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Look, a lot of this is in French so if you are not un bon vivant don’t read any further.

Next month is going to be huge. You will be getting direct reports from the Shit Box Rally, which starts in Mackay (the Monte Carlo of northern Australia minus the food, wine, rich tax avoiders, multi-million-dollar yachts and cars) through the medium of this newspaper, our online multimedia platforms and telexes (ask your grandfather what they are). And also from the other Monte Carlo on the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, the RM Sotheby’s auction of the same name and the Grand Prix de Monaco de Formule 1.

Now, normally you would have to pay $3670 for two days on a private yacht tied up near the track (includes free program and earplugs) to watch the 10th running of the greatest line-up of old race cars since last year’s Historic Winton, but we’re throwing in that and a “blend of glitz, glamour and high-octane motorsport” at Le Sporting Monte-Carlo, the Jeff’s shed of Monaco, where Australia’s own Max Girardo will be auctioning off a few pearlers for the RM auction house.

There’s legendary war hero Pierre (we called him Pete around the race tracks) Louis-Dreyfus’s 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta. This next part of the story is very tricky, so pay attention. Pete entered his Fezza in the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hours (forerunner to the 24 Hours of Le Mons at Wakefield Park) with Bugatti star Louis Chiron as his co-driver. Despite Pete being French and Lou from Monaco they drove in Luigi Chinetti’s US team. Anyway they cheated with a petrol top-up and got booted out of the race. This was no black mark since Fangio, Moss and Cunningham all didn’t finish either. Italian-American Chinetti drove his Ferrari 340 to 11th, thus showing you can never trust a team owner who drives his own car in the same race. Max will be looking for $14 million for this one.

If old cars aren’t your go you can drive to the F1 from London or Venice in a supercar. For $25,000 Joe Sapak’s ExclusiveGP group will give you a Ferrari 458 or Lambo to drive from Mayfair to Monte Carlo, two days’ race watching from a terrace suite in a $96 million apartment, all the champagne you can guzzle, ear plugs and a free program.

If you own your own supercar you can join Chris Welch’s three-day run from Venice to Monte Carlo for only $65,000. No penthouse apartment view but you do get to see the racing from a 50m yacht. Last year during the run, Chris flew the struggle-street gang by private jet to the Frank Gehry-designed Marques de Riscal Hotel in Spain’s Basque country. After a few courses with dishes such as garlic prawns, the freshwater fish that dreamt of the sea and fresh grass from a high mountain meadow while Cirque du Soleil performers acrobated above their heads, a 25-piece marching band marched them to a specially made bull ring. Then it was off to old airports for a few “whose Lambo is quicker 0 to 100 trials”.

The Grand Prix de Monaco de Formule 1 is a great event that has been going since 1929. Phil King was at that first one to see Bill Grover-Williams take the chequered flag. I know this was Mark Webber’s favourite track. He won twice here. Jack Brabham did once and Ayrton Senna did six times.

But no one could hold a spark plug to Bill. Forget Jimmy Bond, Bill was the real deal. When he wasn’t winning seven grands prix he was carrying out espionage and sabotage against the bad guys in France during the second big one.

This is a shortened version of the original article. Read the rest at – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/motoring/shit-box-rally-monaco-gp-historic-racing/news-story/5febee087047967d3bd59b52ac5f188b



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