“This article is brought to you by La Costa Properties Monaco. Compensation was provided for this guest post.” – Monaco, with its luxurious apartments and high society lifestyle has always been a haven for car lovers. Whether it’s the sleek supercars outside the Casino or the F1 cars navigating tight bends at 160 mph; cars hold an important place in Monegasque culture. So when did Monaco’s love-affair with the motor car start and where should car enthusiasts go to view the Principalities impressive car collection? As with so much of Monaco’s rich history and culture, it all starts with the Royal Family.
The Monegasque royal family has long held affection for the motor car. Prince Pierre initiated the Grand Prix in 1929, even competing in the event, whilst the late Prince Rainier was passionate about cars and collected some 100 models before his death in 2005. Visitors can view this private car collection at the museum on Terrasses de Fontvieille. The collection spans the breadth of motoring history from horse-drawn carriages through to vintage Rolls Royce models and Mansell’s historic Grand Prix Ferrari. In 2013, Prince Albert auctioned-off some 30 cars to make room for some modern additions to the collection.
The Monaco grand prix is an established fixture in the F1 calendar with a route that passes by some of the most prestigious Monaco apartments. Preceding the main event this year, fifty years of motor racing will be celebrated at the ‘Grand Prix de Monaco Historique’ when a selection of classic cars will take to the circuit from May 9th-14th. Racing categories will include Pre-war “Voiturettes”, 50s sports cars and Grand-Prix cars from various decades. The Formula one Grand Prix follows 2 weeks later from 22nd – 25th May 2014.
Monaco also boasts its very own car show; Top Marques Monaco which takes place in spring each year. 2014 sees the 11th edition of the show running from 17th-20th April 2014. Supercar manufactures including Porsche, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin will be in attendance whilst no less than 4 supercar launches have already been confirmed for the event. For the first time in the show’s history there will also be Classic Car category. Other exhibits include a large selection of boats including a 2-seater submarine and a display of vintage watches.
Those visiting Monaco will quickly become accustomed to seeing supercars. Outside the museums and car shows, Monaco’s streets are literally teaming with beautiful cars. The distinctive hum of powerful engines can often be heard winding their way through the Principality. The Casino is the ideal place to see supercars with vehicles normally grouped by manufacturer with Bugattis, Lamborginis, Ferraris and Aston Martins taking centre stage.
Last but by no means least, each January, the Monaco rally takes participants on a course from Monte-Carlo over the breadth of the French Riviera and Southeast France. This race also has royal roots and was inaugurated in 1911 by Prince Albert I. In the original format competitors would set off from all four corners of Europe, covering demanding routes to meet or ‘rally’ in Monaco.
So whether you’re a true car aficionado or just enjoy admiring from afar; it seems that there are few better places to visit in the world than Monaco.