At Villa d’Este, the world’s oldest Concours d’Elegance – founded in 1929 and now one of the most important events of its kind, with BMW’s involvement and the return to former glories of the prestigious Hotel di Cernobbio, in its elegant setting on the shores of Lake Como – it is not uncommon for extraordinarily beautiful cars of the last century to be just as successful now as they were when they first made their debut.

Beauty, it seems, is also timeless for the automobile. Indeed, the pleasure of rediscovery, accentuated by the aura of nostalgia, only increases a car’s appeal. An appeal that is not dulled by the years or lessened by changing fads. This attraction will never fade as long as whoever owns the car cherishes it like a precious jewel. And this depends on the legitimacy of the collector, and on the passion, nostalgia and culture defining his or her personality.

The white Alfa Romeo ‘Flying Star’ cabriolet, as unique in name as in its inspired bodywork designed by Touring, made a return to Villa d’Este 76 years after its triumphant debut in 1931, when it earned the Coppa d’Oro assigned by the public.

Back then, the Milan socialite and car enthusiast Josette Pozzo was at the helm, whereas this time it was driven by its current Mexican owners, Deborah and Artur Keller. While the ‘Flying Star’, as fascinating now as it was in its distant debut, did not perhaps achieve the success hoped for by the Kellers, it won the hearts of the spectators at Villa Erba and, as befitting a car of such significance, earned the BMW Prize awarded by public vote on the second day of the event.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 165

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