The Car Collection of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco currently features a special exhibition of some of the rarest and finest Prancing Horses ever built
“I build engines and attach wheels to them.” That’s how Enzo Ferrari described what he was doing for a living. It just so happens that those engines with wheels attached are among the most beautifully designed and engineered objects on Earth. About 50 of the world’s finest specimens are currently presented in a unique show at the Car Collection of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco at the Fontvieille Terraces through 15th March.
Premiered by Enzo Ferrari in Maranello, Italy in 1947, the cars with one of the globally most recognizable logos have left their mark on automobile history on road and circuit. Manufacturer of race and sports cars, Ferrari quickly became a benchmark, both technically and aesthetically. Around 50 competition and sports Ferraris have been brought to Monaco specifically for this one-off show in Europe, among them:
• The 246 F1 (1960), the last front engine Ferrari;
• The 246 SP (1961), the first Ferrari equipped with a central rear engine;
• The 250 GTO (1962), of which only 36 were produced. This car is considered the most legendary Ferrari and the best sports car the Italian manufacturer has ever made. Winner of the Tour de France with Bianchi/Berger at the wheel, it was sold for $70 million in 2018, making it the world’s most expensive car;
• The 250LM (1965), as beautiful as it is powerful, with only 32 models built; 320 hp for 840 kg, successor of the 250 GTO;
• The 512 S (1970), only 26 models built. The 512 name comes from the 5 litre capacity and its V12 engine. This model appeared in the 1971 “Le Mans” movie classic with Steve McQueen;
• The F1 (1989), in which Nigel Mansell won the GPs of Brazil and Hungary. This car was victorious in the Grand Prix of Portugal in the same year with pilot Gerhard Berger;
• The F40 (1991), the last Supercar made in Enzo Ferrari’s lifetime;
• The Enzo (2004), from the bodywork to mechanics directly inspired by Formula 1 via the high-performance materials used, 660 hp, 363 km/h at top speed. It was named Enzo as a tribute to the “Commendatore”;
• The Ferrari Aperta (2016), the most powerful car Ferrari has ever produced, 963 hp, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.6 seconds.
“These cars are exceptionally rare, you don’t walk in here like it’s a dealership of one of those banal vehicles you see on the place de Casino”, says Philippe Renzini, the Collection’s director. In fact, while none is for sale, the lowest hypothetical price tag comes in at €300,000 for fan favorite Dino.
The Monaco princes have had a longstanding love affair with the curvy beauties on wheels. Decades ago, Prince Rainier III, late father of the current Sovereign, started building a personal collection of vintage cars, some of which he restored himself. His son and successor Prince Albert II continued to add to collection over time. Today, the exhibition space on the Fontvieille Terraces comprises 5,000 m2 and features nearly 100 cars spanning 120 fascinating years of automotive history. Many of them have deep personal links to the Princely family or to Monaco’s F1 history.
The special Ferrari expo is still running through March 15.
Car Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco
Les Terrasses de Fontvieille
Tel: +377 92.05.28.56
Open daily 10 am to 6 pm (last admission 5.30 pm)
Adults: €8, children aged 6 to 16: €4
All photos courtesy the Car Collection of H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco