On the go, Scene, Style / 6. March 2023

The ICE St. Moritz: concours d´Elegance on top of the world


Text: František Vahala, Ondřej Kroutil, Foto: Ondřej Kroutil

What is the ICE St. Moritz? Simply put, a very differently conceived concept of a competition of elegance followed by a rampage with unique cars on a frozen lake. In the magical surroundings of St. Moritz in Switzerland, world-class personalities presented their unique classic cars for the third time during an amazing atmosphere.

The event was created as a tribute to the world’s most amazing cars, which not only drive on site but also show off their shapes and, of course, the exciting sounds of their iconic engines. Plus, on a frozen lake, with the Alpine peaks in the background. Since pole vaulting and horse racing have been held on site for decades, a world-class motoring event seemed a natural choice to expand the winter activities at the lake. As we love winter events, we were there. Come back to February 24 and 25…

The idea first came up in the mid-1980s and took many years to be realized. The unique and magical the ICE St. Moritz is a very different event, a refreshing contest of elegance but also predatory riding. An utterly magical setting where drivers, collectors and ordinary car enthusiasts alike enjoy a late winter’s day in the sun, surrounded by the landscape and atmosphere that only St. Moritz, a place set figuratively “on top of the world” (actually a respectable 1,822m) can offer.

Third edition of The ICE for two days

Unlike the 2022 edition, based on requests from spectators and participants, it was decided for this year that the programme would now be for two days, so that everyone could enjoy both riding and swarming around the parked gems. On Friday there was a static presentation of the entered cars in a “parc ferme” style, where everyone (including the expert jury) could enjoy the cars on display and really examine them up close. Saturday was all about driving – classic sports and racing machines (as well as modern supercars, prototypes and various specials) were shod in studded tyres and raced all day on the frozen lake. By the way, take a look at the video…

The jury evaluated not only the condition and exclusivity of the car, but also the harmony between man and machine – that is, the driving style was very exuberant and fun.

How did it go this year?

In one sentence, a huge success for I.C.E. St. Moritz. The most anticipated and exclusive competition in Engadin brought five dozen dream cars to the frozen surface of the lake. The spectacular two-day exhibition in a breathtaking atmosphere set a record with a total of more than 11,000 participants including drivers, collectors, enthusiasts, the public and media from all over the world.

The glamorous stage featured 48 stars of the finest classic and racing cars that have made automotive history and are rarely seen in similar settings.

A concours d´elegance

Over the course of two days, a jury of experts and eminent personalities were invited to judge the cars’ history, originality, authenticity and condition, interact with individual collectors and also assess their driving dynamics during the driving experience. The level of these stars did not make the jury’s job any easier and ultimately determined the winners in each individual category:

Open Wheels:
1958 Maserati 420M/58 “Eldorado”: recalled the moment when motorsport introduced efforts to unify European and American trends. It is also the first example of commercial sponsorship.

Barchettas on the lake:
1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II: demonstrating the victory of preservation against restoration

Le Mans 100
1958 Ferrari 250 Testarossa “Lucybelle”: one of the most beautiful race car designs of all time.

Concept Cars & One Offs
Lancia Strato’s HF Zero of 1970: the concept that changed car design forever

Queens on Wheels
Bentley S1 Continental Drophead Coupé of 1958: a true queen of elegance

The St. Moritz Concours d’Elegance’s “Best in Show” award also went to the aforementioned Lancia Strato’s HF Zero, thanks in particular to the futuristic bodywork by Marcello Gandini.

“We are very pleased with the 2023 edition, which confirms the success of the new format of the two-day event. In total, we experienced 48 hours of emotions, where the stage of Lake St. Moritz welcomed enthusiasts who came from all over the world. We wish to express our deepest gratitude to the sponsors, partners, exhibitors and participating collectors who have put their faith in this event and renewed their trust in us” – says Marco Makaus, creator and patron of The I.C.E. St. Moritz.

Through the eyes of Ondra Kroutil

When you say St. Moritz, everyone probably imagines the famous ski resort where not only James Bond but also the world’s most famous celebrities have visited. Or horse polo on a frozen lake. All of this is true, of course, only this time the live horses have been replaced by those under the hoods. And not just any horses! A total of 48 cars that take your breath away. The ads worked, so it’s no wonder over 11,000 people from all over the world turned up in Moritz over the weekend!

During the first day, Friday, the cars were displayed in the middle of the area built on the ice. They weren’t going anywhere, just showing off in all their glory to all who came. Great views under the mountain sun. If you were lucky (maybe like me, but I like going opposite it very much) you caught up with key figures from the “car” scene, be it motorsport or classic cars. Simon Kidston, Tom Kristensen, our good friend from several events Katarína Kývalová, but also the people from Pearl Collection (check here to see what they are up to), 24h LeMans race director Duccio Loprest and many others. Amazing!

The second day, was a bit different (besides the fact that we overslept a bit and didn’t make it to the 9th place). It was already riding, and it was riding right from the morning. The sun was shining, so the snow on the ice was a bit slushy, but good boots were enough for that. I met the Auto Union Type C starting first thing in the morning, and Tom Kristensen at his side, just warming it up a bit away from the others. We exchanged a few words and among other things I learned that it was a “fucking cary racecar”. Well, you can judge for yourself.

I spent all day Saturday shooting action shots (with a forgotten press vest that was inexplicably only rented for one hour). It was amazing – everything was skidding: from the aforementioned Auto Union, to the old Alfa Romeo 8C racing car, to the sleek Tatra 87, the brutal Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, the 365 Daytona from LeMans, the GT40, various racing Maseratis, and the aforementioned Lancia prototype or open-top Bentley, Alfa Romeo 33 and other beautiful pieces. Take a look at the gallery to soak up the atmosphere.

We’ll definitely be back next year and we’ll have it a bit more figured out. But in one sentence, it was wonderful! Enjoy the gallery and video and let us know how you like our work.

Official page of the ICE can be found here.