The famous Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza dedicated to the most beautiful cars of the past will take place this weekend and Alfa Romeo is set to be the star attraction with eight superb models making the trip from the official museum.

The famous Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza dedicated to the most beautiful cars of the past will take place this weekend and Alfa Romeo is set to be the star. The event was first held back in 1929. Ever since then, it has always been staged in the magnificent gardens of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como.

Alfa Romeo could certainly not miss out on an event like this, especially this year when the marque is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The Villa d’Este “catwalk” will therefore be graced by 8 superb models from the Alfa Romeo History Museum. Along with these classics, the public will also be able to admire two latest generation Alfa Romeo models (the Giulietta and the 8C Spider). What better way to highlight the uniqueness of Alfa Romeo on the world automotive scene. The great designers, cars, glorious racing history, advanced technology, elegance and innovation that form Alfa Romeo’s unique heritage drove technical progress and dominated motor sport throughout the twentieth century.

Of the 8 Alfa Romeo classics on show, the oldest is a special version of the “RL Super Sport”, a six seat “torpedo” with aluminium coachwork by Castagna, made in 1925 for an Indian Maharaja, and brought back to Italy in the 1970s. The next is the “6C 1750 Gran Sport” of 1931, with coachwork by Zagato finished in a beautifully elegant pastel white and distinguished by an exclusive detail: a radiator logo featuring the word “Paris” instead of “Milano”. This solution was adopted for a series of cars sold in France via Alfa Romeo’s French subsidiary. The “8C 2300 Mille Miglia Spider”, also with coachwork by Zagato, was made the following year. This particular model won the Mille Miglia race two years in succession (in 1932 and in 1933) and is the only one among the 8 Alfa Romeo classics on show that has had a racing past.

The prestigious line-up on display in Cernobbio also contains the exclusive “8C 2900 B Lungo” of 1938, finished in a splendid blue. This berlinetta features Touring’s special “Superleggera” coachwork, and represents the ultimate prestige in terms of style and mechanics. Back in 1938, this model was considered the super-car of its day. True to form, it won the Mille Miglia in 1947.

The next model comes from the post-war period. The “6C 2500 Super Sport Villa d’Este” dates from 1949 and features an elegant metallic champagne livery. This model has won the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza, confirming the excellence of the Milan-based Touring. Another Touring model is the highly original 1953 “1900 C52 Disco Volante Spider”, a car with an unusual and fascinating design that always attracts the public’s interest. Though the “Disco Volante” or “Flying Saucer” never actually raced, it was originally designed for competition use. Alfa Romeo’s contribution to the event also includes a “Giulietta Spider”, one of the company’s most popular models. The model on show, the prototype of the “America” series, dates from 1955 and differs from the production model in a number of details. The car features the original, fresh and youthful styling of Pinin Farina. The historical Alfa Romeo line-up finishes with the “2000 Sportiva” of 1954 and the “33 Stradale” prototype of 1967. The 33 Stradale is a supercar, with an 8 cylinder engine, and design by Scaglione. It is considered the stylistic fore-runner of the recent 8C Competizione. In its day, it was the top of the Alfa Romeo range. The 2000 Sportiva, also designed by Scaglione and with coachwork by Bertone, is a beautifully elegant metallic grey coupé: not widely known to the general public, this magnificent car is a non-competing protagonist in the Villa d’Este contest.

These precious examples from some of the most significant stages in Alfa Romeo’s long history of design and innovation, will be accompanied by the marque’s two latest models, the brand new Giulietta and the magnificent 8C Spider. Both these models are products of Alfa Romeo’s renewed stylistic and technological direction, which began with the 8C Competizione supercar and is emphasised by the return to Italian names that form a link with the marque’s glorious past while also pointing to a future based on values of technology and passion. As the vehicles on display at Cernobbio clearly show, Alfa Romeo cars, past and present, stand out on the international motoring scene for their essential styling, capable of conveying true passion, and for cutting edge technology, superb road holding and unrivalled driving pleasure.

Finally, bearing witness to one hundred years of fruitful collaboration between Europe’s top car designers and the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the AR area at Villa d’Este will also be displaying Pininfarina’s “2ettottanta”, the concept car presented at the recent Geneva Motor Show as a homage to 80 years of Pininfarina automobile history and to the famous Alfa Romeo Duetto spider designed by the company.

© 2010 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed