In addition to the concours vehicles, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este also stages special exhibitions every year that revolve around a specific automotive designer or brand. The 2009 event sees BMW, Bugatti, Morgan and the Prototype Museum in Hamburg bringing to Lake Como a range of vehicles that is unique in the world. The special exhibitions will be open in the grounds of Villa Erba on the public day, Sunday, April 26th.
80 years of automobiles with the blue-and-white emblem
When BMW looks back on its 80-year heritage in automotive construction at this year’s Concorso, visitors can expect to encounter some rare beauties on four wheels. Among them will be a BMW 303, the first Bavarian car to sport the twin-kidney radiator grille, as well as a BMW 502, which earned its place in the automotive annals as the so-called “baroque angel”. Cars from the sixties such as the BMW 2002 and the founder models of the BMW series in the seventies are also among the exhibits. BMW presents a special highlight in the form of all its legendary roadsters spanning the past 75 years: from the 315/1 and 319/1 to the 328 and 507, all the way to the Z1, Z3 and Z8, as well as the latest addition to the family – the new BMW Z4.
100 years of Bugatti – four specials for Villa d’Este
As part of the events marking the centenary of the brand, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. will present four special models of the Bugatti Veyron during the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza weekend of 25/26 April. They are meant to recall Bugatti’s glorious racing history, which played such a pivotal role in raising the brand profile and fostered the legendary image that Bugatti enjoys today.
The four Bugatti Veyron models sport the racing colours of the relevant countries: blue for France, red for Italy, green for Britain and white for Germany. All four cars have an immediate “predecessor” in the shape of a Bugatti type 35 – the brand’s most successful racing car – lining up alongside the corresponding new model. These four historic 35s represent the generation of the legendary Bugatti Grand Prix racers that recorded countless victories in the 1920s with world-famous racing drivers at the wheel. The names of four of these drivers are bywords for these achievements, and it is after them that today’s Veyron “successors” have been named: Jean-Pierre Wimille for the blue Veyron, Achille Varzi for the red, Malcolm Campbell for the green and Herrmann zu Leiningen for the white model.
The owners of these four Type 35 models enthusiastically declared themselves willing to take part in this project. “We made every effort to transfer the defining attributes of the historic race cars to the modern Veyron models,” stresses Alasdair Stewart, Director Sales & Marketing Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. “The colours, for example, have been faithfully mixed based on the originals, and the shade of the relevant interior upholstery is meticulously reflected in the leather of these new specials.” The upshot of this collaboration is a spectacular bridging of the brand’s racing past and the current state of Veyron production. The eight vehicles will be unveiled for the very first time on Sunday and will line up at Villa Erba side by side – four pairs in the same four colours.
100 years of Morgan – a sense of adventure
100 years ago HFS Morgan designed a 3-wheeler for people with little money but a sense of adventure. It was popular because it was one of the most reliable light cars, and stripped down also made a successful racing car. In 1914 a Morgan Runabout won the French Cyclecar Grand Prix. In spite of the success on the racetrack, by the 1930s three-wheeler sales had declined. HFS Morgan had to come up with a new design. In 1936 he announced the Morgan Four Four, a light sports car with four wheels and four cylinders. From the start the Morgan was making its name in competition and finished well at Le Mans in 1938 and 1939.
This iconic design, hugely improved and developed, is still produced today. In the right amateur hands the Morgan could take on international competition and achieved a class win at Le Mans in 1962. The end of this period saw the birth of the Morgan Plus Eight, a light car fitted with a small-capacity aluminium V8, a model which was in production for over 35 years. Early 2000 saw the launch of the Aero Eight. The first car to use Alcan’s Aluminium Intensive Vehicle technology to create a strong, stiff chassis, the Aero Eight also marked the start of a successful collaboration with BMW, giving Morgan access to the most advanced powertrain technology in the world. The Morgan Aero Eight has competed at Le Mans in 2002 and 2004, and the three-car team AutoGT, supported by Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza, is now competing in the FIA GT3 Series, frequently coming in the top ten finishers.
At the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este, Morgan will display seven iconic cars of their unique heritage.
Streamlining – a special exhibition by the Prototype Museum in Hamburg makes a guest appearance at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Streamlining is the general term applied to the design of aerodynamically optimized car bodies. It goes back to what was considered to be the ideal shape as represented by the body of an airship. It is for good reason that Tom Wolfe entitled his famous 1965 collection of articles “Kandy-kolored Tangerine-flake Streamlined Baby”, referring to the US cars of the 1950s and 60s as designed by Raymond Loewy and others. The range of cars in this special exhibition, though, should persuade you that the phrase “aerodynamics of the motor vehicle”, coined in Germany by Reinhard Koenig-Fachsenfeld, more closely hits the mark of streamlining and that the cradle of the aerodynamic car was to be found in Germany.
For streamlining not only involves reducing air drag to a minimum, it also embraces the phenomena of lift and downforce, which come into play in our everyday cars as much as in motor racing – where they are, of course, infinitely more significant by dint of determining victory or defeat. The Cd figure, or drag coefficient, cited in every test report – and in sales brochures – is the reference parameter which, multiplied by the frontal area of a body, gives you the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag.
From January to March 2009 the Prototype Museum in Hamburg is staging a highly-acclaimed exhibition on the theme of streamlining. The following models from the 1930s and 40s will be making another appearance at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este as part of a special exhibition on the public day: PORSCHE TYPE 64 – BERLIN-ROME CAR (1939); KAMM K3 – BASED ON MERCEDES 170 V (1938); DELFOSSE DVD (1947), PETERMAX MÜLLER WORLD RECORD CAR (1948), TATRA TYPE 87 (1949), PORSCHE 356 COUPE (5047) (1950), BMW 328 Wendler (1939).
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2009
On the weekend of April 24-26, 2009, the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba in Cernobbio on Lake Como will once again be transformed into a unique stage for the most beautiful automobiles from the past and the most striking concept cars of our own day.
After Saturday’s opening event for invited guests, Sunday sees the Concorso opening the gates to neighboring Villa Erba to all car fans, who will again have the opportunity to experience these automotive dreams close-up. In addition to the cars presented on the previous day, numerous other high-profile classics will be featured in special shows. Admission to Villa Erba in Cernobbio on Lake Como is €12.50 (concessions €8.00).
The main sponsor of this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza is Girard-Perregaux.
For more information, visit www.concorsodeleganzavilladeste.com.
[Source: Concorso d’Eleganza]