by Ilaria Salerno
MONACO. Founded in April 2003 as a collateral event of the then Tennis Masters Montecarlo, now known as the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Top Marques Monaco has gradually transformed to become “the most exclusive car show in the world”, according to New York Times. Since 2019 Top Marques Monaco is held after the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and this year it will take place from 11 to 14 June in the large spaces of the Grimaldi Forum, after an inaugural cocktail on the evening of 10.
In the meantime, Top Marques Monaco will be in Paris from 5 to 9 February 2020. The Top Marques salon is proud to be the fourth very important event in the Principality of Monaco, after the Grand Prix, the Rolex Masters and the Yacht Show. Top Marques Monaco is mainly a fair for prestige car enthusiasts, but not only, it also presents other aspects of the sector such as high-end and collectible watches, the most refined jewelry, also personalized, as well as superboats and it is always most awaited by the public, who will be able to purchase daily and VIP tickets on the dedicated sites.
In addition to the constant sponsorship of the Directorate of Tourism, the Congress and the Société des Bains de Mer, the precious and continuous support of SAS Prince Albert of Monaco contributes to its international success. This Top Marques’ Fair internationality will be confirmed from 5 to 9 February 2020 by participation in Rétromobile and by a strategic partnership with the main international car show for collectors, which is held every year in the Exhibition Park at the Porte de Versailles in Paris.
Rétromobile is the largest classic indoor exhibition in the world, with over 1,000 vintage vehicles confirmed for its 45th edition. For more information on Rétromobile and to purchase tickets, visit the official website. Next February Top Marques Monaco will present an identical replica of the convertible sports car driven by Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s cult film shot in 1955 on the French Riviera entitled “To Catch a Thief”, the. The actress, future princess of Monaco, , with Cary Grant by her side, drives at high speed this superb sapphire blue 1954 Sunbeam Alpine in a daring pursuit by the French police in a black Citroën along the hairpin bends of the Cote d’Azur Moyenne Corniche. After the Citroën exits the road, the Alpine miraculously stops on a cliff overlooking the Principality, in a scene of rare elegance.
Purchased in 2012 by the “Prince Albert II of Monaco Car Collection”, the car is restored in the Collection workshop to represent the certified copy of the Sunbeam Alpine registered in 1953 in the Maritime Alps, unfortunately classified as missing by the registration service. The 1954 Sunbeam Alpine MK1 is one of the most valuable cars in the Prince’s collection. Following the collaboration with Rétromobile and in the sign of the passion of the Monegasque ruler for the automotive world, the organizers of Top Marques Monaco have decided that in addition to presenting the latest supercars and hypercars as always, two spaces entirely dedicated to vintage cars will be added at the Top Marques Monaco fair in June 2020. A brief history of the Sunbeam Alpine MK1: in 1899, the English manufacturer Sunbeam, which had been producing bicycles since 1887, built its first prototype 4-wheel drive car. This is how Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd. was born. From the beginning, the brand is renowned for its build quality. The Sunbeam Alpine is a two-seater convertible coupe produced by the English manufacturer between 1953 and 1955 and between 1959 and 1968.
The Alpine is derived from the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 Sedan and is therefore colloquially known as “Talbo” Alpine. When the new car raced for the first time in the 1953 Alpine Cup, it won the Ladies Cup with Sheila van Damm behind the wheel. Of the 1,582 copies built, there are now fewer than 200. The copy presented on the occasion of the 45th edition of Rétromobile on the Top Marques Monaco stand is one of the rare left-hand drive copies, identical to that of the film. The Top Marques team will also be joined in its booth in Rétromobile by ex F1 and Endurance driver Thierry Boutsen, who will be available at the weekend to meet the public and sign autographs. The former Belgian driver, who took part in the 164th Grand Prix world championship, winning three and gaining 15 podiums, owner of Boutsen Aviation Monaco, will launch his new Boutsen Classic Cars business at Top Marques Monaco.
As always, state-of-the-art technologies, high performance, sophisticated styles and attention to the environment will be characteristic even during the Parisian transfer of Top Marques to Rétromobile. Halls 1, 2 and 3 of Rétromobile will host automotive treasures to the delight of the 130,000 visitors expected from all over the world.
Dreaming, being ecstatic, being informed, investing, meeting artists, builders, clubs, federations, spare parts and model sellers, restorers, car dealers: everything is allowed in Rétromobile: 620 exhibitors, 72 000 m² of exhibition, 1000 vehicles exposed, over 120 clubs present. You will find manufacturers, clubs and federations of the show Rétromobile, event organizers, media, car dealers, parts and tools dealers, vehicle dealers, auction houses, body restorers, mechanical restorers, insurers, and automotive art galleries. The new, the extraordinary and the unexpected will compete to be protagonists, but it is the passion that will be the common denominator of this 45th edition.