Bonhams 26 May 2003 Preview - "Les Grandes Marques à Monaco"

Held during Grand Prix week at Monaco, Bonhams Europe’s annual auction traditionally garners an extraordinary selection of cars to match the glittering surroundings. This year is no exception. Held within Prince Rainier’s ‘Exposition de la Collection de Voitures Anciennes’, the sale includes a ‘matching pair’ of 1990s, silver, Stuttgart super cars the 1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and 1998 Porsche GT1.

Over 60 cars are entered and virtually all of them could feature large in the life of the typical yacht-owning Grand Prix-goer over the decades. Convertible GT car? Well, from the 1960s there is a concours, ex-Ferdinand Piech, 1961 Maserati 3500GT Spider (€120,000 – 150,000) and a 1961 Maserati 5000GT Cabriolet (€150,000 – 180,000). The 1970s offers a 1971 Lamborghini P400S “Jota” Spider, and going back to the Caracciola era, two magnificent pre-war Mercedes-Benz, a 1932 370S Sports Roadster (€400,000 – 500,00) and a 1934 500K Supercharged Cabriolet by Graber (€580,000 – 650,000).

The 1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR (€850,000 – 1,100,000) is one of a run of only 25 made especially for the racing regulations of the time, as was the 1998 Porsche GT1 (€500,000 – 600,000) and together these silver, 200mph, road-racers represent the German alternative to McLaren’s awesome F1 roadcar – there can be few people who have all three in their collections; this is the chance for the British car’s owners to ‘do the treble’.

As usual Ferrari is well represented, with models from a 1958 250 GT Coupe (€60,000 – 70,000) through a selection of 275 GTBs, including an alloy body 1966 car on Borrani wires (€190,000 – 220,000), to Carlo Facetti’s 1975 Grp IV 308GTB Competizione (€100,000 – 120,000) and a 2001 550 Barchetta Fiorano, with delivery mileage only (€180,000 – 200,000).

Apart from the GT1 other Porsches include two rare 356 Carreras. The 1961 356B Carrera GT features a 2-litre 904 spec motor, aluminium bodywork and plexiglass windows (€180,000 – 220,000), while the 1964 356C Carrera 2000GS was restored at the Porsche factory in 1997/8 and is presented in a totally mint condition (€120,000 – 160,000). A rare 1963 Elva-Porsche sports-race car, with FIA papers (€140,000 – 160,000), is also included in the sale.

The list goes on, but final word to a charming collection of Fiat beach cars of the late Fifties which are the perfect accompaniment to the Riva gently rocking in the harbour. With wicker seats, these little runabouts were designed to ferry the rich and famous from beach, to hotel, to party and include two based on the ‘Multipla’ chassis, and a lobster red 1959 Jolly on the 600 platform, (€18,000 - 22,000).

Make mine a Campari Soda.

For a full listing, see the Provisional Auction Entries

To see all the cars on the Classic Driver car database please CLICK HERE

Text - by Steve Wakefield