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A Celebration of Elegance: The 8th Concorso d’Eleganza Città di Mantova

MANTUA. The whims of the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm and emotions of the 8th Concorso d’Eleganza Città di Mantova held on Sunday in the charming setting of Villa Schiarino – Lena in Porto Mantovano. Organized with the usual professionalism of the Club 8 Volanti “Tazio Nuvolari” officials, the event received widespread praise, success, and appreciation from both participants and numerous visitors who attended throughout the day.

The contest showcased a selection of 22 highly prestigious historic cars, each one a testament to automotive beauty and historical significance. Before the evaluation phase of the competition, an engaging conference took place from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, featuring Edgardo Michelotti, son of the renowned designer Giovanni Michelotti. Giovanni Michelotti, one of the greatest figures in automotive history, passed away prematurely in 1981 after designing over 1200 cars, many of which were common sights on roads during his era.

During the competition phase, the jury was chaired by Pietro Camardella, a distinguished designer who, during his tenure at Pininfarina, designed several iconic Ferraris, including the Ferrari F40, the 456, and the Mythos prototype, which had its worldwide debut at Palazzo Te in Mantua. 

The judging committee members, in addition to Camardella, included Andreas Scheidl (carrozzieri-italiani.com) for style, Andrea and Stefano Maieli, renowned artisans from Mantua, for interiors, body  shop and classic cars restorers Marco Mondini and Alessandro Scartapatti, also from Mantua, for exteriors, Fabio Tittarelli from Aci Storico, and Aga Rossi for mechanics. These experts conducted their inspections and evaluations with utmost professionalism and seriousness, meticulously examining each car’s style, bodywork, interiors, and mechanics.

The participating cars ranged in age from the 1920s to the late 1990s, displaying incredible beauty and elegance. Highlights included two OM Superba 665s, a Fiat 514 MM (one of only seven produced by the Turin company), two special Fiat Balillas (by Carrozzeria Viotti and Fiat-Simca), and a magnificent 1947 Lancia Aprilia Cabrio Pinin Farina, which was later crowned queen of the contest. Other notable cars included the Fiat 1400, the last car owned by the legendary Tazio Nuvolari, an MG TD bodied by Vignale and designed by Michelotti (a unique specimen in the world), and a Gaz Volga M21, a Soviet car unique in Italy in civilian livery. The event also featured stunning cars from the 1960s and 1970s, such as Mercedes, MG, Bentley, and Jaguar. Among them was a Maserati Quattroporte Frua in a fantastic metallic color that changed with the day’s brightness, and the iconic black Jaguar E-Type of Diabolik, known for its sleek wedge shape.

From the group of class winners, the Gaz Volga M21, dramatically rediscovered in Kharkiv, and the Best of Show, the 1947 Lancia Aprilia Cabrio Pininfarina with its princely mechanics and lines, emerged as special awards from the Jury and Aci Mantova (see here all winners). In the mid-afternoon, prompted by bad weather, the event organizers, with the assistance of Giuseppe Pottocar, director of Aci Mantova, provided each participant with a personalized commemorative cup and awarded the most coveted prizes. After the final applause, everyone hurried away to escape the rain that, unfortunately, accompanied many participants to their destinations.

Despite the weather’s caprices, the 8th Concorso d’Eleganza Città di Mantova proved to be a resounding success, celebrating the timeless beauty and historical significance of these magnificent automobiles.

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Tribute to Marcello Gandini with the Prototype Unveiled at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show: A Unique Model Exuding Elegance and Personality

From May 24 to 26, the BMW Group Classic and the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este will host the legendary Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The most spectacular cars from different eras and around the world will compete in various categories to win prestigious awards. Among these are the coveted BMW Group Trophy awarded by the Jury, the traditional Coppa d’Oro based on public votes, the Design Award for concept cars and prototypes, and the special ASI Trophy for the best-preserved post-war vehicle.

The presence of the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI) at this unmissable international event is highlighted by the display of the Citroën GS Camargue prototype from the ASI Bertone Collection. This car enriches the theme dedicated to Marcello Gandini – the recently deceased master of car design – set up in the park of Villa Erba on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Also at Villa Erba, as part of the “Amici & Automobili” event, the ASI-affiliated Veteran Car Club of Como will accompany the Camargue with a precious selection of historical cars from its members.

The Citroën Camargue was first presented at the Bertone stand at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, where it was met with great enthusiasm from both the public and the press. Built on the innovative Citroën GS platform, which was launched in 1970, the Bertone coupé, styled by Marcello Gandini with the assistance of Marc Deschamps, retains the compact sedan’s layout and dimensions. The car features distinctive front and rear overhangs – the front being much more pronounced to enhance the car’s dynamic look. Lower and wider than the GS, the Camargue boasts a wedge-shaped front typical of Gandini’s style, contrasting with a truncated rear end supporting a broad, panoramic canopy with amber-tinted glass, paired with a chic metallic champagne-colored body. Despite its striking and original design, the Bertone proposal did not reach commercial production due to Citroën’s economic crisis during those years, which led to its merger with Peugeot in 1974.

The format of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este includes a double location in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como. On Saturday, May 25, the exclusive Hotel Villa d’Este’s park will host the display of all competing cars, the jury inspection, voting, parade, and the awarding of the Coppa d’Oro and special prizes. Simultaneously, Villa Erba will host the “Amici & Automobili” meeting with an exhibition of historical cars from clubs and enthusiasts.

On Sunday, May 26, the event will continue at Villa Erba with a festival celebrating automotive passion: all cars in the competition will be displayed in the park until the concluding parade, where the Design Award, class prizes, and honorable mentions will be awarded.