Some weekends are definitely better spent than others. Courtesy of A. Lange & SÃ¶hne, we spent ours at Lake Como, in Italy, in order to follow the year’s most important European rendezvous of classic automobiles, the 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza (says a European, who has never been to Pebble Beach â the other unmissable show of the calendar year).
Sitting in front of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, their backs turned to the sun, collectors and participants gathered to watch some of the rarest and most prized automobiles drive by while sipping on Prosecco and ApÃ©rol Spritz â the local cocktail that the rest of Europe has adopted this summer.
That afternoon, the choicest collection of vintage automobiles â only 50-odd models make the cut each year since the competition’s inception in 1929 â presented themselves one after the other and in front of an international jury, hoping to capture top honors in one of eight different classes, which include “Pre-War Decadence â Flights of Automotive Fantasy” and “Driven by Excess â Cars of the Studio 54 Era, 1975-1986.”
The experts were looking for automobiles of exceptional quality and interesting provenance â but two cars that created the most small talk were Pininfarina-signed icons owned at one time by American icons. The two Ferraris, which once belonged to Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood, were competing in the “Cars Of The Stars” category.
While the concourse was the cornerstone event of the weekend, BMW, as title sponsor of the show, gave sci-fi enthusiasts something to dream about with the introduction of a sample of its most promising concepts, including the new 2002 Hommage Concept (based on the 2-series Coupe) and the R5 Hommage Concept motorcycle.
Also pitching its tent in the gardens of Villa d’Este since 2012 is another acclaimed German manufacturer, A. Lange & SÃ¶hne, which annually presents a custom edition of the Lange 1 Time Zone to the winner of the âBest of Showâ category.
In the VIP area, Lange collectors shared their timepieces â mostly of the complicated variety (see which ones we spotted below). Some came to see cars; others preferred to look at the Riva boats passing by. But all seemed fascinated for the other raison d’Ãªtre of the Concorso: the parade of flamboyant wardrobes vying for Â attention â the sartorial competition was very much alive in this part of Italy, where Berluti leather treads the same gravel as Pirelli tires.
A. Lange & SÃ¶hne Watches Spotted On Collectors’ Wrists
Cars At The Concorso
On Saturday evening, just as spectator’s began to lose count of the number of drinks added to their tabs, they were reminded of their favorite car of the day when the jury announced the winner of the public’s choice award â which this year landed on the Lancia Astura S2 Berlinetta and its sensuous, clean lines.
The ‘Best Of Show’ Award And A. Lange & SÃ¶hne Prize
At a special gala dinner hosted on Sunday by A. Lange & SÃ¶hne at Villa d’Este, the company’s CEO, Wilhelm Schmid, presented the âBest of Showâ award to the Maserati A6 GCS. Made in 1954, the stunning Italian roadster, which seemed at home on the banks of Lake Como, also won its owner a customized Lange 1 Time Zone, with the city of Como claiming the disc-position usually reserved for Berlin. He joins a esteemed group of Lange champions, including a certain Mr. Ralph Lauren.
The limited edition, white-gold Lange 1 Time Zone features a special engraving of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este coat of arms.
Bonus: Vintage Watch Spotting At the Concorso d’Eleganza
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