They don’t make cars like they used to. Quite literally. In the early days of the automobile, companies such as Rolls Royce
and Isotta Fraschini
manufactured only engines and chassis, contracting out the crafting of the exterior to expert coachbuilders, who would create a singular design for each customer. Though brands would be recognizable from their particular radiator grills, no two vehicles would be alike. The unique character of such vintage specimens is plain to see at the BMW Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d'Este
. Started in 1929 and running until 1949, then revived by BMW
in 1995, the annual event celebrates the apex of car design by bringing over 50 vintage models, built between the 1920s and 1970s, to the hotels Villa d’Este and Villa Erba on Italy’s Lake Como. Though more of a fine art exhibition than an auto show, with a high-society crowd adding an aristocratic edge, there is also competition, with cars grouped in nine categories (the newest encompasses modern concept models). The winner of this year’s best in show was a 1955 Maserati A6GCS Spider Frua, a sleek open-topped sports car worthy of a Bond villain. Artist David Moore
journeyed to Lake Como to photograph these one-of-a-kind beauties and their well-heeled admirers exclusively for NOWNESS, and was astounded by the proceedings. “I have never seen such material wealth gathered in one place,” he says. “It’s extraordinary to me, having custom-made Lamborghinis flown in from Los Angeles for the weekend. I was seduced by the vehicles.”
Also today: we interview David Moore
about his photographic work, and pop in to Villa d’Este to get a Risotto Recipe from Luciano Parolari.