Monaco

Monaco’s Late Prince Rainer Loved Cars. Now His World-Class Collection Has Moved to Its Own Museum.

Monaco’s Late Prince Rainer Loved Cars. Now His World-Class Collection Has Moved to Its Own Museum.

Think of revved engines and race cars, jetsetters and checkered flags and one place comes to mind: Monaco. It’s almost 100 years since the first Grand Prix took place there, one that’s now part of the petrolhead Triple Crown. Fast cars are a permanent fixture there, though: Garages in Monaco resemble more a Ferrari and Porsche showroom than a parking lot.

Wealth has helped Monaco stay at the forefront of high-end automobile excellence, of course, but it’s more than that. The late ruler, Prince Rainier III, was only six when that first Grand Prix took place, but cars became a lifetime obsession. He bought so many, in fact, that his private collection outgrew the garage at the palace—and so he opted to open them up to the public in 1993.

The assortment used to be housed in a soulless, cavernous space close to that palace complex in the Fontvieille district, about as inconvenient a site as possible in a 499-acre country (that’s smaller than Central Park). Thankfully, though, Rainier’s son, the present ruler Prince Albert, has just reopened his family’s collection in a brand-new site, right at the principality’s heart.

The façade of La Collection, where Prince Rainier III’s vast car collection is on display. 

Mark Ellwood

That new, custom-built home by architect Fabrice Notari took 10 years from start to finish. It’s a futuristic, almost 38,000-square-foot underground bunker that sits right on the Port Hercules. The new location is a nod to Monaco’s connections with F1, as it’s right by the double chicane dubbed the Piscine during the race. It’s also handily on the harbor where many superyachts berth—step off your yacht and you can now visit the collection within minutes. 
In the old space, the cars were lined up, almost dutifully, more like a kid might when playing with a few miniatures. Now, the royal family’s haul has been reinstalled in a smarter, pithier way, with 75 cars (both borrowed and crown-owned) ranging over two floors with a distinct sense of direction and curation.

A 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera. 

Mark Ellwood

There are teasers at the entrance, like the swaggering but featherlight 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera, one of the first to integrate racing performance into a road car. The visit truly starts, though, as you’re guided downstairs to the lower mezzanine. The display here focuses on the collection that Rainier himself assembled; there’s a regular vroom-vroom piped through the speakers to amp up the atmosphere.

The cars are clustered in various groupings: Take the museum’s own Concours d’Elegance, where they line up for inspection, show pony-style with a 1920s-era Rolls-Royce like a 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine Barker, sturdy and elegant, or the eight-cylinder Delage Berlin from 1934. Look, too, for the case of glass vials, a rainbow of colors. “This is what they used to put real flowers in to scent the car,” Valerie Closier, the museum director and the daughter of an amateur rally driver, told Robb Report on a recent tour, “Now, we just have the pine trees.”

The Isetta “Bubble Car’” 

Mark Ellwood

Another section here is dubbed “The Beautiful Italians”—though it’s confusingly ranged against screens showing black and white movies featuring Elvis among others, while speakers blare 1950s pop. Most of these cars are gleaming, and lipstick-red, with the racy insouciance that’s so typical of Italian design. Take the Isetta—best known as the bubble car (pictured above)—that’s jauntily installed by the staircase, its front invitingly wide open; sadly, there’s no way to reach its butter-leather taupe seats. Tucked in one corner nearby is a 1950s race car legend: One of only seven Renault 1603s adapted for racing, it’s the sole one to have championed at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, in 1951.

The Renault 1603, which raced in Le Mans. 

Mark Ellwood

Prince Albert, the principality’s current ruler, offloaded almost 40 of his father’s favorites at auction a decade ago, from a 1956 Bentley S1 to a Berliet C2 from 1907. But his sale wasn’t a sign of waning interest; the current ruler is as much of a petrolhead as Grimaldi père. The upper level of the museum is dedicated to the race cars that Albert favors, among them Nigel Mansell’s Ferrari, which won him two F1 races. If you’re wondering what the latest addition is, just follow the selfie trail: There will usually be someone squatting down in front of the Ferrari driven by Charles Leclerc, which he loaned to the museum. And no wonder he picked this collection above all others—the 24-year old isn’t just a champion driver but one of the fewer than 40,000 people in the world who are Monaco born and bred.

54 route de la piscine, Port Hercule 98000 Monaco. Entrance fees €10 for adults, €5 for children.
Check out more photos of the prince’s car collection below:

Mark Ellwood

Mark Ellwood

Mark Ellwood

Mark Ellwood

Michael Alesi

This $142.8 Million Mercedes-Benz Is Now the Most Expensive Car Ever Sold

This $142.8 Million Mercedes-Benz Is Now the Most Expensive Car Ever Sold

On May 19, at the Côte d’Azur’s new Maybourne Riviera hotel above Monte Carlo, Mercedes-Benz capped off its Capital Markets Day summit for investors with a couple of groundbreaking reveals. Formula 1 racers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell helped debut the all-electric Vision AMG concept car in what would normally be a truly grand finale on any other occasion. It was, however, succeeded soon after by the unveiling of a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, which became the most expensive car in history when it crossed the auction block for an astounding $142.8 million on May 5. The two cars are at seemingly opposite ends of the marque’s legacy, but only at first glance.

Further enforcing the automaker’s commitment to electrification, the Vision AMG four-door concept was developed to introduce the all-new AMG.EA electric platform that will drive future performance models from the Affalterbach team. Complementing the nascent power-train configuration are styling cues optimized by the lack of an internal-combustion engine.

Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer, alongside the Vision AMG. 

Mercedes-Benz AG

“It began as a blank sheet of paper; we started that architecture from scratch, and it’s very important architecture because that’s AMG’s electric future,” says Gorden Wagener, Mercedes-Benz’s chief design officer, when asked by Robb Report about the concept’s inception. “For us as designers, proportion is everything,” Wagener says. “The problem with most electric cars is that you have six inches of battery, which makes the car higher and the center of gravity further up. This was a great opportunity for really different proportions.”
The motorsport-inspired Vision AMG is defined by its low-slung profile, long wheelbase and roof that tapers to an elongated, fastback-like rear, similar to that of the marque’s Vison EQXX concept, which recently covered more than 620 miles on a single charge.

“The rear of the EQXX is optimized for efficiency, while the rear here [on the Vision AMG] is optimized for both efficiency and performance,” says Wagener, who adds that he was inspired by the Le Mans race cars from the 1970s. He goes on to say: “As it’s an electric car, we put the hood super low, and that means we can do exposed fenders. I’ve always loved those, but with a combustion engine it was always difficult to do that because the hood is already high; to expose the fenders you would have to make it even higher. These are going to now be a signature for not only AMG but future electric Mercedes models in general.”

The motorsport-inspired Vision AMG is defined by its low-slung profile, long wheelbase and roof that tapers to an elongated, fastback-like rear. 

Mercedes-Benz AG

Other new aesthetic standouts include six faux tailpipes that glow, and the latest reimagining of the automaker’s hallmark Panamericana grille, a design element introduced in 1952 on the automotive entrants in that year’s eponymous endurance competition in Mexico. This iteration, however, features luminous vertical bars set against a solid fascia.
“In the digital age, we’ve brought that [Panamericana Grille] to a car that doesn’t need a radiator anymore,” say Wagener. “We’ve kept it flush, integrated in body color and almost just as a light signature.” Part of that new signature incorporates minimalist headlamps shaped in the form of the three-pointed-star logo. According to Wagener, “the whole front end makes it look more like a tech device than a supercar.”

The new concept car features the latest reimagining of the automaker’s hallmark Panamericana grille. 

Mercedes-Benz AG

Yet a supercar it is. For this particular concept, the AMG.EA platform is touted to comprise a bleeding-edge high-voltage battery setup paired with an equally advanced axial flux motor from Yasa, the EV-motor specialist under the Mercedes-Benz Group’s corporate umbrella. As far as output, Wagener will only hint that the Vision AMG is to have “insane horsepower.” To emphasize this point, the vehicle sits on the same F1 wheels used by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team, which also inspired the livery.
“I was really excited to see what this was going to be like,” stated racer George Russell at the premiere. “When do we get to drive it?” he asked, looking around the group of attendees, “who do we need to ask?”

Lewis Hamilton (with George Russell behind) ready to join the Vision AMG on stage at the Maybourne Riviera hotel above Monte Carlo. 

Viju Mathew

One would be hard-pressed to believe that a car representing such a pivotal shift for AMG could be upstaged, but indeed it was. Less than an hour after the Vision AMG was made public, Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, officially announced what’s claimed to be not just the world’s most expensive car sold at auction, but the priciest period. On May 5, at an invite-only event presided by RM Sotheby’s from the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart, Germany, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé fetched a record-obliterating $142.8 million.

This 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé sold for $142.8 million at auction on May 5. 

Mercedes-Benz AG.

The car is one of only two prototype racers developed by engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut and his team for the 1955 Carrera Panamericana. That year’s competition, though, was called off, and Mercedes abandoned motorsport entirely, all due to the infamous Le Mans tragedy where Pierre Levegh and his SLR catapulted into the crowd, killing the driver and 83 spectators. Uhlenhaut’s project was subsequently shuttered and this particular example, fit with a 297 hp inline-eight engine mated to a five-speed transmission, came into his own possession. The fact that its top speed was touted to be approximately 186 mph only added to this 300 SLR’s mystique.

Mercedes engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut with his namesake coupé. 

Mercedes-Benz AG

“As the saying goes, never say never,” said Källenius when breaking the news. “We have been approached many times over the years by collectors, museums and other interested parties wanting to buy an Ulenhaut; we’ve always said no. But it has become increasingly clear to us that having our heritage hidden away in the holy halls is, in some ways, a missed opportunity. These incredible cars are works of art and should be more widely celebrated. We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be interesting to see what it’s really worth . . . and what if we did something good with the money, something for society?’”

Only two examples of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé were built. 

Mercedes-Benz AG.

That thought process led to the formation of the Mercedes-Benz Fund, of which the Uhlenhaut Coupé became instrumental in starting. Renata Jungo Brüngger, a member of Mercedes-Benz’s Board of Management for Integrity and Legal Affairs, refers to the sale as “seed money” for what she describes in the official statement as a “global scholarship program supporting young people in their studies, commitment and actions toward a more sustainable future.”

Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz, stands with a new Mercedes-AMG SL. 

Mercedes-Benz AG.

It’s fitting that the location on the French Riviera, not far from where Mercedes first came to life on a racetrack in Nice back in 1901, was the stage for the world’s oldest automaker to spotlight these two disparate machines. Although separated by nearly seven decades, each now fulfills the same purpose of illuminating the three-pointed star’s road ahead.

Here’s What Formula 1 Racer George Russell Thinks About the Monaco Grand Prix

Here’s What Formula 1 Racer George Russell Thinks About the Monaco Grand Prix

While Formula 1’s groundswell of newfound popularity in the United States is growing exponentially, fueled further by the inaugural Miami Grand Prix earlier this month, one overseas race in the series transcends all of motorsport. Since its debut in 1929, the Monaco Grand Prix has come to embody exclusivity and a lavish lifestyle—an event emblazoned on the psyche and calendars of both the jet-set and ardent gearheads alike.

Of late, one Formula 1 team in particular has seen its own renown rise in tandem with that of the event itself. Mercedes-AMG Petronas has taken every World Constructors’ Championship title since 2014, along with its driver Lewis Hamilton garnering a record-tying seven Drivers’ championships, six of which have been with Mercedes.

For the next running of the fabled race, which takes place on May 29, the official hospitality partner of the team, Marriott Bonvoy, is offering its rewards members a rare opportunity to enjoy the race from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas yacht and stay four nights at the JW Marriott Cannes, all part of its Monaco Grand Prix VIP package.

To help get the word out, the newest member of the Mercedes team, racer George Russell, recently spoke with Robb Report. The 24-year-old phenom, who came over from the Williams team this season, is no stranger to Mercedes, having been a junior driver under its banner a few years back. Recently finishing third in Australia and currently ranked fourth overall, Russell shares what it has been like switching sides, adjusting to the new mandated car modifications, and why the Monaco Grand Prix is so monumental.

Formula 1 racer George Russell of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team. 

Jiri Krenek, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy.

How has the transition been from the Williams team to Mercedes-AMG Petronas, and what has been the greatest challenge, if any?
The transition between the two teams has actually been pretty smooth. I think that’s because I’ve been part of the Mercedes family for quite some time now and already knew everybody so well, but for sure, it’s been fantastic to see how this team operates. For me, it’s easy to understand straightaway why it’s been so successful for so long.

New teammates Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. 

Marriott Bonvoy

In your opinion, how does the Monaco Grand Prix stand out from other races in the season, and what makes it so special?
The Monaco Grand Prix is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world, if not the most iconic. It’s just such a surreal location. At the top of the hill, before turn No. 2, you look down and see the cliffs, the harbor and all of these superyachts everywhere, right on the sidelines of the racetrack. And to think you have 20 Formula 1 cars driving around at 200 mph in the midst of all of the houses. As a driver, when you race around the circuit and see the people standing from their balconies up 20 to 30 stories, it’s just such a unique experience. It feels like something from a movie. [As a fan], it’s something you need to say you’ve done, to have experienced Monaco during the Grand Prix weekend—it’s truly something else.

Do you approach the race differently than you do others in the season?
You have to approach Monaco with a bit more respect, especially during practice, compared to another circuit. It’s so thrilling because we’re driving 200 mph between areas that are just 10 meters wide. You’re having to be millimeter-perfect lap after lap, so your concentration level is on the limit. If you’re a millimeter out, you end up in the wall, and that is the end of your session; huge amounts of damage and it really puts you on the back foot for the rest of the weekend. But by the time you get to qualifying, you’re absolutely flat out and have one vision, the walls are almost a blur. It’s just so exhilarating. It’s definitely among my top three favorite races.

Russell competing at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix for Williams Racing. 

Hoch Zwei/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

And the other two would be?
One of my favorites is Silverstone, my home race. The fans are incredible. It’s an amazing circuit and I have a lot of positive memories there from when I was younger. The other one would probably be Austin, it’s a really vibrant city and, again, the fans are just awesome.
What are some of the pros and cons of all the modifications to the cars this season?
With all the changes to the car this year, it’s been very challenging for a number of teams. We’re struggling with the bouncing of the car, which is a new phenomenon that we’ve never experienced before. There’s so much force sucking the cars to the ground, then you hit the ground and the car reacts, and then you come down again.
That’s been a real challenge because we’re having to run the cars much higher to not get into this scenario, and then we just lose performance. The team members are working their socks off day and night to try and resolve this issue and find a solution. So from a driver’s perspective, that’s been very different because you don’t feel very settled within the car when you’re bouncing around so much; you feel it in the back and through your neck and head.

A look at Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes-AMG Petronas race car, newly modified to meet regulation requirements for the 2022 season. 

Marriott Bonvoy

Overall, how do these machines differ from their predecessors?

Generally, these cars are much slower than those of previous eras, and there are a number of reasons for that. One is that there’s been an increase in weight because of safety, and the cars are much stronger this year, which makes us feel more secure. But, obviously, from a driver’s perspective, you want the lightest and fastest car possible. Then, with this ground effect underneath the floor, you have more performance when the car is going faster, compared to last year, but when the car is going slower, there’s not quite as much downforce as before. In time, when teams start developing the cars [with new stipulated changes] more and more, we will get back to the lap times we saw in previous eras. But it’s a step behind where it was last year.
How does the partnership between Marriot Bonvoy and Mercedes-AMG Petronas benefit you personally?
Getting to stay in a luxurious hotel is a huge part of it for us. We travel around the world, and there’s so much preparation that goes into the race weekend, along with the millions spent. As a performance group, we put so much effort and energy into getting every single last detail optimized on the race car that to be going into a hotel and not having a good night’s sleep just seems ridiculous. With the Marriott Bonvoy group and the Ritz-Carlton, we’re looked after brilliantly, and it really does bring performance. If you have a bad night’s sleep, you’re not going to be at the top of your game.

Aboard the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team’s yacht in Monaco. 

Jiri Krenek, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy

What is your favorite travel destination?
I love the United States, it’s a place I haven’t explored enough of. I’ve been to California, to Los Angeles, and love the climate and the people. Apart from the States, I’d say Northern Italy, around the lakes.
What are your thoughts on the Marriott Bonvoy Monaco Grand Prix VIP Package being offered?
You’d be silly not to sign up. You have to get it off your bucket list, and this is such an incredible opportunity.

The yacht’s main salon offers another viewing option for the race. 

Marriott Bonvoy

What message do you have for any kid who wants to become a Formula 1 racer?

Work hard, don’t give up and believe in yourself. It’s as simple as that. Practice, practice, practice, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—you learn from your mistakes. But first and foremost, just work hard.

Steve McQueen Gave This 1970 Jaguar E-Type to a Chef on the Set of ‘Le Mans.’ Now It’s up for Grabs.

Steve McQueen Gave This 1970 Jaguar E-Type to a Chef on the Set of ‘Le Mans.’ Now It’s up for Grabs.

Classic car enthusiasts will soon be able to own a vehicle fit for the screen—or at least the backlot. A 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series II roadster that appeared on the set of the classic Steve McQueen film Le Mans is going up for auction.

The 4.2-liter Jaguar is estimated to fetch between $308,000 and $431,000. It’s being offered in its completely original condition at Bonhams Monaco Sale, which apropos enough, is occurring during the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. The Swiss-registered vehicle was built to US specifications and has retained its neutral silver-and-black color scheme.

A peek inside the roadster 

Bonhams

The current owner is Fredy Zurbrügg, and it’s his story that really makes the car stand out. In the early ’70s, Zurbrügg was working as a chef on movie sets when he was asked by a production manager to join the on-location crew of Le Mans. In the 2017 book Our Le Mans, about the film, he noted that his encounters with McQueen were friendly, and he even invented a special meal for the actor, called the “Steve steak.”
At one point, McQueen offered a gift to Zurbrügg, allowing him to choose among a few different cars. The chef couldn’t drive at the time, but that didn’t stop him from accepting the actor’s gracious offer.
“I decided on the silver Jaguar, a convertible E-Type Series II with only 600 miles on the speedo,” he recalled. “It was a US version because it was supposed to be shipped back to America.”

The 1970 Jaguar on the set of Le Mans 

Bonhams

Zurbrügg did eventually get his driver’s license, adding a few thousand miles to the Jag. But its odometer still sits at fewer than 46,000 miles, a relatively low number considering the car is more than 50 years old.
“For many years I had no idea that I owned something so valuable,” Zurbrügg said in a statement.
Nobody else has owned the car in the intervening years, so its new owner will have a pretty direct link to Hollywood history.

Car of the Week: This 1982 Porsche 911SC Raced in the Dakar Classic, and Is Ready to Return

Car of the Week: This 1982 Porsche 911SC Raced in the Dakar Classic, and Is Ready to Return

On May 13, Bonhams comes to Monaco with its Les Grandes Marques à Monaco auction at the Fairmont, Monte Carlo. The lots crossing the block will include a number of rare Bugattis, Ferraris and Porsches, among those a 959, 993 GT2 and 2016 911 R. But the most eye-catching Porsche is a 1982 911SC rally car wearing full Rothmans livery in tribute to Porsche’s winning entries in both the 1984 and ’86 editions of the renowned Paris-Dakar Rally.

Porsche and off-road competition go back to the 6,200-mile Paris-Dakar race of 1984, when the German marque entered three 953s (a highly modified 911 4×4), winning that race with René Metge behind the wheel. In the same competition, Jacky Ickx, who had won the 1983 Dakar for Mercedes-Benz, finished sixth in another 953. By 1986, the 953 was replaced by the 959, and Metge won the race once again.

The 1982 Porsche 911SC that competed in this year’s Dakar Classic will be offered through Bonhams. 

Jose Mario Dias

The radical all-wheel-drive Porsches were equipped to conquer one of the most grueling courses in the history of motorsport. Traversing the European continent and onto the African continent, the cars and their drivers endured the harshest of conditions as they sped for the finish line in Dakar, Senegal. In 2008, the race moved to South America and stayed there until 2019. Since then, the contest, renamed “the Dakar Rally,” has been held in Saudi Arabia. Drawing its inspiration from the original, and happening on the same route as the modern Dakar, the Dakar Classic is a two-week event for vintage cars that challenges drivers, navigators and machines alike.

The stripped-down, race-worn interior. 

Dennis Noten

No stranger to the rally scene, the Porsche 911SC on offer was prepared by Henrard Racing in Brussels, Belgium, taking first overall at the 2013 Dakar Classic. Mechanical enhancements include seriously upgraded suspension, underbody skid plates, a 260 hp 3.0-liter engine built by Claudio SG Racing, AP Racing disc brakes and other structural, mechanical and electrical improvements.

The 3.0-liter, 260 hp engine built by Claudio SG Racing. 

Dennis Noten

The car was later acquired by seasoned off-road racer Amy Lerner to compete in the 2021 Dakar Classic with the event’s only all-female team. The latter finished 15th overall and second in class. The Porsche and its team returned in 2022, ending 35th overall out of 142 teams. During that event, Jacky Ickx autographed the hood at the Dakar bivouac, a fitting tribute for any desert-driving Porsche.

In 2013, this rally racer took first place overall at the Dakar Classic. 

Dennis Noten

On what it was like running her 911SC in the Dakar Classic, Lerner says, “I was completely unprepared for the outpouring of love and joy for the Rothmans tribute livery. The factory team of the mid ’80s was a thing of legend for so many people. It was a joy to drive the Porsche the way it should be driven, and particularly fun as we repeatedly zipped past multiple 4WD SUVs stuck in the sand. As the French would say, ‘C’est le Dakar.’”

In the 2021 Dakar Classic, Amy Lerner and her all-female team fished 15th overall and second in class with the car. 

Vinicius Branca

Lerner’s passion for all-terrain competition is evident in her recently released film One More Win. The documentary, which Lerner co-directed, follows 80-year-old race legend Rod Hall’s 50th consecutive Baja 1000 competition in 2017. At his death in 2019, Hall, from whom Lerner gained her off-road chops, had the most desert-race wins of any driver in history.
This Porsche is offered fresh from its post-event service and is complete with a three-page list of spares and numerous certifications, making it a desirable entrant to events like the Dakar Classic and East African Safari Classic. Impressively, it’s being offered at no reserve, though it’s estimated to fetch as much as $237,000.

Car of the Week: This 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 Starred in Steve McQueen’s Movie ‘Le Mans’

Car of the Week: This 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 Starred in Steve McQueen’s Movie ‘Le Mans’

Reel back the years to the 1970s, and Alfa Romeo was a force with which to be reckoned in motorsport. In its heyday, its Tipo 33 (in all its iterations) was a holy terror, raced indefatigably from 1967 and until 1977. Of course, every card-carrying Alfa enthusiast pledges allegiance to the Stradale 33, the road-going variant of the early race car, of which a mere 18 were made between 1967 and 1969. On the track, things were intense, with Alfa Romeo often prevailing. Importantly, the Alfa Romeo 33TT12 won the World Championship of Makes in 1975, and the later version won the 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars, taking first place in all eight of the championship races.

The Tipo 33 had a fascinating evolution, beginning with a straight-four engine in the exquisite TZ2, and quickly transitioning to a 2.0-liter V-8 developed by Alfa’s racing subsidiary Autodelta. Engines increased in displacement over the years, and the 3.0-liter V-8 in the Tipo 33/3 matched Alfa’s cloverleaf with Porsche’s 908 and Ferrari’s 312P.

The 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 race car being offered through RM Sotheby’s. 

Photo by Tim Scott, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

With its power plant mounted midships, the Tipo 33/3 was clothed in an elegant shape that only an Italian carmaker like Alfa Romeo could envision. By 1967, Italian racing competition like Bizzarrini, Lancia and Maserati were mostly relegated to history, while Lamborghini was MIA in motorsport, and Ferrari was busy pitting its V-12s against Ford’s V-8-powered machines. (Ferrari often lost.) Victory in various quarters, as noted above, was finally assured with Alfa Romeo’s 3.0-liter flat-12 engine, a story for another time.
That was then, and this is now, when the sixth biennial RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction brings together a number of Formula 1 and Le Mans race cars at the Grimaldi Forum on May 14, including a stunning Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3. The Tipo 33/3 is the most beautiful of them all—apart from the Stradale 33. It debuted in 1969 at Sebring, making an impressive 400 hp but placing only seventh in the 1969 International Championship for Makes. Undaunted, Alfa pressed on and, in 1971, achieved numerous class wins. Meanwhile, its race car became a movie star, adding another shade of red to the racing grid for Steve McQueen’s 1971 film Le Mans.

Piloted by Nanni Galli, the car held second place for much of the 1970 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but did not finish. 

Photo by Tim Scott, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

The Alfa Romeo on offer is the car from the movie, but importantly, it also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970. It was built by Autodelta and raced by Nanni Galli (who died in 2019) running a comfortable second place for much of the race, but eventually retiring. Sold to its first private collector in 1973, this Tipo 33/3 has had only four individual owners from new and received a comprehensive rebuild in 2020, with maintenance invoices exceeding $900,000 during its current stewardship. It is estimated to fetch between $1.88 million and $2.32 million.

Car of the Week: This 1969 Alfa Romeo Racer Starred in Steve McQueen’s ‘Le Mans’—and It’s up for Grabs

Car of the Week: This 1969 Alfa Romeo Racer Starred in Steve McQueen’s ‘Le Mans’—and It’s up for Grabs

Reel back the years to the 1970s, and Alfa Romeo was a force with which to be reckoned in motorsport. In its heyday, its Tipo 33 (in all its iterations) was a holy terror, raced indefatigably from 1967 and until 1977. Of course, every card-carrying Alfa enthusiast pledges allegiance to the Stradale 33, the road-going variant of the early race car, of which a mere 18 were made between 1967 and 1969. On the track, things were intense, with Alfa Romeo often prevailing. Importantly, the Alfa Romeo 33TT12 won the World Championship of Makes in 1975, and the later version won the 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars, taking first place in all eight of the championship races.

The Tipo 33 had a fascinating evolution, beginning with a straight-four engine in the exquisite TZ2, and quickly transitioning to a 2.0-liter V-8 developed by Alfa’s racing subsidiary Autodelta. Engines increased in displacement over the years, and the 3.0-liter V-8 in the Tipo 33/3 matched Alfa’s cloverleaf with Porsche’s 908 and Ferrari’s 312P.

The 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 race car being offered through RM Sotheby’s. 

Photo by Tim Scott, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

With its power plant mounted midships, the Tipo 33/3 was clothed in an elegant shape that only an Italian carmaker like Alfa Romeo could envision. By 1967, Italian racing competition like Bizzarrini, Lancia and Maserati were mostly relegated to history, while Lamborghini was MIA in motorsport, and Ferrari was busy pitting its V-12s against Ford’s V-8-powered machines. (Ferrari often lost.) Victory in various quarters, as noted above, was finally assured with Alfa Romeo’s 3.0-liter flat-12 engine, a story for another time.
That was then, and this is now, when the sixth biennial RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction brings together a number of Formula 1 and Le Mans race cars at the Grimaldi Forum on May 14, including a stunning Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3. The Tipo 33/3 is the most beautiful of them all—apart from the Stradale 33. It debuted in 1969 at Sebring, making an impressive 400 hp but placing only seventh in the 1969 International Championship for Makes. Undaunted, Alfa pressed on and, in 1971, achieved numerous class wins. Meanwhile, its race car became a movie star, adding another shade of red to the racing grid for Steve McQueen’s 1971 film Le Mans.

Piloted by Nanni Galli, the car held second place for much of the 1970 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but did not finish. 

Photo by Tim Scott, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.

The Alfa Romeo on offer is the car from the movie, but importantly, it also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970. It was built by Autodelta and raced by Nanni Galli (who died in 2019) running a comfortable second place for much of the race, but eventually retiring. Sold to its first private collector in 1973, this Tipo 33/3 has had only four individual owners from new and received a comprehensive rebuild in 2020, with maintenance invoices exceeding $900,000 during its current stewardship. It is estimated to fetch between $1.88 million and $2.32 million.

This Rare 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Could Be Yours for a Cool $1.1 Million

This Rare 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster Could Be Yours for a Cool $1.1 Million

An automaker has rarely gotten things as right with a car as Mercedes-Benz did with the 300 SL Coupe. That didn’t stop the marque from continuing to tinker with its design. Now a gorgeous example of its convertible successor could be yours.

A silver 1957 300 SL Roadster has just been listed for private sale in Monaco by RM Sotheby’s. It may lack the iconic gullwing doors of its predecessor, but the fully restored speed machine is still mid-century auto design at its best.

Introduced in 1954, the 300 SL Coupe is widely viewed as one of the most beautiful sports cars of all time. Despite this, customer interest in the street-legal version of the W194 race car had waned within a couple of years of its release, and the automaker was eager to give its sleek two-door a boost. The answer? Chop off its roof.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster 

RM Sotheby’s

Mercedes did more than just lop off the 300 SL’s top, of course. The car’s body and space frame had to be tweaked and refined to account for such the modification. Mercedes also used the subtle redesign as an opportunity to answer some of customers’s biggest complaints about the 300 SL, according to the auction house. This included lowering the sills of the vehicle’s new conventional doors, which not only made the car easier to get in and out of but also increased cabin room. The spare tire was also relocated to beneath the trunk floor and the fuel tank was reduced to increase usable cargo space.
This 300 SL Roadster has had just six owners during its six decades of life. It received a thorough restoration as recently as 2017 and is finished in trademark silver with a classic red leather interior and black top. It still features the same M198 inline six engine it left the factory with. This mill is mated to a four-speed manual and can generate up to 240 hp, though we imagine it hasn’t been pushed to the limit much in recent decades. You’ll still be able to have fun in it, though, if 64,000 miles on the odometer are anything to go by. One nice little addition: a period-appropriate matching luggage set that was commissioned to go along with its restoration.

A piece from the 300 SL Roadster’s matching luggage set 

RM Sotheby’s

The 300 SL Roadster isn’t just one of the great cars of the 1950s; it’s also exceedingly rare. Mercedes made just 618 examples of the model in 1957 and only 1,858 before production ceased in 1963. That explains why its current owner is asking just shy of $1.1 million for the car. But if classic cars are your calling, this convertible is hard to beat.

Check out more photos of the 300 SL Roadster below:

RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s

Karl Lagerfeld’s Personal Items and Art to Be Auctioned Soon

Karl Lagerfeld’s Personal Items and Art to Be Auctioned Soon

At the end of the Chanel Haute Couture Fall 2017 show, Karl Lagerfeld was awarded the Grand Vermeil Medal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo
Items that once belonged to late designer Karl Lagerfeld are set to be auctioned across Europe. In a series of eight auctions, Sotheby’s will sell his estate which includes collectibles, fine art, furniture, personal items, and the possessions of his beloved cat Choupette.
Lagerfeld at Chanel’s Pre-Fall 2017 show, walking with Hudson Kroenig, the son of Brad Kroenig – one of Lagerfeld’s long-standing muses-in the Chanel SS 2011 show. Hudson walked with Lagerfeld during his last runway for Chanel.
The auction house stated, “Sotheby’s is paying tribute to this genius of a designer with the sale of over 1000 lots from his residences in France and Monaco, an anthology of his personal taste but also of his life and career. Divided between Monaco, Paris, and Cologne, the sales are in his image, multiple and surprising, telling the story of the couturier, the collector, the decorator, and the photographer.”
Carla Fendi, Life President of the Board of Directors for the Fendi Group of companies with Creative Director of Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld, 1992. Getty
Noteworthy items include art from Takashi Murakami, champagne buckets by Martin Margiela, chrome dumbbells by Aston Martin, a Zenith Chair by Marc Newson, as well as the famed Jeff Koons painting Dom Perignon Balloon Venus. Also on auction are his personal items such as linens, and Rolls Royce cars. The clothing lot includes his trademark fingerless gloves, suit jackets, and accessories from designers Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Comme des Garçons, and a jar containing starched, white collars synonymous with Lagerfeld’s distinct personal style.
Lagerfeld was the creative director of Chanel, from 1983 till his passing in 2019. Alongside that, he also had his highly regarded eponymous label and was also the creative director at Fendi.  The auctions for his items will be commencing in Monaco from December 3-5, Paris on December 14-15, and Cologne, with dates yet to be announced for the same. There will also be an online auction with two sessions from November 26 to December 6, and December 6-16.
Read Next: Karl Lagerfeld: Get to Know the Man Behind the Platinum Ponytail

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