Grand Prix de Monaco Historique – prep

The cars have started to fill up the old port in Monte Carlo, the engines having a final tune and the Scruteneers are checking to see (that tyres are Dunlop Racers, not Blockleys or Bridgestones, to give everyone in that class an equal start I suppose) that all the vehicles abide by their class rules. Oh yes and there are a number of classes. I have my favourite (more on that class tomorrow).

7th Grand Prix sde Monaco Historique

When Peter Wallenburg owner of one of the worlds largest communications companies, is not running  ‘3’ he is placing stickers on his March 731 1973, although the wheels were nowhere to be seen? This car has not raced since 1973 in Sweden, so the engineers were carefully putting the engine back together along with useful photos to guide them! (I jest, the chaps had the 1973 race shots to show everyone).

7th Grand Prix sde Monaco Historique

Another car that took my interest was the Maserati V8R1 1936. Pale blue and totally plumped with a terrific nose. No this is not a wine, it is my description for a cute looking car.  It was first driven in 1936 at Pau and it won, never winning after that Joseph Rettinmeier hopes it might win here at Monaco on its first time round the track.  Only three or four cars are still in existence and this is the only car that actually functions.

7th Grand Prix sde Monaco Historique

Waiting at the tyre stop was the ‘Red Dragon’ the Aston Martin Speed 1936. With such a great pedigree driven by Richard Seiman in 1936, Michael Dee now the owner, has driven this car at Silverstone Classic 2007, 1000 Millia 2008, Pau 2009 and will drive here at Monaco once he has changed from Blockleys to Dunlops.

7th Grand Prix sde Monaco Historique

Finally my musings were a couple of British chaps who had both driven from Bristol and Oxford in their Bugatti Type 35 1925.  Taking two and a half days and avoiding the snowy French alps, braved it over the Italian ones and looking thoroughly ‘sooted’, Duncan Pittaway (far more sooted) and Tim Dutton (considerably cleaner, due to be very untrendy by keeping his small wind screen up) were very happy to be in Monaco in one piece.

“It is brilliant fun” said Pittaway, “much better than sitting in the back of a van to get here”.

This is the third visit to the Historic from Duncan and his Bugatti and the first from Tim, whose Type 35 won the French Grand Prix in 1925. Tim ought to know a thing or two about their cars as he has a Bugatti renovation business in the UK.

Well that is my short report for today. More of course tomorrow when all the cars will be tuning up and have the final spit and polish on their historique bodies.

Do contact me if you would like any photos all at 58mb all taken on the Leica M9.