What image do the words Monte Carlo conjure up in your mind? Some might say the casino, while for others it’s the image of Grace Kelly, the Hollywood starlet who became a real-world princess. But for car lovers, it’s more likely the image of Formula One legends piloting their 1,000 bhp projectiles through the impossibly narrow streets and around that famous Loews hairpin.
The Monaco Grand Prix is a one-off, a unique event in the motor racing calendar. It is also something that brings the principality of Monaco, and the Monte Carlo area in particular, to a grinding halt every May. But it’s only a small part of Monte’s close affiliation with the best, fastest and most exotic motor vehicles on the planet.
The daily spectacle of Casino Square
When the barriers are taken down and the F1 roadshow has gone on its way for another year, the roads around Casino Square are once more open to regular traffic. But in Monte Carlo, “regular traffic” is a little different to what you would expect in any other city. Just as the Casino de Monte Carlo is the most extreme version of the UK min deposit casinos you might play online at home, so the vehicles that arrive and depart outside are equally different from those parked in UK suburbia.
A car lover could happily spend an entire day sipping coffee, or perhaps something a little stronger, in one of the Casino Square cafes as the supercars pull up outside the world’s most famous casino doors. Ferraris and Lamborghinis are commonplace, Bugattis are a regular sight and if you hang around long enough, this is probably the best place in the world for catching a glimpse of a Pagani Zonda or a Koenigsegg One:1.
Prince Rainer’s collection
It’s safe to say that Prince Rainer was what we call a “man’s man.” He married the most famous actress in Hollywood and assembled a collection of more than 100 cars. It would be easy to hate someone like that, but by all accounts, he was also a thoroughly nice guy.
Today, what started out as a personal collection is one of the most breathtaking automotive museums on the planet. Prince Rainer’s tastes were eclectic, so as well as the F1 cars and exotica from such names as Hispano Suiza and De Dion, there are more humble vehicles that captured his attention from a century of motoring.
Getting behind the wheel
All that looking is one thing, but wouldn’t it be great to get behind the wheel of some of this exotica? In Monaco, that can become a reality. In a nation that has the world’s most millionaires per capita, car hire can take on a whole new meaning, and there are firms that specialize in hiring out sports cars, supercars and classic by the day or week. There’s no better place to live out your motoring fantasies, but make sure you keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead as you navigate the busy streets and the twisty coastal routes.