The weekend of the 25th and 26th of May saw the annual Concorso di Eleganza di Villa d'Este, held in the grounds of the Grand Hotel on the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy. This prestigious event has for years honoured the world's finest historic vehicles built between the 1920 and the 1970s, and includes awards for the most appealing concepts through a public vote in the Villa's gardens.
There were 50 cars and 35 motorcycles entered for this year's Concorso, with another six concept vehicles and prototypes competing in the Concept Class.
BEST ON SHOW
The Trofeo BMW Group for 'Best on Show' went to Ralph Lauren's breathtaking 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, one of only four ever made, of which two survive (The other is in the Mullin Automotive museum in Oxnard, California).
The Atlantic has a supercharged 3.3-litre DOHC straight-eight engine producing about 150kW, and is estimated to be capable of 210km/h. Its aluminium body, with distinctive dorsal seam, was created in-house at Molsheim.
The Atlantic was also awarded the 'people's choice' Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este, voted for by the public who visit the Concorso.
Of the six concepts on show, pride of place went to the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring Superleggera of Milan, first seen earlier this year at the Geneva motor show.
It's based on the chassis of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, which has a mid-front mounted engine, transaxle gearbox and rear-wheel drive for perfect 49:51 front/rear weight distribution, and double-wishbone suspension all round with forged-aluminium uprights and an additional strut at the rear for toe-in control.
Its 4.7-litre V8 delivers 331kW and 480Nm to and electrically-operated, six-speed paddle shift gearbox, taking the Disco Volante from 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 290 km/h.
4000 HOURS OF CRAFTSMANSHIP
The two-seater coupé body is crafted by Touring in carbon fibre and aluminium; each example takes more than 4000 hours of skilled labour and is built only to order. The Villa d'Este show car was No.1, and another two will shortly be completed. There are no plans to build the Disco Volante in right hand drive.
The car is a tribute to the Alfa Romeo 1900 C52, designed 60 years ago by Carrozzeria Touring. The C52's ultra light weight and slippery aerodynamics earned it the nickname 'Disco Volante' (Flying Saucer).
This is the second consecutive year that Alfa Romeo has been awarded Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes at the Concorso di Eleganza di Villa d'Este. Last year it went to the Alfa Romeo 4C, the compact supercar derived from Alfa's experience with the 8C Competizione and the 8C Spider.