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Icons of Monaco to go under the hammer at RM Auctions' exclusive May sale in the Principality
1991 Ayrton Senna F1 Race Suit. Estimate: €30.000 - €40.000. Photo: Jonathan Green ©2014 Courtesy of RM Auctions.

LONDON.- RM Auctions will lift the hammer on several lots that hold a particular place in the history of Monaco when its highly anticipated sale returns to the Principality on 10th May, during the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique weekend. Whether it’s a race suit worn by one of the greatest drivers of all time to win the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix, a car driven to victory in the Monaco Grand Prix 24 years earlier, or a stunning Riva boat used by one of history’s most glamorous and romantic royal couples along the Monaco coast line, the exclusive RM sale has it all.

The stunning Riva Tritone, called Via, was famously delivered new to H.S.H. Price Rainier III in 1958 for use by the Royal Family. Via was one of only 26 boats built by the world-renowned Riva company that year, and was a regular sight on the Monaco coast line, being occupied by the prince and his wife, Princess Grace. Powered by its original pair of Chris-Craft MCL inline six-cylinder engines, each capable of producing 175 horsepower, Via boasts exceptional performance, and with only three owners from new, represents a unique opportunity for collectors. The recipient of a recent ground-up restoration, it is presented for sale in perfect, ready-to-go condition. A short video of Via in action is available for viewing here: (Estimate: €350.000–€500.000, without reserve).

“As well as being a boat of exceptional beauty, quality, and performance, this wonderful Riva in undoubtedly a unique piece of Monaco’s cultural history”, says Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager and Specialist, RM Auctions, Europe.

If driving the streets of Monaco in a grand prix-winning car is more appealing than cruising the coastline in a glorious boat, you may like to consider registering to bid on the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix-winning Brabham-Repco BT21, chassis number F1-2-66. This 300 brake-horsepower, V-8- engine Formula One car is a genuine piece of Monaco racing history, as it was driven to victory in Monaco by Denny Hulme en route to his 1967 Drivers’ Championship. F1-2-66 first saw action at the French Grand Prix on 3 July 1966, but 1967 proved to be the most significant season for the car, as it became a focal point of the Brabham team’s championship efforts that year. The vehicle was driven exclusively by Hulme for the first half of the season, finishing 4th at Kyalami on 2 January and 2nd at Oulton Park on 15 April, before taking its first chequered flag on 7 May at the Monaco Grand Prix, a moment which was unquestionably the car’s greatest racing accomplishment and is regarded by most within the sport as the “blue ribbon” event in grand prix racing. F1-2-66 returned to Monaco in 1997 to participate in the Historic Grand Prix. This Brabham-Repco is well-known in the F1 and vintage racing communities, and comes to auction in exceptional, fully-restored condition, ready to continue its racing career in the hands of a lucky new owner (Estimate: €580.000 - €720.000).

The group of items with local Monaco significance is rounded out by a race suit that was worn by Formula One legend Ayrton Senna when he claimed victory at the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix. In 1991, the late, great Senna was at the peak of his powers, creating a legacy that is regarded by many as the greatest in the history of sport. Senna’s 1991 Monaco win, driving for McLaren, represented his fourth that season. The race suit comes to auction accompanied by documentation supplied by Ron Dennis, the team principal of McLaren when Senna was driving for them and who once had the suit in his own personal collection. It is preserved in wonderful condition and is being offered without reserve at next month’s auction, where it is expected to fetch between €30.000 and €40.000.

“When a race suit can claim to have been worn by one of the greatest drivers of all time on his way to winning the most important race on the grand prix calendar, it is safe to say that the market is being presented with an incredibly special and valuable piece of motorsport memorabilia”, adds Sabatié-Garat. “Set to be the centrepiece of any F1 memorabilia collection, its sale is made all the more special by the fact that it is offered in Monaco, the very place it was worn by Senna on the podium 23 years earlier”.

A highlight on the global collector car calendar, RM’s biennial, multi-million euro Monaco sale returns to the Principality on the 10th of May. In total, the exclusive sale will present a magnificent roster of more than 80 blue-chip automobiles, joined by a stunning pair of Riva boats, two motorcycles, and four lots of coveted automotive memorabilia. As many as seven automobiles are expected to fetch prices exceeding €1.000.000, of which three vehicles carry pre-sale estimates of more than €4.000.000.

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