Concorso d’Eleganza di Villa d’Este 2019 in a nutshell

Duccio Lopresto, an entrant at Villa d’Este 2019 with an Alfa Romeo 1.9 La Fleche one-off, met some interesting personalities at the Concorso. Here are some brief stories about them.

The quest for prototypes

The Thai-based collector Bill Heinecke brought a fantastic one-off Jaguar Supersonic to Villa d’Este. He didn’t win his class this year, but attracted a lot of attention over the weekend with this special custom-built piece. Bill is not a new name in the scene. He likes to collect special one-off cars and prototypes. One of the highlights of his collection? Without a doubt, the Ferrari 250 SWB One-off designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone. Bill is a man of great taste and refinement when it comes to talking about cars.

A very special OSCA MT4

Hidetomo Kimura, together with his right-hand man Tetsu Kurosawa, impressed the public of Villa d’Este with his Osca MT4 1450 Frua, a car that had been carefully restored by Corrado Lopresto. The Japanese collector announced the official date of the next Kyoto Concorso d’Eleganza, scheduled for April 2020, when the cherry trees are in flower. It was his first time showing at the Concours, and his car was awarded a Mention of Honor. Not necessarily beginner’s luck: his real passion and involvement impressed everybody.

Cars and watches

Lange & Sohne was one of the main sponsors of Villa d’Este again this year. Wilhelm Schmid, the CEO of the company, was present at the event together with his wife. Delighting in so much beauty, they were extremely impressed by the Ferrari 340 America: elegance and refinement, which are also the hallmarks of Lange & Sohne’s precious timepieces.

Blue like the sky

Zucchetti, president of Villa d’Este Hotel, was extremely satisfied and impressed by the level of the event. The quality of the cars and the great passion of the participants created a unique atmosphere at Hotel Villa d’Este. A car that really caught his attention? The 1955 Alfa Romeo 1.9 La Fleche, perfectly attuned to the bright blue of Lake Como.

Next generation of collectors

The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este attracts people from all over the world. Sarofim brought directly from Los Angeles a unique car that astounded the public: the 1966 Vivant 77 prototype. The sound and the ground-breaking design of this one-off piece amused everybody. Despite his relative youth, Sarofim is devoting plenty of time and effort into leaving a real mark on the scene: a name that will come up time and again in coming years.

Rally Raid 308

Giorgio Schön, gentleman driver of the ’seventies and ’eighties, still gets plenty of pleasure out of his favorite sport. At the wheel of the “historic” vehicles of yesteryear, he takes part in various important events, including the Montecarlo Rallye Historique and the Tour de Corse Historique.

One of his forthcoming challenges will be the Peking to Paris Rally Raid, where he’ll compete with a Ferrari 308 completely transformed to cope with highly demanding road conditions. We’ll be tracking his progress in an endurance contest that promises plenty of fun for collectors who loving driving.

Schön recalls Mila

Particpants are gearing up for the forthcoming Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, and this provides us with an opportunity for a chat with Giorgio Schön, gentleman driver and son of Mila Schön, a wonderful person and unforgettable fashion designer. He is pleased to tell me that his partner Marina Orlandi Contucci is just off to take part in the Rallye des Princesses Richard Mille, starting from Place Vendôme in Paris, which just happens to be the final destination of his Rally Raid. As a homage to his mother, Marina has had the roof of her Lancia Beta Montecarlo of 1976 decorated with a sketch she found in the archives illustrating an outfit reminiscent of the livery of the car she’ll be driving.

Not all GTOs are the same

There’s something unexpectedly democratic about the great Councours d’Elegance: the grand collectors, people with vast fortunes whom one would be unlikely to meet normally, are all there in line along with the other participants, waiting for the judges or simply looking around and taking stock of who’s looking at them.

David MacNeil, owner of what is generally considered the most expensive 250GTO in the world, is no exception. He showed a magnificent Ferrari 275 GTB4 Competizione, but as soon as we start talking he pulls out photos of the GTO, proud of the results achieved racing, particularly coming second at Le Mans: “A real GTO” is what he calls it, and in fact it’s an event that has truly covered ground, which is why it’s so very special.

The rediscovered GTS

Certain collectors don’t enjoy the limelight. Umberto Cammellini is one of them. His garage houses some fantastic items, including the Ferrari 340 MM Vignale that won the Mille Miglia in 1953 with Marzotto and Crosara.

At Villa d’Este as an observer, possibly with an eye to taking part in future editions, he tells us about a discovery with a moral: surprises are sometimes to be found much closer to home that you’d imagine. “As a boy in Modena I used to see a magnificent blue 275 GTS go by. I had no idea who the owner was, and for 50 years the subject never surfaced again. So I was astounded when I found it in a garage, all protected in the dark and in perfect condition, just 200 meters from my home! I immediately bought it with help from my son who’s good at negotiating, and it still has the original Modena plates that I had noticed as a kid. Now I even know the chassis number: 7705. Magnificent, and completely original”.

Cammellini doesn’t usually smile much. At Villa d’Este we saw him laughing!

Image copyright and courtesy of
Ted Gushue, Rossocorsa and Luca Danilo Orsi

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