We all love a great garden party, especially one where everyone gets to dress up and enjoy a nice glass of bubbly. If the garden happens to be that of Villa d’Este on the banks of Lake Como in Italy, even better, but when you add in some of the greatest cars ever made, then it’s a garden party that’s hard to beat.
We’re talking about the famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on of the top concours events on the classic car calendar. Entries are strictly by invitation and this year the event has categories with names such as The Golden Age of Elegance: The Art Deco Era of Motor Car Design and Born for the Racetrack: Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday. There was also a category for Ferraris to celebrate the fact that the prancing horse is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022. Long-time sponsor of the event, BMW, also had its own share of the limelight to celebrate 50 years of its M performance and motorsport division with the category 50 Years of Mean Machinery: BMW’s M Cars and their Ancestors.
Only one car gets to be awarded Best of Show by the jury though, and this year that accolade went to a Bugatti Type 57 S Vanvooren cabriolet from 1937, which also took the Art Deco award. One of just four Type 57S convertibles to be built by Parisian coachbuilder Vanvooren, it has a very special story to tell. It was once owned by a vice-president of General Motors, who replaced its Bugatti eight-cylinder engine for a Buick V8. What sacrilege, but fortunately a subsequent owner found the original engine 40 years later on the internet and reunited the engine with the car.