F1 memorabilia – Monaco Grand Prix: Is always in demand, sought after by enthusiasts and collectors.
The Monaco Grand Prix held at the end of May is one of the top sporting spectacles of the year, a social highlight featuring a combination of racing cars, yachts, celebrities and glamour, the venue the one and only Monte Carlo. The race is played out on the narrow twisting public roads of the Principality, encompassing of course the famous tunnel which leads to the fastest part of circuit and runs directly underneath the prestigious Fairmont Hotel. These changing features make it perhaps the most demanding track of the F1 racing season testing the skill and ability of participants to the utmost. It is due to these factors that F1 memorabilia associated with the Monaco Grand Prix is so highly regarded.
The ACM (Automobile Club of Monaco) came to be in 1925. The Commissioner General, Anthony Noghés the Principalities Minster of Finance decided Monaco needed a race circuit, he achieved this with the support of Prince Pierre of Monaco who at the time held the appointment Honorary President of the Automobile Club of Monaco and with the support of Louis Chiron, a renowned motor racing champion from the locality. Plans were submitted to enable racing through the streets of the principality and a circuit was quickly mapped out that required very little construction work.
The inaugural race was held in 1929 and was won by William Grover Williams who in a green Bugatti 35b raced a 100 laps to victory( 318k) at an average speed of 80k per hour that’s (48 mph) which puts things into perspective.
The race was never won twice by the same driver prior to Juan Manuel Fangio in 1950 (Alfa) winning again in 1957 driving a Maserati. It is achievement s of this type which can add so much to the value of collectables especially when they are displayed with “provenance” from the event where the material was obtained.
Motor racing memorabilia from those early days is rare and my personal collection includes examples from Guy Moll 1934 Alfa, Manfred von Brauchitsch 1937 Mercedes, Vittorio Marzotto 1952 Ferrari. Drivers of more recent times are still very collectable and ones in my portfolio include Jack Brabham 1959 Cooper, Graham Hill 1963 -65 BRM, Ronnie Peterson 1974 Lotus Ford, Jochen Rindt 1970 Lotus Ford.
Rare paddock passes, programmes, hand signed autographs, race worn attire, sepia press photos, pictures and car parts from the pre-war era are classic finds. In the modern era many enthusiasts love to have signed, framed memorabilia displayed in offices and homes, showing heroic drivers in action at Monaco, legends such as Stirling Moss 3 times winner: Maserati/lotus climax, Ayton Senna in 1987 celebrating his first of six wins at Monaco driving a Lotus Honda, or the legendary Michael Schumacher (7 times world champion) who made his mark in 1994 -5 with the Benetton Ford, Michael totalled an enviable five wins, the other three in the Ferrari.
Collecting F1 motor racing memorabilia can be an enjoyable and worthwhile hobby or small business and certainly examples from events such as Monaco will always attract attention from admirers and collectors alike.
The comments I make above regarding individual drivers and F1 memorabilia are purely based on my own collection, every winner at Monaco is legendary and I look forward to completing my collection one day by including them all, think of Mika Hakkinen a double world champion or Stirling Moss, Maserati / Lotus Climax, 3 times winner at Monaco, the list goes on.
A couple of interesting statistics:
The original circuit (1929-1972) turns 14 - distance 1.954 m - fastest lap 1.22.2 - Jackie Stewart - Tyrell Ford 1971
Latest circuit (2003 onwards) turns 18 - distance 2.075 m – fastest lap 1.1443 - Michael Schumacher Ferrari in 2004.
Not to be forgotten moments:
Whilst leading the 1955 Grand Prix Alberto Ascari got it all wrong coming out of the tunnel at the Chicane du Port, his Lancia crashed through the barriers into the harbour and Alberto had to swim to safety. The race was won by outsider Maurice Trintignant, in a Ferrari 625 it was to be his first F1 race victory, he proved a point by repeating his victory in 1958.
Sadly double world champion Alberto Ascari; was killed four days later testing a Ferrari sports car at Monza.
I hope you enjoy you quest in seeking out rare or interesting F1 Memorabilia; I feel that the Monaco Grand Prix is an excellent place to start your collection.