1926 Renault KZ Torpédo - Lot 31, Est. €14,000-18,000
2005 Hermès "Birkin" bag, 35 cm, silver palladium hardware - €30,000-35 000
The latest news to shock the residents of Monaco was the sudden announcement that Prince Albert is to sell 38 cars from his father’s unique collection of 120 classic cars, all in perfect condition in only a few weeks’ time, on 26 July.
Monaco Life magazine reported that Prince Albert is putting up the cars for sale, because the site of the Prince’s motor museum is due for redevelopment.
It is a great pity that a collection of such rare old cars, collected by Prince Rainier III during his lifetime, should be broken up just to make way for the enlargement of a shopping centre (or the unpopular relocation of the Sporting d’Hiver cinema). These cars are as important a part of Monaco’s history as are the dresses and memorabilia of Princess Grace, which have toured the world.
Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace used to open the Grand Prix in one of his classic cars, in a tradition started by Prince Louis II, who opened the first Grand Prix by driving around the 3.180 km circuit in his favourite Voisin. British driver Williams won that first Grand Prix in his Bugatti 35B. Cars are part of the soul of Monaco, part of the family treasure. The many British participants in the bi-annual Historic Grand Prix, including British legend Stirling Moss, will no doubt join collectors from around the world at the sale of a piece of Monaco’s history.
Interesting to note, some of classic Hermes bag for sale by Artcurial at Hermitage Hotel in Monaco the previous day, 25 July, have higher estimates than many of the splendid old classic cars.
By: Molly Brown
Her column “Monaco Murmurs” appears in Riviera Reporter magazine
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