The 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este provided an enthralling experience for thousands of fans of historic cars and motorcycles who made the journey to the picturesque Lake Como area of northern Italy to see some of the most beautiful cars and motorcycles in existence. Among the many surprises for enthusiasts was the world premiere of the BMW Concept Ninety.
On the evening of Friday, May 24, the BMW Concept Ninety – a homage to the iconic R90S that itself first appeared 40 years ago – was officially introduced to press and guests amid the wonderful scenery of Villa d’Este. Designed in partnership between BMW Motorrad and Roland Sands Design the Concept Ninety was unveiled by Head of BMW Motorrad Stephan Schaller, Roland Sands, and BMW Motorrad Head of Design Edgar Heinrich, all of whom received a standing ovation for this extraordinary motorcycle. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este also provided the setting for the world premiere of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé concept car.
On Saturday morning, the participants in a unique historical motorcycle convoy enjoyed a ‘Street Run’ where many magnificent examples of motorcycling history could be seen working and being ridden along a beautiful route along the shores of Lake Como. Heiner Faust, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, also took part in the Street Run and enjoyed his ride on a BMW R60/5. Escorted by police motorcycles from Villa Erba, the run took participants to Como and back again, where their machines took pride of place at the exhibition for the concourse.
This year the Concorso di Motociclette, first launched in 2011, adopted the ‘90 years of BMW Motorrad’ anniversary as its focal point. The ‘90 Years’ theme was very much in evidence in a special indoor exhibition at Villa Erba, showcasing some of the most important machines in the brand’s nine decades of history, including the BMW R32 – the company’s first motorcycle – first presented in 1923.
The highlight of the event for many though, was the ‘Concorso d’Eleganza’ competition itself, which brought together 50 cars and 35 motorcycles from widely varying eras in automotive history. In addition, six concept vehicles and prototypes went on show, each representing their own distinctive perspective on forward-thinking automotive design.
This link between traditional and future-focused aesthetics in vehicle construction once again defined the character of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este as a fascinating stage for historical highlights and visions of future mobility. Attracting much attention in the 90 Years of BMW Motorrad exhibition was the C evolution electric maxi-scooter, clearly showing that form, function and technology can combine to create a desirable, eco-friendly alternative to the traditional combustion-engined two-wheeler.
Beauty is, of course, very much in the eye of the beholder, so judging the motorcycle competition was no easy task. This is why all the Jury members were carefully selected because of their professional historic background and personal passion for classic bikes.
Unlike many other competitions, there are no fixed criteria for the Jury to follow in terms of selecting a winning bike in each category. Instead, results are arrived at by careful deliberation between all Jury members, who were chosen to bring a different professional focus to the table in terms of technical knowledge, design, authenticity and of course overall elegance and appreciation of these historic masterpieces.
This year’s jury comprized Carlo Pirelli, President of the Jury and doyen of the motorcycle press in Italy; respected UK journalist Hugo Wilson, ex editor-in-chief of Classic Bike, and currently editor of Bike magazine; Arnost Nezmeskal, director of the Transport Department at the national Technology Museum NTM in Prague; and Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design for BMW Motorrad.
There were five classes in the Concorso di Motociclette competition, the winners of which were revealed on a sunny Sunday in front of thousands of visitors who had traveled to the shores of Lake Como for this tradition-steeped event in the grounds of Villa Erba.
Summary of Results
Class A: The Motorcycle Takes Shape – La Motociclette prende forma
Class Winner: Matchless 8 HP (1912), Motor Sport Museum Hockenheimring
2nd Place: Walter M 750 (1923), Motor Sport Museum Hockenheimring
3rd Place: BMW R47 (1928), Efisio Carutti (I)
Class B: Boxers in the Twenties – Boxer degli anni Venti
Class Winner: ABC Gnome & Rhone (1922), Francois-Marie Dumas (F)
2nd Place: Indian Model O (1917), Benito Battilani (I)
3rd Place: D-Rad M 24 (1924), Motorradmuseum Vorchdorf (A)
Class C: Traveling by Motorcycle – Viaggiando in Motocicletta
Class Winner: Indian Chief (1936), Motor Sport Museum Hockenheimring (D)
2nd Place: Standard BT 500 Luxus (1932), Ulrich Schmid (CH)
3rd Place: Brough Superior SS 80 Sidecar (1937), Marzio Lavetti (I)
Class D: Boxers Competing with BMW – I Boxer in competizione con BMW
Class Winner: IMZ M-35K (1948), Motorradmuseum Vorchdorf (A)
2nd Place: Puch 800 (1937), Motor Sport Museum Hockenheimring (D)
3rd Place: Condor C 580 (1947), Peter Rohner (CH)
Class E: Seventies Heroes – I famosi anni Settanta
Class Winner: Norton Commando 850 John Player Special (1974), Collezione Motociclista Milanese CMM (I)
2nd Place: BMW R90S (1973), Vincenzo Calabrese (I)
3rd Place: Moto Guzzi V7 Sport (1971), Antonio Frigerio (I)
The third edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este for motorcycles also reached its climax on the central stage in the grounds of Villa Erba with the presentation of the Trofeo BMW Group for ‘Best of Show’ on two wheels. The jury awarded the prize to the IMZ M-35K.
There were of course, many ‘four-wheeled’ prize-winners from the numerous high-calibre examples of historical automobiles. The jury awarded the Trofeo BMW Group for ‘Best of Show’ to the Bugatti 57SC Atlantic from 1938, which also won the ‘Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este’ prize decided by public referendum. The Concept Cars and Prototypes class was headed by the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring.
A glittering parade of all the competition entrants and the announcement of this year’s prize-winners brought the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013 to a fitting conclusion. The final words went to Dr. Ralf Rodepeter, Director of the BMW Museum and member of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013 Selecting Committee, who said, “The competition entrants and the special exhibitions at this year’s event have taken it to a quite extraordinary level. We’re therefore delighted that more than 6,000 visitors came along to experience the event on the Sunday alone.”