Where better to go and see the classic car auctions in action than the Monaco, especially when it’s the Classic Grand Prix. The event was sadly cancelled this year thanks to the Corona Virus, so let’s wind the clock back to 2016…
When the opportunity arose for me to be able to attend the Monaco Classic Grand Prix, I grabbed it with both hands. As you will already know I have a love of old classic cars so a trip over to Monaco ticked all the boxes 🙂
Officially called The Historic Grand Prix of Monaco, it began in 1997 and is organised two weeks before the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco. It takes place on the same circuit as the Formula 1 Grand Prix and with the classic cars being raced it feels like you have traveled back in time. It is organised every two years by the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM) and is proving to become a very popular event.
The easiest way to get to Monaco is to catch a plane so we headed over to Liverpool. It would have been a real road trip to drive down but this was just a fleeting visit.
All checked in at the airport it was time to chill before boarding the plane.
We boarded the plane and set off towards Nice, France. As we where flying the pilot informed us that we where travelling at 540mph. It was a brilliant day for flying and I had a window seat so could see the coastline as we left the UK and entered France.
When we arrived in Nice we headed straight to the hotel to dump our bags before catching the train into Monaco. Accommodation in Monaco has a premium price especially when big events are held and with the train journey only being 30 mins it made sense to stop just outside Nice. The coast line was amazing with the sea being so blue.
Bonham’s Classic Car Auction
Heading out of the train station we could faintly hear the sounds of roaring engines so of course we headed towards the noise. Out onto the grandstand we managed to catch a glimpse of the classic cars flying round the track. After watching the racing for a while we made our way down to the Fairmont Hotel for the Bonham’s Auction.
Sat with my hands firmly under my bottom the auction began and the bidders started bidding. One of the lots, a 1953 Jaguar XK120c C-Type Racer, sold for 6.3 million euros. The highest bidder was sat two rows in front of me. The bidding was intense and a great spectacle for the audience. The winning bidder received a massive round of applause when the hammer eventually went down.
After a long day of planes, trains and automobiles and very exciting auctions we made our way back to the train station but managed to stop for a quick bite to eat.
The next morning we were up bright and early ready to catch the train back into Monaco. When we got of the train we headed to the ticket booth to buy our grandstand tickets for the days racing.
Whilst the Classic Grand Prix is on a lot of the road around the circuit are closed off. This just meant we had a better opportunity to see more of the beautiful Monaco. The grandstand we had chosen to sit in was in the actually harbor looking towards Monaco. This meant that we had to unfortunately walk down to the fancy boats and get to see how the other half live 😉
We also managed to sneak into the pit area and have a walk around the cars that were racing. The smell and sounds that we experienced gave you goose bumps. With cars from all over the world there was a lot to take in.
Sat in our seats we watched several different races, soaking up the atmosphere of our surroundings. Sadly the clouds from over the mountains slowly floated down to the circuit and spots of rain began to appear. This started to make the track greasy but the races carried on.
Classic Car Auction
That evening we attended the RM Sotherby’s classic car auction. This classic car auction had many, many super cars entered, along with a Ferrari speed boat.
After the classic car auction had finished we had a leisurely walk back to the train station. We managed to spot many fancy super cars being driven around. We also spotted Chris Evans (of Topgear fame!) a couple of times.
On the Sunday we caught the train back down to Monaco for our last day of racing on the circuit before we headed home. This time we sat in another grandstand which had amazing seats. We could see the cars flying past in front us but could also feel the vibrations of them driving behind the grandstand. In one of the races all three top positions where taken by three British drivers. They played the national anthem to which all the British spectators stood up and waved to the drivers as they drove past.
What an amazing atmosphere!