The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017 took place May 26-28 on the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba on Lake Como in Cernobbio, Italy. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Como, the 2017 Villa d’Este Concours presented the chance to not only admire 51 historic cars spanning eight decades of vehicle history, but also take in the myriad of sights off the show field.
First held at the same location in 1929, the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance has been held each May since 1999 on the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and the adjacent parkland of Villa Erba under the patronage of the BMW Group. The motto of the 88th edition of the event was “Around the World in 80 Days — Voyage through an Era of Records”. It came from the novel by Jules Verne and harks back to the era at the end of the 19th century when rapid technological progress expanded opportunities for mobility and covering large distances. The field of participants at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017 was drawn from different parts of the globe with competition vehicles from 16 countries. In their day, a large number of the entries created sensations with successes in motorsport, speed records or trailblazing technical innovations.
The Trofeo BMW Group for Best of Show Jury was awarded to the 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo Coupe owned by Corrado Lopresto. Lopresto registered the one-off special at the beauty contest on the shores of Lake Como in the name of Giovanna Scaglione, the daughter of the famous designer, and accepted the prize from the hands of Jury President Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
“We are overjoyed to have received this prize and doubly delighted because this is the first time that the car has been awarded a prize by a Jury,” declared Lopresto. “I feel sure that the Jury has primarily paid tribute to the design because at the time it was very futuristic. Franco Scaglione was a genius and the automobile sector owes a great debt of gratitude to him.”
The victorious Alfa Romeo was designed by Franco Scaglione. The chief stylist at the time of the great Italian coachbuilder Bertone developed the coupe based on three aerodynamic studies that emerged from the cooperation between Bertone and Alfa Romeo from 1953 to 1955 under his leadership. To this day, they are known as B.A.T. Mobiles — the acronym stands for Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica. The prototype had an equally elegant and streamlined alloy body. A four-cylinder engine generating 100 hp was mounted under the bonnet and this prototype was a precursor for the series model Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale presented in 1959.
The most traditional prestigious award — the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este was decided by public referendum. This special prize was awarded to the Lurani Nibbio record-breaking vehicle built in 1935. The visitors to the park of Villa d’Este were impressed by the pristine condition of the compact, open single-seater and with its fascinating family history. It is the creation of the Italian journalist, publisher, automobile designer and racing driver Giovanni Lurani Cernuschi, VIII Count of Calvenzano. He designed and built the vehicle himself and went on to break numerous speed records driving the car.
The Lurani Nibbio Open Single Seater is powered by a 500 cc two-cylinder motorcycle engine from Moto Guzzi that develops 46 hp, and the Lurani Nibbio broke four World Speed Records with its designer at the wheel. Another eight records followed on from optimisation of the body in 1939. Later a 250 cc engine was mounted in the Lurani Nibbio and the car broke six more speed records in the period up to 1947. The grandson of the constructor, Federico Göttsche Bebert, entered the Lurani Nibbio in the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017. The vehicle has been in the possession of the family until the present day.
“It is an incredible feeling to be able to celebrate the successes of my grandfather on a stage like this after so many years have passed by,” said Bebert.
Similar to 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Sports Car Digest also documented the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017, offering the following breathtaking pictures from the Classic Weekend on the banks of Lake Como.
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017 – Photo Gallery
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[Source: BMW Group]