Submissions of high-calibre classics from every era of automotive history can be made up to the moment when the final place in the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017 is granted.
Class A. Speed Demons: Endurance Pioneers of the Golden Age
Extremes come together in this class. A contrast is provided by electric cars from the late nineteenth century and the “fire breathing” driving machines of the 1920s, which never failed to impress with their magnificent roars. This class and its archetypal vehicles recalls endurance contests for the Gordon Bennett Cup or the classic Paris – Rouen race staged at the time as an automobile race. Then there were the early Grand Prix races and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Class B. Travelling in Style: Around the World in 40 Years
In this class, luxurious and extravagant automobiles from the pre-war era compete for the favour of the jurors. Titans of the road like Duesenberg, Rolls-Royce, Lancia, Isotta or Hispano-Suiza were all the rage – preferably with bodies that could be produced as a special or even as a unique coachbuilt automobile. These candidates came from the first four decades of the 20th century and they were forged in the style of their times to create an appeal with a hint of the decadent.
Class C. Goodbye Jazz, Hello Radio: Full Speed into the 1930s
Passion for advanced technology and the spirit of individuality came together in the 1930s as well to create some exceptionally exclusive automobiles for privileged customers. Vehicles in this category combine flamboyant luxury with powerful engines and extended proportions with swept-back lines. They were the ideal means of transport to escape the aftershocks of the global financial crash at speed and with stylish aplomb.
Class D. Faster, Quieter, Smoother: Heroes of the Jet Age
Sporting beauties came on the scene after 1945 and this class brings them together. The sporting spirit of the early post-war years is epitomised by majestic tourers and classic sports cars from British and Italian brands. Sports cars propelled by powerful engines and bespoke or individual custom-built bodies were definitely out in front when they drove up to the starting line.
Class E. The Grand Tour Continues: The Next 40 Years
Aficionados will swoon for the candidates in this class. The joy of the grand tour soon came back after 1945. And prestigious manufacturers launched some ideal vehicles for this ambition. Appealing with their elegant and athletic design, they were driven by powerful engines offering commanding road-holding and adequate space for longer trips. Famous coachbuilders engaged in a veritable battle to produce the most beautiful lines and shapes as they designed open and closed two-door competition cars.
Class F. Fast & Flamboyant: Playboy’s Toys
This is where the fast cars of high society line up – not particularly practical but absolutely wonderful. Features like the number of cylinders, displacement and power were always somewhat more extravagant in the vehicles of this class. Sumptuous bodywork styling and engines generating impressive sounds equipped these automobiles for the big stage. The exclusive sports cars that young epicureans used to drive from one night club to the next are undoubtedly the ideal candidates for this class.
Class G. Supergioiello: Little Toys for Big Boys
Bravura sporting glory typifies the candidates in this class. The post-war period saw ideal vehicles being designed to compete in racing events. Compact dimensions and lightweight construction enabled them to compete and win through in these contests against competitors with more powerful engines – to the delight of their owners and the spectators. These “supreme gems” remain shining paragons to this day with only a few models being built as road users and some simply as one-off specials.
Class H. Shaped by Speed: Racing through the Decades
Motor sport has many different facets – the most fascinating models from the 1950s to the 1980s are represented by the candidates in this class. Extraordinary vehicles with innovative concepts and pioneering technologies continually set the scene in road races and endurance competitions, record runs and rallying. They are assured a place in the roll call of honour for motor-sport history – and a place in the line-up at the Concorsa d’Eleganza Villa