Hollywood on the Lake” was this year’s theme at Villa d’Este, so-named for the generations of stars and starlets who flock to the sun-dappled shores of Lake Como. In celebration, a handful of blue-chip cars with direct (or indirect) connections to Hollywood filled the center of the show.
Elvis Presley’s BMW
Technically, Elvis never regularly drove this voluptuous roadster, but instead presented it as a gift to his “Fun in Acapulco” co-star Ursula Andress. Even so, Elvis was quite familiar with the rarified roadsters, having owned a red 507 while stationed in Germany. Andress ended up selling this car to customizer George Barris, who added the pair of bumpers that appear on the car today.
1939 Delage D8-120
As one of the impeccably engineered and wonderfully complex luxury cars from Pre-War France, Delage was a magnet for film stars and socalites. This particular Delage D8 was used on the silver screen in “An American in Paris” with Gene Kelly and Nina Foch behind the wheel.
1964 Aston Martin DB5
No replicas here – this is the real deal. There’s a progression of legitimacy when it comes to Bond’s Astons, and this silver DB5 is at the top of the heap. Of the six DB5s are tied to the early films in the James Bond franchise, only two were outfitted with the mock gadgetry that included wheel spikes, rear shield, guns, and ejection passenger seat. One of the two gadget cars from “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” made an appearance at Villa d’Este, still wearing the rear wheel spike apparatus.
Rita Hayworth’s 1953 Cadillac Series 62
Shortly after the very public divorce of Rita Hayworth and Prince Aly Kahn, the prince gifted this burgundy Cadillac coupe to his former love. Only two Caddys were given the Ghia treatment, and thanks to a distinct lack of period press coverage and photography, the complete history of the two cars is shrouded in mystery.
Peter Sellers’ 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast
In the 1960s, the Ferrari Superfast was at the top of the foodchain, commanding as much as twice the price of a “regular” V-12 Ferrari. A 5.0-liter V-12 sent 400 hp to the rear wheels, enough to crack 174 mph. This gilded 500 was famously owned by comedic legend Peter Sellers along with a small fleet of other goodies from Maranello.