Once again this year, nestled in the mountains of Engadin, the frozen lake of St-Moritz played stage for its coveted ‘top of the world’ event., I.C.E.
The International Concours d’Elegance is a two-day spectacle of thrills as participants and enthusiasts alike experience the visual, and for some, personal driving exhilarations as classic autos race the snow-covered lake track that is normally used for snow polo.
While this small Engadin town has long been a favorite destination for the international jet-setter, the winter festival’s excitement draws in quite the glamorous crowd – with 2023 presenting 48 of the best classic and racing cars that have made automotive history, after all this is all about the cars.
Over the course of two days, a jury of experts and prominent personalities were called upon to judge the cars’ provenance, originality and condition. The judges also spoke with the individual collecting owners, learning about the details and peculiarities of each participating gem. The jury for the edition had been composed of prominent personalities and experts in the field that included: Vanessa Marçais, an authority on automotive collecting and curating judge of other concours within several international commissions; Marco Makaus, creator and patron of The I.C.E. St-Moritz; Frédéric Brun, published author and expert specializing in watches, automobiles and luxury goods; Klaus Busse, a lifelong motor enthusiast, collector and professional designer who’s currently Head of Design at Maserati; Michele Lupi, a noted music and design expert launching Rolling Stone Italia; J.P. Rathgen, CEO of Classic Driver and a leading figure in the classic car scene; and Augustin Sabatié-Garat, noted European car enthusiast and historic automobile authority.
The most dynamic and spectacular phase of the event competition took place within the early morning hours on the second day of judging. With the cars grouped according to categories, each entered the frozen lake track and triggered fascinating straights. In addition to the physical inspection, the jury was able to assess the chemistry between the drivers and their cars in action and judge the style and skilled driving dynamics by each observed driver.
The I.C.E. Village was a meeting point for various brands from the automotive, glamour and fashion worlds. Serving as the hospitality hub during the program, guests enjoyed static and dynamic interaction from some of the top purveyors of fine goods.
The atmosphere was set with Richard Mille named as title sponsor for this years’ proceedings. Founded in 2001, Richard Mille soon became established as one of the pre-eminent players in the luxury watchmaking industry by developing a unique, immediately recognizable architectural aesthetic, and one that has been paired alongside the automotive world since its inception. Peter Harrison, CEO of Richard Mille EMEA noted, “We are proud to partner with The I.C.E. St-Moritz to become their title sponsor. This event is certain to be nothing short of remarkable as we witness some of the best classic cars in the world in action, ice driving on the frozen lake.” In addition to the prestige group of sponsors were brands like Maserati, Pagani, Persol, Moet & Chandon, RM Sotheby’s, Pirelli, Goodwool, Mercedes, Donna Fugata Fine Wines, 24 Hours Le Mans and The Classic Car Trust.
With the culmination of the excitement surrounding who would take home the prestigious weekend honors, winners placed into their perspective categories with the 2023 awarding being:
Maserati 420M/58 “Eldorado” of 1958 for the ‘Open Wheels’ category, the Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II of 1955 for ‘Barchettas on the Lake,’ the Ferrari 250 Testarossa “Lucybelle” of 1958 for ‘Le Mans 100,’ Lancia Strato’s HF Zero of 1970 for ‘Concept Cars & One Offs,’ and the Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupé of 1958 for ‘Queens on Wheels.’ The ultimate ‘Best in Show’ award went to the beautiful Lancia Strato’s HF Zero, a futuristic body designed by Marcello Gandini.
“We are very satisfied with this 2023 edition that confirms the choice of the new format designed over two days. Forty-eight hours of emotions where the stage of the St-Moritz Lake welcomed enthusiasts who came from all over the world. We would very much like to thank the Sponsors, Partners, Exhibitors and participating collectors who believed in this event and renewed their trust in us,” said Makaus.