When we think of a Concours d’Elegance, we typically imagine the ultra-rare classic automobiles who spend their lives locked in air-conditioned garages to preserve their originality and condition. They may emerge once or twice a year to sit in a line of other cars in a field where they are dusted and vacuumed, then dusted and vacuumed again. They leave at the end of the show in a trailer to return home to a museum or a private collection.
The Swiss have a different philosophy. Enjoy cars the way the builders always intended. ICE St. Moritz is a classic car concours d’elegance that combines a car show and a race track on a frozen lake. This is perhaps the coolest way to enjoy classic supercars and rare automobiles. Here’s what makes this automotive event so special.
ICE St. Moritz is a vintage car show like no other
The International Concours d’Excellence (ICE) in St. Moritz, Switzerland, has its origins in the 1980s. The idea was to combine a traditional Concours-style motor show with the resort’s unique frozen lake environment. skiing in St. Moritz. Having classic cars, supercars and race cars on the frozen lake racetrack allows fans and attendees to see some of the greatest cars in the world in action.
ICE is certainly successful in this regard. It’s hard to imagine anything more unique than a $50 million Ferrari 250 GTO slide on a frozen lake covered in snow.
Traditionally held at the end of February each year, ICE is all about enjoying classic cars in the best possible way, by driving them. ICE also takes safety very seriously and rigorously tests the thickness, durability and structural rigidity of ice on the lake.
The honorary president of the jury is one of the greatest car designers of all time
At the heart of ICE is the Concours spectacle. It focuses on the best sports, racing and driving cars ever made. Each year can see vehicles as varied as Lamborghini Miuras, classic Fiat 500s and current Pagani Huayras. The honorary president of the jury judging the competition is the legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Giorgetto Giugiaro designed everything from cars and motorcycles to Nikon cameras and firearms. Giugiaro is best known as the creator of the DMC DeLorean. His most famous designs also include the Lotus Esprit, Volkswagen Golf Mk1, BMW M1, Ferrari 250 GT and all the major Maserati sports cars of the 1970s.
As cited by the ICE St. Moritz websiteGiugiaro had this to say, “Looking at cars on snow, without any of the distracting elements one would find on the road, recreates the effect a designer achieves by drawing an automobile on a white sheet of paper.”
The coolest cars at ICE St. Moritz 2022
There’s never a shortage of eye candy at ICE, and the 2022 show was no less spectacular. Some of the notable cars taking part in the Concours and ice driving were an original Ferrari 250 GTO, the Lamborghini Miura used in the original Italian work movie, and a Jaguar C-Type runner.
ICE St. Moritz may not have the cache of Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, or Villa d’Este. What it has is one of the most amazing ways to enjoy classic sports cars. Seeing rare and beautiful vehicles out of their element, sliding across a frozen lake should excite any car enthusiast. It’s a unique experience that beats hands down the traditional Concours d’Elegance style of lining up cars in a field.
There’s no other automotive event quite like ICE, and we hope it lasts a long time. Except Goodwood Festival of Speedthere are few opportunities to see cars like this as they were always meant to be used.