The First Lamborghini & Design Concorso d’Eleganza at Neuchâtel

Over dinner on the eve of the very first Lamborghini & Design Concorso d’Eleganza, I could sense that Enrico Maffeo, head of Lamborghini’s Polo Storico, was relieved that the event was about to unfold. Months of planning would come to fruition, and precious cars from all over Europe and even from Japan would join in for a weekend dedicated to Lamborghini and Le Corbusier.

And, sure enough, the following day was a taste of heaven for any Lamborghini enthusiast, with some 50 Sant’Agata bulls arriving, some by road and some by truck. If you happened to enter the parking garage near the port of Neuchatel, you’d might find yourself gobsmacked by the sheer presence of all the Lamborghinis parked there.

Le Corbusier was selected to be the designer commemorated through the event, and his works were admired on a round trip to his birthplace of La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he designed several buildings. Additionally, his iconic Modulor man was to be found in decorations throughout the event.

The trip to La Chaux-de-Fonds saw a wide variety of Lamborghini models navigating the roads, and the sights were nothing short of marvellous. Just imagine seeing a long row of 350 GT, Islero, Espada, Miura, Countach and Diablo rolling past on Swiss country roads. Yes, had me smiling too.

Early Sunday morning, the cars took their places at the concours area in Neuchatel, and owners, enthusiasts and staff alike enjoyed the atmosphere of excitement for the upcoming judgement. One car in particular had me excited beyond my already high expectations; the freshly restored Marzal, a one-off designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. This unique creation, incidentally celebrating its 50th anniversary, is often considered to be one of the most important cars to bear a Lamborghini badge, and it is still a stunning view.

As the day progressed, the much anticipated parading of the prize winners drew near, and the first group of top-three nominees started their engines and lined up for the final call. And so, we got to see lovely trios of the 11 different classes, from the Miura P400 to the Contemporary Specials, which saw a crowd-pleasing Veneno Roadster taking the class win.

After all prize winners had enjoyed their time on the podium, the jury took a moment to review all the class winners in order to select which one of them should be rewarded Best in Show. This short break in proceedings gave us the most charming moment of the day, as a young girl drove onto the podium in an electrically powered Lamborghini toy car. How she didn’t get a prize surprised me!

And so, we arrived at the climax of the award session, as a green Miura SV from Japan was announced as the recipient of Best in Show. The crowd’s cheers underlined this as a good decision by the jury, and the owner was delighted to receive both the award and the acclaim. A well-deserved winner.

However, this was not the final word of the jury. In a somewhat expected-but-still-surprising move, they called the Marzal to the podium to receive the Best of the Best award. As the closing act of the inaugural Lamborghini & Design Concorso d’Eleganza, no car was more suitable.

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