2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
June 3rd, 2012
Over the weekend of 25-27 May, the 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este showcased a selection of 51 hand picked classic cars on display. This special concourse now in its 140th year, is held on the grounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Cernobbio, Italy. Split into nine categories based on different motoring eras, not including prototype and concept cars, the concourse attracts an eclectic collection of rare one-off cars plus some unrestored and some meticulously restored classic cars, by invitation only.
Class D was aptly names ‘Little Jewels’, focusing on the finest of the many small cars built during the 1950s and early 1960s. The class was entirely filled with small Italian sports cars from Alfas to Maseratis, with the exception of one – a Porsche 550. The 550 entered was 550-10, which only the week before had participated in the 2012 Mille Miglia and within that time had to be prepared to concourse condition for this event. Over the last winter, the 550 had undergone a restoration by Carficionado who manages the Swiss owner’s collection, so in the little time they had, the car was detailed to a exceptional standard to be awarded the ‘Mention of Honor’ which is seen as runner up to the class winner, a 1957 Abarth Fiat 500 Zagato Coupé. 550-10 was one of the original 550 prototypes with its distinctive finned tail and sleek design. Similar to 550-09, I see this 550 as the most iconic design and one of the first builds to come out of the Wendler factory before they were awarded the contract for the customer 550 Spyder builds.
Overall, the event has three Best of Shows, one given by the Jury and two more by public referendum. This year an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Figoni Coupe fresh from its restoration and last displayed on a Concours field in 1933, drove away with all three top honors. It was one of Claude Figoni’s earliest ‘Teardrop’ designs retaining many original elements as possible throughout its restoration.