When we think of a Concours d’Elegance, we typically imagine ultra-rare classic automobiles that spend their lives locked away in climate-controlled garages to preserve originality and condition. They might emerge once or twice a year to sit in a line of other cars in a field where they are dusted and hoovered, and then dusted and hoovered again. They leave at the end of the show in a trailer to go back home to a museum or private collection.
The Swiss have a different philosophy. Enjoy the cars in the way that the manufacturers always intended. The ICE St. Moritz is a classic car Concours d’Elegance that combines a car show and a race track on a frozen lake. This might be the coolest way to enjoy classic supercars and rare automobiles. Here’s what makes this car event so special.
The ICE St. Moritz is a classic car show unlike any other
The International Concours of Excellence (ICE) in St. Moritz, Switzerland, has its origins in the 1980s. The idea was to combine a traditional Concours-style car show with the unique environment of the frozen lake at the St. Moritz ski resort. Having classic cars, supercars, and race cars drive laps of the frozen lake racecourse allows fans and participants to see some of the world’s greatest cars in action.
The ICE certainly succeeds in that regard. It’s hard to imagine anything more unique than a $50 million Ferrari 250 GTO power sliding across a snow-covered frozen lake.
Traditionally held at the end of February each year, the ICE is all about enjoying classic cars in the best way possible, by driving them. The ICE also takes safety very seriously and rigorously tests the ice on the lake for thickness, durability, and structural rigidity.
The honorary chairman of the jury is one of the greatest automotive designers of all time
At the heart of the ICE is the Concours show. It focuses on the best sports, racing, and driver’s cars ever made. Any given year can see vehicles as varied as Lamborghini Miuras, classic Fiat 500s, and current Pagani Huayras. The Honorary Chairman of the Jury that judges the Concours competition is legendary automotive designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Giorgetto Giugiaro has designed everything from cars to motorcycles, Nikon cameras, and firearms. Giugiaro is best known as the designer of the DMC DeLorean. His most famous creations also include the Lotus Esprit, Volkswagen Golf Mk1, BMW M1, Ferrari 250 GT, and every great Maserati sports car of the 1970s.
As quoted by the ICE St. Moritz website, Giugiaro had this to say, “Watching the cars over the snow, without any distracting element 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 the 2022 ICE St. Moritz
There is never a shortage of eye candy at the 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 Job movie, and a Jaguar C-Type racer.
The ICE St. Moritz may not have the cache of Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, or Villa d’Este. What it does have is one of the most incredible ways to enjoy classic sports cars. Seeing rare and beautiful vehicles out of their element, power sliding across a frozen lake should excite any car enthusiast. It’s a unique experience and hands-down beats the traditional Concours d’Elegance style of lining cars up in a field.
There is no other automotive event like the ICE, and we hope it sticks around for a long time. Aside from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, there are few opportunities to see cars like this as they were always intended to be used.