The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, held in the Italian town on April 23–5, is one of the great events on the collectible car circuit. This year, the BMW 328 Kamm Coupé was arguably the star, though given its provenance one could not expect it to win the coveted Coppa d’Oro at the event.
Concours prizes are usually awarded to cars that are as good as, and no better than, the day they left the factory. The Kamm Coupé, named after aerodynamics’ pioneer Wunibald Kamm, is one of the most beautiful BMWs designed, but this one is not an original. It is a replica exhaustingly, diligently and, dare we say it, obsessively, created by a BMW heritage operation called BMW Classic.
The originals were part of a team of ﬁve that contested the Mille Miglia in 1940. A BMW 328 Touring Coupé won the event. However, the last known racer disappeared in 1953, even though all ﬁve had survived World War II intact. What is known is that the winning Touring Coupé made it across the Atlantic when its owner, a senior BMW employee, emigrated, while the Kamm Coupé was the last to remain in Germany. It was acquired by former BMW Director of Racing Ernst Loof, but was sold amid ﬁnancial trouble, and wound up in an accident, after which it was scrapped.
However, the Kamm Coupé was historically signiﬁcant. Historical photographs were unearthed, and some basic technical data were available. A virtual model was built up. After some false starts, the Kamm Coupé rebuild was spearheaded by the Meisterschule für Karosserie- und Fahrzeugbau Leipzig-Leisnig-Erlbach in partnership with a BMW plant in Leipzig.
René Große, who had restored a BMW 328 Touring Coupé and a Mille Miglia Roadster for the BMW Museum, painstakingly set to work and completed the vehicle in time for the 70th anniversary of the 1940 Mille Miglia. It will compete this year at the historical Mille Miglia event.
The winner of the Coppa d’Oro was a Maserati A6GCS/53 Spider by Frua, originally commissioned by Mimmo Dei in 1955. The current owner, John F. Bookout, Jr, had Adolfo Orsi supervise a restoration after he acquired the car in 2003.
It marked the third occasion a Maserati has won the Villa d’Este Coppa d’Oro: in 1932, an 8C 2500 Tipo 26 M Turismo took home the prize, while in 2003, a Frua-designed Mistral Spider took top honours.
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2010
BMW 328 Kamm Coupé
BMW 328 Mille Miglia Roadster ‘Bügelfalte’
Winner, Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este: Maserati A6GCS Spider Frua