Pebble Beach being only a stone’s throw away requires some readjusting; rarely is so much attention and money aimed at cars, and the crowds and their big hats and fancy pants can be just as entertaining at times as the mind-boggling metal they envelop. It’s no stretch of truth to claim there’s no other place and time further separated from our normal automotive reality than the Pebble Beach lawn on a certain Sunday in August, but that is at least equally true for Villa d’Este.
So before the imminent wave of photos from Monterey start pouring in, let’s take a retrospective look at the year’s other over the top display of elegance-as oxymoronic as that may be, when you put this many preeminent cars together with this much density, and on the manicured edge of Lake Como to boot, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the sight regardless of the amount of grace or poise embodied in each car.
You’ve seen that already though, and while the entry list hasn’t somehow retroactively added or removed anything, the pre-concours parking garage that houses most of the next days’ stars is too surreal to miss. The cold stone walls and dim noir aura of the place gives the same cars a new setting in almost perfect contrast to the vibrancy of the official show. Down here it’s almost sepulchral, and the cars in their tightly packed hibernation have none of the usual admirers grouped around, their absence adding to the sense of discovery and gravitas in this chamber.
I’m not sure how much grief this one-night-only storage space gives the collective insurance companies, but I bet it still isn’t comparable to the anxiety of parallel parking against a stone wallin between two concorso competitors in something that isn’t even driven most of the year.