Villa d'Este 2011 Recap

Situated nearby the city of Como, Italy, the sprawling 18th century gardens of the magnificent Grand Hotel Villa d'Este are a sight to behold. Each year the most sought after classic cars and trend setting prototypes partake in the Concorso d'Eleganza Ville d'Este. The beautiful views of Italy's Lake Como combined with the sleek lines of the world's finest cars scattered around the Villa's lawns create a gone-to-heaven kind of experience. Not just for motoring enthusiasts, but cultured people everywhere will never forget their impression of the UNESCO world heritage site. Thankfully for us regular folk who cannot just leap frog over to Bella Italia, the 2011 event has been extensively documented.

BMW's 328 Hommage Concept
Since the BMW Group has hosted and organized the concours for the past 10 years, they tend to be well represented. This year, which marks the 75th anniversary of the iconic BMW 328, BMW surprised the crowds with the 328 Hommage Concept. (video) I'm a big fan of the crossed taped headlights, which is a direct tribute to the 328 Mille Miglia racers. Further nods to their racing past include leather bonnet straps, tall front kidneys, and the oversized but still retro circle holed wheels. They've nailed the front, got unrealistically creative with the interior, and allowed the new 6 series to inspire the rear. Although extreme, I can still see clear Z4 proportions, Z1 doors, and a hint of SLR Stirling Moss diffusor. Arguably upstaged by the Aston Martin V12 Zagato, it's my personal favorite, and there's currently not much else I'd want sitting outside my driveway on this sunny day.

A few other noteworthy new cars were the famous-through-social-media Glickenhaus P4/5 Competizione. (video) It was fired up in front of the crowds and basically tore a new hole through the ozone layer. For more details regarding this one off racer check out an earlier edition of Alexotics driving style. The redesigned Aston Martin V12 Zagato looked typically Zagato voluptuous. Like a love child between the 10 year old Jaguar XK180 prototype and a mid 2000's Aston DB AR1, which was then raised over at Akrapovic. It was loud, sexy, and a crowd favorite. One will be made. Expect many more to be privately commissioned.

Equally noteworthy but arguably not as exciting were the older cars shown at the concours d'elegance, which you can read about herehere, and here. Regrets of having not been at Villa d'Este this weekend are somewhat subdued knowing that'll be at the Gumball 3000 rally this weekend. I'm hoping Maximillion Cooper will be kind enough to offer me a ride from the Place Vendome in Paris to the W Hotel in Barcelona in his Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead. Fingers crossed.

Pictured below: Zagato's Masterpiece and a one-off Ferrari 599 "Superamerica 45" with a 575 Superamerica dust dumping rotating roof. Completely faulty, but as unique as it's wealthy owner.