While car lovers and manufacturers confront a robot-driven electric future that will change transportation forever, thousands gathered on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como to celebrate the best of what has come since the creation of the the internal combustion engine about a century ago.
The theme for this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este show was Hollywood on the Lake, featuring 51 of the world’s most desirable cars and - for the only the eighth time - 30 classic motorcycles. The show was first staged in 1929, just before the great Wall Street crash, to showcase Europe’s storied coachbuilders.
The Lake Como show, about an hour north of Milan, is one of the three highlights on the classic-car circuit each year and the only one in Europe. The Amelia Island, Florida, show was held in March, and the Pebble Beach, California, gathering will occur in August.
Entrant Jose M. Fernandez drives a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza. In the early 1960s the owner of this race car traded it in for a Jaguar sedan. Later a Chevrolet V-8 engine was installed and the front end was crashed. It’s now a pristine example.
A 1958 BMW 507, left, and a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 carrying the "JB007" number plate.
The steering wheel and interior of a 1953 Fiat 8V. Styled by Ghia, the 8V was Fiat’s first attempt at a post-war sports car, powered by V-8 motors.
A visitor reviews a 1939 Delage D8-120 automobile. Fast and expensive, the D8s were known as grand tourers across Europe.
A 1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza, left, a 1930 Alfa 6C 1750 Gran Sport, center, and a 1925 Bugatti Type 35 on display. The Alfa was given a mention of honor in its class.
A visitor carrying her dog stands in front of a 1954 Maserati SpA 250F, left, and winner of the Coppa d'Oro Villa d'Este, a 1968 Alfa Romeo 33/2 Stradale. The Stradales were among the fastest cars of their era.
Entrant Albert Spiess, center, holds up the trophy after his 1968 Alfa Romeo 33/2 Stradale took the Coppa d'oro Villa d'Este, best in show by a popular vote. The judges selected a 1958 Ferrari 335 Sport as best in show.
Clockwise from top left: A 1970 Lancia Stratos is pushed by guests; Frederic Lax drives a 1930 Cadillac V-16; Jonathan Turner drives past visitors in a 1934 Triumph Dolomite 8; and Manfred Schweri and guest sit inside their 1954 Fiat 8V.
A 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom. The 1920’s is when Rolls-Royce took its engineering prowess beyond cars and into aviation.
A 1930 Cadillac V-16. This model was the first production V-16 in the U.S. and was introduced as a top-of-the-line model.
Judges and visitors gather around a 1977 Tyrrell P34 Formula One race car. The unusual six-wheel design rose quickly to prominence on the track before falling out of favor about as quickly. The four smaller front tires were introduced to improve grip on the track.
A 1971 Lamborghini Miura 400 SV, left, and a 1967 Iso Grifo GL 350. The Bertone-designed Grifo was powered by a small-block V-8 motor also used in the Chevrolet Corvette.
A visitor stands between a 1937 Bugatti 57 Atalante, left, and a 1936 Lancia Astura Serie III.
A 1970 Lancia Stratos , center, took the most popular title for visitors under 16.
Left, a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB and a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette. This is one of three Italia models, with bodywork from Scaglietti on a Corvette chassis and motor.