Monaco, Monte Carlo – Super-Car Heaven you might believe. And it is true Top Marques is as close to heaven as one can get for the supercar enthusiast. Add to that the Rolex Monte-Carlo Grand Masters Tennis and you have an enormous magnetic pull on those wanting to parade their prize automobiles. Be it Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren …. you name it, like film stars they yearn for their place in the limelight. It seems that every prestige car owner in Europe has had the same thought – let’s rendezvous in Monaco and “strut our stuff”.
Not counting the Top Marques beautiful roadsters inside the show, of the order of 500 additional supercars have descended on Monaco to “be seen”, show off a little and then a few – show off to excess. And for those that crossed the line and broke the law, Heaven turned into not exactly Hell – but a somewhat milder version – the dreaded pound. At this time of year the police, while not completely overwhelmed, are stretched dealing with excesses by supercar drivers, and way too many of these are from outside the Principality. Excessive noise, excessive speed, reckless driving and a potpourri of offenses around lack of the proper licensing and insurance. The result – one’s luxurious car impounded for 48 hours or so and fines typically from 300 euros to 600 euros.
Ninety-five cars were impounded this year during the Top Marques Fair compared to 30 to 40 last year. Fines for infringements totalled an eye-popping 300 000 euros. All evidenced by the normal car-pounds full to overflowing and temporary pounds having to be quickly improvised behind police barriers. All something of a circus to passers-by in Fontvieille where a temporary enclosure was set up. Residents and tourists must have thought a giant super-car auction was taking place, with a focus on Swiss registrations. More than 40 cars impounded were from Switzerland almost equalling the total from France, Germany and Italy combined. To be fair to the police, they managed all this extra work at the same time as making sure there were no serious accidents.
Top of the hit parade of stories that made the international press was that of a lady who having just had her car impounded for 2 days had committed another infraction within 300 metres of the compound, only to be towed away a second time! And just slightly less embarrassing that of a student with a rented super-car who was going to end up with a hefty fine, no doubt plus a hefty late arrival charge from the rental company.
Best to come to Top Marques and the Rolex Monte Carlo Tennis and have a good time rather than spinning wheels on the Grand Prix track or driving recklessly by the Spelugues.