The sun blessed all three days of Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza this year – despite the threat of looming nearby thunderstorms – helping to make the 2018 edition of the elite classic car and bike show held on the shores of Lake Como in Northern Italy one of its best. The recipe for the annual late-May weekend event is simple: Firstly, choose a small selection of the rarest vehicular transportation from the early 20th century to now – just 56 cars and 34 bikes were entered this year, from powerhouse marques that straddle much of, if not all of that period, like Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche, to deceased brands from the past (Isotta Fraschini) and newcomers as well (Genesis).

Secondly, ask each owner to take turns to ride or drive (or in some of the older classic car cases, be pushed!) from their lawn or gravel pitch to loop around the stunning Villa d’Este and promenade in front of a special design jury and the show-going public. Finally, get the jury and public to cast their votes and award various prizes, based on provenance, rarity, authenticity… and of course beauty.

This year’s car winners were unusually all Italian, including a 1958 Ferrari 335 Sport Spider with coachwork by Scaglietti (the Jury’s Best of Show); a 1968 Alfa Romeo 33/2 Stradale with bodywork by Scaglione (the visiting Public’s Best of Show); the 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero concept with bodywork by Gandini (Young People under 16’s top gun); and the 2018 Ferrari SP38 designed by Manzoni (the Public’s Concept Car winner). On the bike side of things, the 1948 Moto Major was applauded by the professionals (Jury’s Best of Show); the Nottingham-born 1939 Brough Superior SS80, with its immaculate pin-striped side car, claimed the public Best of Show vote and a 1907 Indian Twin-Cylinder took the Jury’s special prize.

From big-engined 1920s behemoths to 1950s beach buggies then, to 1960s and 1970s Formula 1 racing cars and Noughties electric concept cars and bikes, there was an exotic automotive flavour for everyone. Read on for Wallpaper’s highlights…