It's May on Lago di Como.

The weather is perfect and the traditional Hotel Villa d'Este in Cernobbio is fully booked.

Classic car enthusiasts meet at the Concorso d'Eleganza to find out who owns the most beautiful, most valuable or perhaps the rarest used car in the world.

Participation is not easy, a Selecting Committee decides who is allowed.

The starting field remains manageable.

Because as few of the 51 enthusiasts as possible should go away empty-handed, there is not only the main prize for Best of Show, but also a number of secondary prizes and the class winners.

Boris Schmidt

Editor in the "Technology and Engine" department.

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There are eight classes this year, the organizers come up with new ones every year, there are hardly any limits to the imagination, in 2022 it will be from “The Golden Age of Elegance: The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design” to “Breaking the Speed ​​Barrier : Pioneers that chased the magic 300 kph".

Three classes are closed events for Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and BMW.

Compressor vehicles, 75 years of Ferrari and 50 years of BMW M are thematized and staged.

The thirteen-strong expert jury chose a Bugatti 57 S from 1937 as the Best of Show. The body of the cabriolet comes from Vanvooren from Courbevoie near Paris, only four Bugatti were outfitted by this traditional company.

At that time it was generally customary for car manufacturers to only supply the chassis and drive unit, with the vehicles being finalized by bodies.

The 85-year-old Bugatti is the best proof that even ten previous owners are no reason for a price reduction for a possible resale.

Former owners include a General Motors executive who outrageously installed a Buick V8 engine, earning the car the nickname Buickatti.

Today, the original eight-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of just under 3.3 liters beats under the ever-long bonnet.

And the circle closes.

Hard to believe, but true, the original engine was found on the Internet on Ebay.

Looking back over the past ten years, a Bugatti has won the coveted trophy for the second time.

An Alfa won four times, Maserati and Ferrari twice each.

Car fans met for the first time in 1929 in the Villa d'Este to determine the most beautiful of the beautiful, at that time still with new cars.

In 1999, BMW revived the tradition and has since taken care of the Concorso, which is of course open to everyone.

In addition to some sponsors, the hotel itself is an important partner.

This year is celebrating its 150th season, the house right on the lake with its wonderful latifundia and the terrace where the cars can stroll past the audience is the ideal place for such a stylish event of the better society, which has long been associated with the impressive Pebble Beach in California.

BMW sees its commitment as an investment in the future, which cannot exist without an understanding of tradition.

How much the BMW Group Classic charges for the Concorso is not communicated.

Although BMW is the doer and organizer, the company tends to stay in the background.

The fact that one of the classes consisted exclusively of Munich cars this year was an exception and was due to the anniversary of the M sub-brand.

Helmut Käs, who has been Head of BMW Group Classic for a year, already said in 2021, when the Concorso took place in October, after it had been canceled in 2021 due to Corona, that every classic car owner who competes here will of course also buy a new car, "and then remind them he might turn to BMW”.