to watch the owner’s presentation, conduct the appraisal and distribute the points. Every little detail counts, because the details decide who wins each class. It’s critical to clarify all unanswered questions, to fill in any blanks in the car’s history and to evaluate the condition of the car.
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