The 2009 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este will take place April 24-26th on the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba on Lake Como in Cernobbio, Italy. First staged in 1929 at the same location, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este now ranks as one of the world’s most tradition-rich automotive events.
More than 50 classic cars spanning six decades of motoring history have been selected to appear at the 2009 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Paul Ramseier, as the Selecting Adviser responsible for the line-up, provided a few tasters from this choice field of entrants in Geneva.
1938 Bugatti Atlantic 57SC
The car from the Bugatti fold that claimed the highest production run and the greatest economic success was the T 57. This model was the only Bugatti to go into series production before the war. One of the most spectacular designs to be based on the T 57 was the Atlantic, of which just three units were produced. Its crouched stance, the vertical, riveted ribs that ran horizontally along the bodywork and its teardrop-shaped side windows gave this model a unique appearance that raised it to one of the icons of motoring history.
With the Bugatti Atlantic 57SC, the Concorso presents one of the true legends of the automotive past. The design hails from Jean Bugatti, the son of Ettore Bugatti. Gracing the Concorso will be the last of the three units built. The original owner kept the car until 1967. After changing hands several times, the Atlantic was bought in 1988 by Ralph Lauren, who commissioned Paul Russell with its complete restoration. The car will be making its first European appearance in 18 years at the 2009 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Berlinetta
The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B was unveiled in 1935 as the successor to the 8C 2300, in its time one of the world’s fastest automobiles. A total of just six examples of this closed car – known as the Berlinetta – were manufactured. The model ranks as one of the most elegant vehicles to emerge before the Second World War.
In September 1947, the example being shown at the Concorso emigrated from Italy via Switzerland to the USA. After being sold to a buyer in South Africa in 1980, the car – now with red paintwork – was restored in England and repainted in its original blue. In 2005 Jon Shirley acquired the Alfa Romeo and had it restored to its original condition. For the 2009 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B will be parked on Italian soil again for the first time since 1947.
1972 Momo Mirage 2 + 2 Coupe
Peter S. Kalikow visited the New York Auto Show in 1957 and became an instant fan of European cars. This passion led him to Alfred Momo of the New York Jaguar Garage, and a close friendship was to ensue. With Momo he drove to Italy, where he met all the key personalities of the car world, including Enzo Ferrari, Sergio Pininfarina, the Orsis and the Maserati family.
Kalikow sought Momo’s opinion before deciding whether to order a new Aston Martin DBS in 1967. What emerged was the happy idea of designing a sports car of their own. Against the advice of his family, Kalikow decided to build a four-seater GT for the American market to fill the gap between the spirited Ferrari and the luxurious and comfortable Rolls-Royce. In Pietro Frua he quickly found a designer and coachbuilder. The original plan to turn out 25 vehicles a year fell victim to high production costs and an ailing economic environment. And so just five cars were built, three of which remained in Peter S. Kalikow’s ownership.
1969 BMW 2800 Spicup Coupe
This concept car was first unveiled before the public at the Geneva Motor Show 40 years ago. Combining beauty with excitement – that phrase might well sum up the idea behind this concept: an open car that could be turned into a coupé. And that also explains its name, a contraction of Spider and Coupe. The front end was designed in textbook Bertone style while accommodating the hallmark BMW kidney grille. The car’s form also harked back to the timeless beauty of Albrecht Goertz’ BMW 507.
A BMW 2500 curtailed from 269 cm to 234 cm in length served as the chassis, while the engine came from the BMW 2800. The BMW 2800 Spicup was discovered in Holland last year and underwent total restoration. 40 years after its premiere, Roland d’Ieteren brings the car to the 2009 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este to appear before the public for the first time following its restoration.