Cars Collection of Prince Albert of Monaco II

côte d'azur | …news & info

25 November 2022

Right in the heart of Monaco, next to the famous harbour that hosts so many important events, there is a special place, so close to the Monegasque royal symbolism: the Cars Collection of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

You start to follow the time thread in the footsteps of history, where every car has its own story and connection to the princely family. From the oldest cars in the times of Albert the 1st till the ones used in the Grand Prix Formula 1, an entire introspection into an ever fascinating world.

We spoke with Valerie Closier, the Director of the Cars Collection and she unveiled to Stylezza some amazing facts about the cars in the collection.

The collection is composed of two spaces: one with the old cars that were part of the princely life and the second part, more sporty, with the cars from Formula 1 and the rally. The space is very dynamic. On the ceiling, there are curves and lights that remind of the circuits' curves and on the walls, Formula 1 cars are placed in an optical illusion effect to create the idea of rally movement.

"The Monaco DNA is the mechanical sports with the Monaco Grand Prix Formula 1 and the Monte Carlo Rally." says Valerie.

De Dion Bouton Dungeon Car, the first car bought by Prince Rainier III

We are getting warmed up while taking a sudden plunge into another era. Right in the heart of 1903 where the beautiful De Dion Bouton Dungeon car shines at us with the air of an avant-gardiste! It deserves all the credits! It was the first car that Prince Rainier III bought from a scholar in 1958 and in 1968 he did the rally in Brighton with it.

 "Just for fun and because I have a car of the right year!" Prince Rainier said in an interview after the Run. Princess Grace who accompanied the Prince at the Run said:  "It was a wonderful trip, we had no trouble at all. The car did beautifully ... I must say I cheated a little bit. I got a bit cold."

The Sapphire Blue Sunbeam Alpine Car in the To Catch a Thief Movie with Grace Kelly

Prince Rainier III was a car passionate and used all his cars from the collection for his private pleasure or for official events. We notice the famous sapphire blue Sunbeam Alpine, the car in which Grace Kelly gave Cary Grant a ride on the roads of the French Riviera with Monaco view, in the movie To Catch a Thief, in 1955. 

Chrysler Imperial, the car to receive Grace Kelly for her first visit to Monaco

It is the moment in time where Grace Kelly comes to Monaco and is presented to Prince Rainier III. When Grace Kelly came from the United States with the boat at the harbour of Monaco, she was received with a Chrysler Imperial, a car that Prince Rainier III brought from United States. This car was, also, used in official meetings like that with the French President, Charles de Gaulle, when he came to Monaco.

"At first, when it came from the United States, this Chrysler Imperial was green. Prince Rainier III changed the colour to black because, for him, it was more appropriate for a State Chief." Said Valerie Closier.

Little prince and princesses had their mini cars of their own. And they were like little jewels with pedals or electric. We can see in the shown videos how Prince Albert and Princess Caroline are exercising already their driving skills. 

Podium Cars in Elegance Competitions in the 30s

The family love for these wheeled beauties is shown in every video with an insight into the princely life from the cars they owned and shared with the family's members, playing and driving with the children.

Besides the passion for these jewel cars, there was, also, the elegance attached to it. The cars in the collection are podium cars and they show the glamorous part of Monaco. It is an intrinsic value of the luxurious country. In the 30s there were elegance car competitions and these cars were stage stars. Next to the cars, there were the women who brought even more beauty to the competition through their presentation of the cars and their elegant looks.

Cisitalia to celebrate 100 years of Grimaldi's dynasty

From the square lines of the roaring engines, we pass to more curvy shapes with a sporty touch: the Italian beauties. The Cisitalia car was offered by Monaco's auto dealers to Prince Rainier III in 1997, on the occasion of the 100 years celebration of the Grimaldi dynasty. The Italian beauties were completed by a 250 GT Cabriolet Ferrari and an AlfA Romeo Giulietta.

From fashion, glamour to sports, Monaco has it all. And the cars are the best vehicle to prove it.

Cars from Monte Carlo Rallye and Formula 1 ready to go

Two mythical cars are present in the Prince's collection: Sebastian Loeb's DS and Sebastien Ogier's  Toyota Yaris who won the Monte Carlo Rally and World Championship in 2021. The Formula 1 cars are, also, quietly sitting and presenting themselves in a beautiful line starting with 5,8m long Ferrari SF 90, the one driven by Charles Leclerc.

"Visitors have the chance to be very close to the F1 cars which is very rare." says Valerie.  

These cars keep within them the engine of true stories, the perfume of a noble mix of eras into one space. And when necessary, they are taken out to special events just to boost their beauty even more, if that's possible and to reiterate one major idea: these are classical on wheels in a prestigious frame.   



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