The 2016 Monaco Historique weekend lived up to expectations with some stunning cars racing wheel to wheel on the legendary street circuit. Off the track the champagne flowed and cars were bought and sold at the various auctions around Monte-Carlo.
Borro headed down to experience the hype first hand, we travelled down with Classic Grand Touring choosing to fly direct to Nice then drive back over a few days after the weekend.
There are a couple of mandatory things you should do while in town. Firstly, go and have a drink at Café de Paris in Casino Square and sit and watch the cars and people, it’s fascinating. Be warned though, it’s not cheap!
Secondly, you should walk the track, direction isn’t important, but appreciating the tight corners, zero room for error, the iconic tunnel and the steep climb from the first corner is well worth it and a great work out.
Sitting at the foot of the Alps, Monaco is very hilly so make sure you have some comfy buy stylish shoes packed in your luggage.
Saturday morning saw the champagne brunch at Espace Fontvieille, for the COYS auction, a great opportunity to network and get up close to some of the cars. Notable entries included a stunning Porsche 924 Carrera GTR with just 109 kilometres and an ex works Lancia Delta Evoluzione HF that was an official test car. At the time of writing COYS are still due to publish the official result from the auction.
With a long lunch in the port of Fontvielle it was time to hop on a boat – the best way to travel quickly during a race weekend – over to the RM Auction preview at Le Sporting. RM Sotheby’s had transformed an underground car park into a fantastic display of fine automobiles.
On the night six lots achieved prices in excess of €1,000,000. The top sale of the night was the 1951 Ferrari 340 America Touring Barchetta, chassis no. 0116/A, known as one of the first ‘big engine’ competition Ferraris. Boasting an exceptional competition pedigree, it was raced in the 1951 and 1952 Le Mans 24 Hours and entered in nine Mille Miglia road rallies from 1984 to 2006. The hammer dropped at an impressive €7.280.000.
The second highest price on the night was for the incredible 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution, chassis no. GT1 993-117, the only known road-registered example, and one of just 14 GT1 race cars in private hands. The GT1 passed onto its third owner for a record-breaking €2.772.000. Rounding out the top three sales was a beautiful and incredibly original 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS, chassis no. 07805, a very desirable car which realised €1.792.000.
It’s easy to forget that there is racing going on and the Sunday was a chance to enjoy everything from pre-war Bugattis to 1970 formula one cars tacking the circuit at speed. Thomas at Classic Grand Touring had laid on a lunch in a fine restaurant next to the track at Tabac corner.
Monaco once again delivered a fantastic weekend but our trip was not over yet. On the Monday we drove up to the Rhone region for an overnight in a lovely hotel overlooking the river. The route was planned so that we could enjoy the fantastic Route Napoleon up to Grasse, one of the finest driving roads in the world.
Tuesday was our final day with a pleasant drive up to Chablis for a wine tasting and a five star finale meal at Hostellerie Des Clos in Chablis.
Another great trip to see some of the finest automobiles auctioned mixed with great people, great roads and fantastic food, does life get much better than this?
About the Author
Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, petrol is very much in his veins.