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March 04, 2010
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“The Concorso offers an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. The manufacturers focused on professionalism, flawlessness and elegance when it came to building their cars, and we’re following a similar blueprint with the Concorso.”
BMW’s Italian job
The relationship between BMW and Italy is by no means limited to the Concorso. This year sees the 70th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in the history of BMW Motorsport: victory in the 1940 Mille Miglia. The hero of the day 70 years ago was the BMW 328. Just 464 examples of the Roadster were built over the four years from 1936 to 1940, but that was enough to put the wind up its rivals. A racing version of the 328 made its debut in the legendary Italian car race in 1938 – and filled the top four places in its class at the first attempt. BMW lined up for the final pre-war edition of the race two years later with a pair of 328 Coupés and three Roadster versions, for which a new and ultra-lightweight streamlined body had been developed. In the battle to shed the seconds, its head-turning contours successfully reduced aerodynamic drag and shaped the path of automotive design for decades to come. The BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring Coupé secured the brand its greatest triumph to date. Drivers Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer posted an average speed of 166.723 km/h on the way to securing overall victory in the race, and the coveted team prize also went to BMW. “Before we head to the Mille Miglia we will put all of our Mille Miglia cars on display to the public in a special exhibition at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. You could call it a team presentation,” said Karl Baumer, whetting the appetite for the planned BMW showcase at the Concorso.
As always, the BMW Group Classic cars will appear hors concours. The selecting committee has picked out 52 beautiful models from six decades of automotive history for the event on the banks of Lake Como. They will be entered in seven different classes. In his capacity as Selecting Adviser, Urs Paul Ramseier is responsible for choosing the cars that will take part in the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. In Geneva, he offered a foretaste of some of the treasures in store among the elite field of entrants.