It was a beautiful sunny Sunday, in the backdrop were the majestic Swiss Alps, the venue was the lawns of the Château de Coppet near Geneva and the event was the awards ceremony of the Concours d’Elégance Suisse. The overall winner was an immaculately preserved work of automotive art: the 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 BMM built by Graber.
The three-day annual event was organised by the Project Automobile Sàrl, founded in 1998 by Mathias Doutreleau, an automobile enthusiast who in 2003 helped create one of the flagship events of the Monterey automobile week: The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering.
Concours d’Elégance Suisse was open to the public and attended by more than 2,500 visitors. On display were 85 historic cars glistening in the sunshine. They had arrived from France, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Monaco as well as the United States and Thailand.
The cars were competing in 15 classes of excellence as defined by the Chairman of the Jury, Adolfo Ordi Jnr, member of the Jury of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, alongside the Honorary Chairman of the Jury, Ed Gilbertson, Honorary Judge of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance in the USA.
The classes included three period classes for cars build between 1920 and 1939, two classes for Ferraris from 1947 to 1971, one for sports coupés with Swiss coachworks: 1940 to 1959, two for sport coupés of the 1960s and 1970s, for luxury limousines: 1949 to 1960, and two classes for luxury sedans: 1969 to 1985.
Excellence, style, authenticity and the international automobile heritage were the categories on which the cars were assessed and marked by an international jury consisting of 28 members from ten different countries. In total, they awarded 37 prizes.
The overall winner, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 BMM, was built by famous Swiss coachbuilder Hermann Graber. This award recognizes both the exceptional authentic aspects of the vehicle and the assessment of its original condition. The second overall winner was also an Alfa Romeo; a 1949 6C 2500 Super Sport Villa d’Este. Some of the other noteworthy winners include a magnificent 1926 Hispano Suiza H6B torpedo convertible and an extremely rare Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta built by Bertone.
Awards were also handed out for Special Distinctions: The Best-Preserved car was a 1927 Hispano SuizaT49, Cercle des Passionnées winner was a 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K by Graber, the most elegant coachwork was of a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K, and the Honorary Chief Judge Award was given to a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of two legends of the automotive world: the Aston Martin DB4 and the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina. This landmark was celebrated by dedicating two special classes to them. The winners here were a 1960 DB4 series II and a 1960 GT coupé.
The organising committee also announced the fourth edition of the Concours which will take place from June 21 to 23, 2019.