Review: Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

The Rake reports back from a weekend spent in Como, Italy, at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, which is the world’s most prestigious classic car meeting…
The Voice of Villa d'Este Simon Kidston commentates on a gleaning 1936 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre on Sunday in front of the public.

If you happened to have glanced upon our shenanigans on social media over the weekend you would have seen that we were in Como, Italy, for the 90th anniversary of Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Despite the idyllic setting, Mother Nature decided to unleash God’s wrath upon us in the form of heavy, hard-hitting rain at the worst possible moment during the parade on Saturday. As you can imagine, it was the worst thing that could happen to a series of open-top, pre-war Bugattis. However, we might have brought with us a sharp dose of British stoicism and soldiered on through. All one could do was simply smile, take cover and in equal measures of genteelness and respect, tip our non-existent hats towards the entrants and admire their smiles.

The Rake was present in Como in two capacities. Firstly, as a media partner of the event in addition to the main sponsor of BMW Group Classic. And secondly, as a guest of A. Lange & Sohne, who were celebrating the 25th anniversary of its best-known marque, the Lange 1. As brand positioning goes for Lange, it couldn't be more perfect as the synergies between the classic cars on show and German watchmaking are overwhelmingly obvious. Lange is the watchmaker for those who know.

Myself and Shaun Darwood, who was furiously snapping away all weekend, arrived on Thursday evening and settled into our hotel before an early start the next day, whereby we got in our BMW shuttle and headed to the Villa d’Este to catch up with the inimitable Simon Kidston. We met Simon last year in at the Concours of Elegance Suisse where he won our award of Best Dressed Driver. This time around he wasn’t an entrant (but he did have three of his cars at his disposal), and merely resumed the position which he’s held since 2000: Master of Ceremonies (or The Voice of Villa d’Este), essentially entrusted to keep things ticking and deliver fascinating anecdotes and facts on every single car to the crowds.


May 2019


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