Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Andrea Piva/RM Auctions

Take a stroll around the Casino de Monte-Carlo on any given day and you'll see all manner of exclusive cars. Here, the average BMW or Mercedes is looked upon as if it were a horse cart. Even a modern Ferrari that has not been upgraded or personalized in some extravagant fashion will fail to draw a second glance.

Of course, this tiny principality also plays host to the Monaco Grand Prix, a race that has been held every year since 1950. This annual display of horsepower has served to cement a reputation for the tax haven as a magnet for car aficionados. Another event, a collector car sale put on by RM Auctions every second year, has added to this reputation.

Gallery: Click for more amazing cars in Monaco this weekend

Story continues below advertisement

Hosted to coincide with the biannual Grand Prix de Monaco Historique – a race that sees classics from bygone eras take to the track again – this auction is slated for its third running on May 10. In years past, the auction staged by the Chatham, Ont.-based company has produced strong sales; top results have gone to a 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage" (which netted €2.46-million, or $3.74-million, in 2010) and a 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider (€5-million in 2012).

This year, many euros will change hands once again. But a pair of more moderately appraised offerings has pushed the pricier vehicles out of the limelight. The first is a boat formerly owned by Monaco's royal couple, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. The second is a car raced by James Hunt, the F1 world champion immortalized in Rush, a film that depicted his intense rivalry with Niki Lauda.

"This is just the third year for our Monaco auction," says Peter Wallman, of RM Auctions' British office. "But we consider Monaco, Villa d'Este [Italy] and Pebble Beach [California] to be the three highlights of the global calendar."

Wallman describes the car auction circuit as more than just a marketplace for collectors to buy and sell automotive wares. Rather, it's an integral part of the social life for motoring enthusiasts – a rotating and glamorous backdrop where they can reconnect with friends and colleagues over flutes of Dom Perignon.

In this respect,the Monaco auction is sure to appeal to the cognoscenti of the collector car set. Among the cars up for auction are three expected to sell for at least €4-million each: a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C by Scaglietti and a 1956 Maserati 450S raced by Sir Stirling Moss in that year's Mille Miglia endurance race.

This boat, once owned by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, is up for auction in Monaco RM Auctions Andrea Piva RM Auctions

However, all eyes will be upon the 1974 Hesketh 308 raced by Hunt during the team's maiden F1 season and the 1958 Riva Tritone owned by the Monégasque royal family during their most romantic period. "In this case, we've got the ultimate Riva, the Tritone, the purest and most glamorous of the line," says Wallman. "And it's the boat owned by Prince Rainier when he was with Princess Grace. For someone who wants to cruise the Côte d'Azur, there is nothing better."

Story continues below advertisement

The stunning vessel, adorned with the red and white stripes of the principality, has undergone a restoration and appears as new as the day the royal couple took delivery. Powered by two Chris-Craft 5.5-litre, six-cylinder engines, the Tritone also features a push-button automatic transmission, which was all the rage in the automotive industry in the mid-1950s. Offered without reserve, the Riva Tritone is expected to garner bids of €350,000 to €500,000.

RM Auctions Tom Wood RM Auctions

The 1974 Hesketh 308 is a different kind of animal, one more suited to all-out aggression rather than laid-back cruising. The first car designed and built by the team in-house, the 308 made its F1 debut in the hands of the hard-charging Hunt at the third round in Kyalami, South Africa. The car's provenance is boosted by the fact that only three examples of the Hesketh 308 series were built. However, its legacy is marred somewhat because the team failed to win a world championship race and then abandoned the series at the end of 1975.

RM Auctions Tom Wood RM Auctions

Still, with the re-emergence of Hunt in the collective consciousness, interest in the 308 should be strong. A photo of the playboy racer graces the cover of the RM Auctions catalogue and the car was on display at the Royal Automobile Club in London before being transported to Monaco.

"The Monaco auction is a great event for glamour cars from the 1950s, 60s and early-70s," says Wallman. "They really represent the dolce vita in Italy and the south of France. And between James Hunt and Princess Grace, we can't possibly get any more glamorous."

Story continues below advertisement

Gallery: Click for more amazing cars in Monaco this weekend

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

Follow us on Twitter @Globe_Drive.

Add us to your circles.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies