The art of making oneself interesting is a quality which distinguishes a true Gentleman, better to leave the cliches and set phrases to others. Standing out requires mastery and good taste, no one enjoys a complete lack of originality on display.
Concourses d’elegance for cars can soon turn into a frivolous catwalk, a flashy way to show off extravagant and expensive models. In fact, there are quite a few who criticize the fact that they have to pay a pricey ticket to see these lavish cars parked on a lawn. But events such as the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d'Este are actually magnificent open-air museums where one can admire masterpieces chosen specifically for their unique qualities.
Being in the center of attention is never something of the ordinary, as it allows for the judgments of others. True Gentlemen always know how to act in public.
Obviously, in a concours of elegance one seeks perfection, originality and absolute beauty. The devil is in the details, so in these type of events it is inevitable to get lost among beautiful cars with a fascinating history and unique style.
Since 1929, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D'Este has always been an event where refinement takes center stage. The architecture of the hotel and park are immersed along the most picturesque setting of Lake Como, perfectly suitable to host the most elegant cars in the world, from very first editions to coachmen to affluent owners, all competing in an exciting style race!
In the every-day world, refinement can be found less and less, but in events such as these, it is alive and well.
Looking at cars such as the 1922 Bentley 3 Litre Tourer – the first ever Bentley to race in Le Mans and also the car that originated the ancestry of the legendary Bentley Boys, the first true Gentlemen Drivers in history – experiening it brings about strong emotions that take you back to a forgotten and far away world.
True elegance never disregards purpose. That is how a record setting car fueled by a Moto Guzzi single-cylinder engine can win the Coppa d'Oro. Built in the 30's by Count Giovanni Lurani, one of the most illustrious drivers and engineers in Italy at the time, the Nibbio I is a clear example of how you can have impeccable style while also beating some of the most important category records.
Whoever raises the bar for good taste, redefining the standards of beauty starting from his personal style, is often an outlier. Take the 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo, belonging to the Lopresto Collection, its futuristic design inspired by aeronautics engineering won the Best of Show award yesterday and also the Trofeo BMW Group Italia voted by the attendees.
But a car can also be a highly expressive object, a palette for dreams and ambitions of entire generations: the charm of the 50’s and the taste for speed during the Jet era influenced the most iconic GTs in car history. Perhaps cars such as the Fiat 8V Supersonica Ghia or the Maserati A6G/2000 GS are today the perfect combination of performance and comfort.
Concourses d’elegance are an ode to style, but also a celebration of good taste and unique details, those peculiarities that make a car capable of communicating and being remembered.
Elegance is the exact opposite of vulgarity: it is neither ostentatious nor snobby. A true Gentleman can be noticed by presenting himself without ostentation, always remebering to stay modest.
Jacopo Villa, contributor
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017
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