The image that symbolises the eightieth Villa D’Este Concours held at the end of April 2009 is the prize awarded to the historic Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B, a vehicle based on the mechanicals of the Grand Prix single-seater (eight cylinders in line with twin compressor), whose berlinetta-style body was so magnificently built by Touring.
The owner, John Shirley, who until November 2008 had been President and CEO of Microsoft, accepts two splendid cups which Jean-Marc Droulers, President of Villa D’Este, and Karl Baumer, President of the Concours and responsible for BMW Group Classic have just handed over. Those two prizes, the Coppa d’Oro Villa D’Este and the BMW Trophy both assigned by the votes of invitees to the Saturday parade and by members of the jury, are however only part of the extraordinary booty picked up by John Shirley: from the referendum among the public at Villa Erba he also obtained the BMW Group Italia trophy and the election of the car as Best of Show by both public and jury.
This verdict, together with the other selections made by the jury at Villa D’Este, is worth reflecting on. Let us say first that the results lie within the logic of common sense and fair play, the strong points of a Concours which even in such a critical moment in world finance and world markets manages to retain its educational and leadership role within the sector.
It is in the tradition of Villa D’Este not to bow down to adversity, above all since it was revived ten years ago with the generous support of BMW, who have found such ideal partners in the passion and open cooperation of the prestigious hotel complex. The distinction, elegance and superior comfort of Villa D’Este are in fact essential elements for the consolidation of such an attractive, prestigious event.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 177