In a thrilling closing ceremony of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the Duesenberg SJ won the prestigious BMW Group Trophy as the “Best of Show” of the event. This spectacular classic car, with its unique and elegant design, captivated the international jury of experts, who selected it as the overall winner. For three days, the festival of timeless elegance and beauty on four wheels celebrated the passion for automobility, the joy of driving and technical excellence, captivating a large audience of enthusiasts.
A timeless classic: The Duesenberg SJ
The Duesenberg SJ is an automobile that evokes the grandeur and luxury of the golden age of the automotive industry. With its dazzling design and powerful engine, this vehicle became an icon of sophistication and performance in the 1930s. Known for its exceptional performance, the Duesenberg SJ could reach impressive speeds thanks to its supercharger, reaching 220 km/h (140 mph). The phrase “it’s a Duesy” was coined as a synonym for the quality of these vehicles, and many celebrities of the era, such as Gary Cooper, Clark Gable and Greta Garbo, were seduced by its charm.
A well-deserved recognition
The Duesenberg SJ Speedster, designed by Gurney Nutting in 1935, took home the BMW Group Trophy as the “Best of Show” at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2023. Proud owner William Lyon received the prestigious award from Helmut Käs, Head of BMW Group Classic and President of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, and Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange und Söhne. In addition to the dazzling trophy, the winner chosen by the jury also received an exclusive model of the 1815 chronograph in white gold, specially created by A. Lange und Söhne for the “Best of Show” winner.
Fascination for automobility
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is an event that celebrates the beauty and elegance of classic automobiles. During the three-day festival, visitors had the opportunity to admire an exquisite diversity of historic automobiles and witness the awarding of prizes in eight categories. The event brought together enthusiasts from all over the world, as well as leading representatives of the international press, who were fascinated by the passion and love for classic cars in the air. The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has become a must for lovers of historic vehicles, and this year was no exception.
Excitement and elegance intertwined in every corner of the magnificent gardens of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, creating the perfect setting for this automotive beauty contest. The participating cars dazzled spectators with their splendour and meticulous restoration, transporting them back to a golden age of the automotive industry. From imposing limousines to elegant convertibles, the diversity of models present left everyone in awe.
In addition to the Duesenberg SJ, other classic cars received well-deserved awards in various categories. The Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California, with its elegant Pininfarina/Scaglietti design, was the winner of the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este, chosen by public vote. This historic vehicle, owned by Jonathan Hui of the Keybridge Collection in Hong Kong, captured everyone’s attention with its timeless charm.
Another highlight was the awarding of the Il Canto del Motore Trophy, which honoured the most beautiful engine sound. Christophe Count d’Ansembourg from Belgium received this award from the renowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann, in honour of the impressive sound emitted by his 1970 Porsche 917 K. This award highlights the importance of the sensory experience in the appreciation of classic automobiles.
The festival was not only limited to the display of cars. There were also special activities for the public, such as the “100 Years Le Mans” exhibition, which celebrated a century of the legendary endurance race. Visitors were able to admire the iconic racing cars that have left an indelible mark on the history of motor racing.
In addition, the event featured the Villa d’Este Public Day and the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Festival, which attracted more than 9,000 visitors eager to enjoy automobility in all its forms. From breathtaking dance performances to dazzling car parades, Sunday became a joint celebration of shared passion for automobiles, driving pleasure and superlative engineering achievements.
The legacy of the Duesenberg SJ and the passion for classic cars will live on. These iconic vehicles represent excellence in design and performance, and their recognition at events such as the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este demonstrates their enduring value and appeal.