Last weekend the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D'Este took place in the splendid setting of Cernobbio, in the charming hotel overlooking Lake Como that bears the name of the event. For us PERPETUAL PASSION has become a sort of tradition to take part in this review thanks to the friends of A. Lange & Söhne, who with this edition celebrated the 11th year of partnership with the Concorso d'Eleganza. Being present is an opportunity to tell you about the event up close and through our eyes to admire, drool, dream about the competing cars and the watches featured in the competition.
A. Lange & Söhne is partner of the Competition since 2012, a liaison that has led to the creation of unique specimens for the winner of the most coveted prize, the “Best of Show“. For years the model dedicated to the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este was the Lange 1 time zone bearing among the various locations present on the disc of the cities of the world, that of the competition: "How to Live Aligned with“. From 2022 A. Lange & Söhne created a new, special configuration of his own CHRONOGRAPH 1815 bearing a special engraving of the Coat of Arms of Villa d'Este and the year of the edition.
We took advantage of the cornet dedicated to A. Lange & Söhne inside Villa d'Este, to be able to admire the new ODYSSEUS CHRONOGRAPH presented this year during Watches & Wonders. This is Lange's first L156.1 automatic chronograph movement, declined in its sporty model – the Odysseus – without altering the characteristic design of the dial.
In my opinion, Saturday is always the most exciting and fascinating one. Throughout the morning, the 50 historic automobiles and concept cars are on display on the terrace and in the park of Villa d'Este, where the cars are exalted in their beauty, in their uniqueness and precisely in their elegance.
In addition to admiring the cars in detail, one has the opportunity to witness fascinating situations, such as the care and obsessive attention of the owner for his beloved car, in which it is easy to see a parallel with a certain type of watch collecting.
The atmosphere is convivial but the competition is palpable and nothing can be overlooked in looks, finish or functionality.. factors that can cost you a category win.
In this timeless scenario, it is easy to come across characters that seem to come out of a James Bond film, “Goldfinger” style, or in the inspection procedures by the jury of the competing cars. The jury is divided into groups, which judge particular classes. This facilitates the work of the jurors, who can focus on just a few cars instead of all.
The judging panel totals 13 and are united by their passion for classic cars and their personal dedication to the industry. Many of them are expert award judges at the world's major automotive beauty contests.
In the afternoon, after a pleasant break on the veranda of A. Lange & Söhne the parade was staged on the terrace of Villa d'Este, masterfully led by the charismatic Simon Kidston, a figure of great depth in the world of classic wheels, where the cars paraded in front of the public and the Jury. The rain didn't ruin the show, on the contrary it made it even more fascinating.
Ferrari 250 California SWB the winner of the Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este
The Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2023 saw the triumph of the 250 Ferrari 1961 California SWB wins the Gold Cup. This specimen, one of 60 built, belongs to the Keyridge Collection in Hong Kong and is part of the new series with a shortened wheelbase from 2.600 to 2.400 mm that the Maranello House presented at the 1960 Geneva Motor Show.
In fact, to increase handling and cornering grip, the parent company decided to shorten the Type 539 chassis according to the specifications of the 250 Short Wheel Base, to increase the track and, above all, to update the type 168 engine. The 12-cylinder 2.953 initially designed for the 125 S by Gioacchino Colombo, it received new heads and larger valves. The power of the V12 thus grew from 260 to 280 HP depending on the levels of preparation.
Duesenberg SJ Speedster Gurney Nutting, the winner of the BMW Group Trophy – Best of Show
The winner of the “BMW Group Trophy – Best of Show” was the Duesenberg SJ Speedster Gurney Nutting from 1935, awarded by the CEO of A. Lange & Söhne with the exclusive CHRONOGRAPH 1815 in white gold. During the award ceremony, Wilhelm Schmid presented the exclusive one-of-a-kind to owner William Lyon, who was visibly satisfied with the exclusive timepiece.