Monaco Classic Grand Prix – another ticked off the bucket list.
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 1997and 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 travelled 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.
Starting our trip at Liverpool Airport.
All checked in at the airport it was time to chill before boarding the plane.
Checked in and time for a coffee and a couple of magazines.
We boarded the plane and set off towards Nice, France. As we where flying the pilot informed us that we where travelling at 540mph (unfortunately he didn’t know what that was in bhp and torque 😉 ) 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.
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.
Bonhams Classic car 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 and the highest bidder was sat two rows in front of me. It was more stressful than waiting for your eBay item you have bid on to finish. He received a massive round of applause when the hammer eventually went down.
This 1953 Jaguar XK120c C-Type made 6.3 million euros in the auction.
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.
Pizza and beer
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.
Tickets purchased for the classic grand prix
Whilst the Classic Grand Prix is on a lot of the road around the circuit are closed off but 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 harbour 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.
Driven by Stirling Moss
Sat in our seats we watched several different races and soaked 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.
The setting is amazing.
That evening we attended the RM Sotherby’s auction which had many, many super cars entered, along with a Ferrari speed boat.
After the auction had finished we had a leisurely walk back to the train station and managed to spot many fancy supercars being driven around. We also spotted Chris Evans (of Topgear fame!) a couple of times.
These three parked together having a mini meet
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 and 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!
Fantastic seats in the grandstand.
I had an amazing weekend and would recommend the event to any petrol head. Time to start saving up for the next one in 2018 🙂