Concours of Elegance

A Concours of Elegance spanning two days.
The first with an exclusive preview and the second with a dynamic parade.

For 2024, the the committee is pleased to announce the categories Barchettas on the Lake – Open Wheels – Concept Cars & One Offs – Icons on Wheels – Racing Legends.

Exclusive preview

Friday, February 23rd, 2024

Discovering those perfect details frozen in time  

Before dawn, an ethereal glow spreads over the blanket of snow covering the still sleeping lake. The white expanse, hitherto silent, begins to vibrate with the low rumbling of pistons, transmissions and mufflers. Through the vague scent of burnt fuel, silhouettes on wheels emerge like visions evoked from distant eras, from other histories, from memorable exploits. They approach, gather and line up next to each other.

The first visitors appear, venture onto the ice, wander around that fairy-tale space feeling the thrill of walking above the water on the surface of the lake and feel the sense of anticipation for what is to come. 

Little by little they increase in number, and then: the sun rises from the mountains. The light strikes the ice and the white releases dozens of colours and emotions: the silhouettes materialise into some of the rarest cars in the world, of inestimable historical, cultural and sporting value. One by one they reveal themselves in all their personality, alive and vibrant, full of memories and adrenalin. All the miles they have travelled in their glorious existence have finally brought them here, now, to this unexpected gathering on the most glittering and incredible stage. Each of them bearing an inimitable legend. 

The harmonious chorus of the engines draws the crowds of enthusiasts, who begin to arrive at the lake by the hundreds and then the thousands. The aroma of greased leather, lubricated metal and hot oil immediately recreates in the hearts of those present the romantic feeling of a motoring of yesteryear, of a time when cars were made of mechanical components but above all of human passion. 

Meanwhile, inside the VIP tent, the gentlemen-drivers receive the technical brief for this first day of the competition. In front of a first-class breakfast, the extra activities designed exclusively for the drivers are described and the time of their appointment with the jury is announced, during which everyone will present their car’s story. 

There is a reason that most classic-car-centric events pick the summertime months, but this Swiss take on a concours is a refreshing change of scenery, and proof that even the rarest and most coveted cars don’t need to hibernate for the full season.

By mid-morning, before the entire audience, the members of the Concours Jury make sure that each vehicle is in perfect condition for the Class and Special Prizes. 

They inspect the bodies of the cars, assess their interiors, the tyres, studded for the occasion, the analogue instrumentation on the dashboards and the retro-futuristic manual controls that tell of many different pioneers and many different possible tomorrows. Under the gaze of the judges everything must be in order, both in terms of machines and emotions. Because only in this way does the magic become authentic and true, ready to be unleashed for the first, important test of The I.C.E. St. Moritz Concours d’Elegance: the official static car show.

The dynamic parade

Saturday, February 24th, 2024

When the ice shines, elegance takes to the track  

From the top of its spire, the bell tower of St. Moritz indicates 7.30 a.m. when the first cars descend to the lake for the second day of the event. The spell of the long cold night has hardened the ice, compacted it, and made it a perfect platform. The cars once again take centre stage, but this time they will not stand still for long.

In the VIP tent, the gentlemen-drivers receive the technical briefing with all the necessary information to be able to tackle the dynamic test of the competition: the spectacular driving on ice. For many of them, piloting their vehicle in the extraordinary conditions of the lake will be a first-time experience, and the anticipation for this new, surprising thrill is palpable. 

Here they come out of the tent, greeted by frost, ready for the two 20-minute stints they will have on the track. They smell the alpine scent that the breeze from the peaks wafts over the lake, they test the sturdiness of the ice under their feet, they go over the best tricks for driving on the slippery snowy expanse.

The engines are started, the wait is taken advantage of to warm up the gears, make the transmissions smooth, bring each old-fashioned mechanism to the efficiency needed to tackle the most unusual track their wheels have ever travelled.

Little by little the public arrives. Gradually more and more of them fill the space between the stand tents, igniting the entire event with voices and enthusiasm. Music accompanies the passing of the last few minutes before the start of the second phase of the contest of elegance: the dynamic performance.

The intensity of emotions generated by situations like these, the beauty of nature and the sunlight justify every single kilometer of travel and every hour spent at sub-zero temperatures.

The sun lights up the chrome with dazzling reflections, the engines rumble and roar, at first separately, then in unison, making the ice vibrate under the feet of onlookers. And finally the cars start, divided into categories.

Lap after lap, these historic cars dance around the circuit in front of the grandstands, slipping out of the dormancy of time in the galloping of their horsepower and the vibrancy of their liveries. Gentlemen-drivers drive them on the thin white line stretched between sky and water. The grip is an amusing illusion, the cars glide over the ice in controlled skids, seeming to fly through the snow spray that the sun lights up like sparks. The secret of The I.C.E. St. Moritz is all there: driving cars where it would not be possible.  

The physical laws of gravity and friction are nullified and, under the bonnet, the small Big Bang of a universe of emotions is regenerated in the combustion engines of other eras.

Above the grandstands and from behind the barriers, the public participates and applauds while, between one lap of the track and the next, there are those who enjoy a sip of a hot drink or a snack in the VIP area served by elegant, graceful skating waiters skating waiters or savouring tasty dishes prepared by the hands of expert chefs.

In the afternoon comes the announcement of the winners in the various categories: one by one, the prize-winners go up to the podium where they are celebrated with the Award of Elegance. For the Special Prizes and the presentation of the Best of Show Trophy, however, it will be necessary to wait a little longer, until the spectacular gala dinner that evening, when the ‘Ice Veterans’ can all gather at a majestic location, magnificently set up for the occasion.

Despite all the efforts we made since 5am this morning in order to have an 100% ready lake Village tomorrow, due to the exceptional snowfall occurred in the past 16 hours pouring more than 60cm of fresh snow, we are sorry to inform you that the event has been cancelled for safety reasons