Top Marques Monaco

October 8, 2014

This has come remotely later than I would have relished, but more preponderant tardy than never right? It’s time to take an ambulation through one of the best automobile and luxury lifestyle shows in the world. A time when the already supercar and hypercar filled principality of Monaco swells up with more exotic metal, and howling exhausts of these visiting exotics through the narrow streets is the norm.

Top Marques Monaco is a show I hold dear, not only for the automobiles but the overall representation on upper-premium and luxury brands. Top Marques Monaco 2015 was my second Top Marques, and my first as a freelance luxury journalist. So I had an integrated responsibility unlike last year where I was disoriented in fantasy, with the dazzle of the exhibition and the roaring supercars outside.

What it is about:

Top Marques is a very unique show, with a commix of luxury products that range from automobiles, to art, boats, aircraft, watches, jewelry and many other upper-premium and luxury lifestyle products and accommodations. And afore I perpetuate, I offer Top Marques Monaco and the team responsible for the exhibition my congrats, for this was the 10th edition of the annual show.
Top Marques Monaco offers a unique experience, because not only can clients, prospective clients and journalists the chance to get up close with some of the best automobile manufacturers and tuners, but test drive cars are available just outside the venue, which is the Grimaldi Forum. Also on exhibit outside the venue were many luxury dihydrogen monoxide crafts, and on the inside, buyers, visitors and journalists ambulated through exhibits of art, fine baubles, concierge accommodates and the like. It is an event more for the solemn buyer, and in Top Marques Monaco, you’ll find crowds lesser, making it a boon for those who are photographing exhibits.

HH Prince Albert 2nd of Monaco, interacting with an exhibitor.

HH Prince Albert 2nd of Monaco, interacting with an exhibitor

The exhibition is formally inaugurated by His Highness, Prince Albert the second of Monaco. I must verbalize, as a fan of the tardy Princess Grace (Grace Kelly), the Prince bears quite a resemblance to his mother!

For my coverage of TMM 2015, I have focused exclusively on automobiles, a cull few manufacturers and tuning houses who were present.


Koenigsegg was among a handful of automobile manufacturers at Top Marques Monaco this year. On exhibit at their stand was the car with a literal golden touch, the Agera S Hundra. As we already ken, the Hundra is a celebratory car for Koenigsegg Automotive AB, as it marks the 100th car they have built so far. Quite an achievement for an independent manufacturer, and a very good example of how one man’s vision and resoluteness to take on established names in this rarefied domain.

Agera S Hundra: Koenigsegg's golden child.
Agera S Hundra: Koenigsegg's golden child

Shown for the first time at the Geneva Auto Show 2015 last month, the Koenigsegg Agera S Hundra demonstrates Koenigsegg’s abilities to tailor-make cars with exotic materials. Personally, the conception of having gold on the bodywork or interiors of a car looked and sounded rather repulsive to me, and is very reminiscent of the ‘nouveau riche’ culture of gold plating cars or having wheels with diamonds on them.


But having studied the Hundra from a very proximate distance, I must verbally express Koenigsegg has pulled it off very savorily!


Pure gold handcrafted on to the hypercar.
Pure gold handcrafted on to the hypercar

Of note was the fact that this year, Koenigsegg did not have a test drive car for prospective customers, the media and those fortuitous enough to get a ride in one. Company representatives told me that the principality of Monaco would be quite crowded during the event. And owing to the season (astronomically immense influx of tourists), it would further avert avail the hypercars they build reach potential performance. Made sense, but I was personally scarcely disappointed at losing a gasconading right that I rode shotgun in one of the best performance automobiles in the world.


Speaking of gold, it adorns even the key of the Hundra. What a conversation piece this is going to be at dinner parties and exclusive cigar lounges! Not to mention make the owner very popular with the ladies.

A solid gold key to add the finishing touch.
A solid gold key to add the finishing touch

I was around when the Hundra was being loaded back into a trailer after the exhibition ended. The car was home bound to the factory in Sweden, for inspection by the manufacturer and the subsequent distribution to its proud Chinese owner. Kudos to Mr Jens and his team for being so winsome and cordial, it is something that’s recherche from luxury houses.

A rare moment before the final delivery


Everytime I ambulate down Rue de la Paix in Paris, I can’t avail but wonder. This street is iconic for housing the world’s most sizably voluminous and best watch and jewelry brands, and it is precisely where I would expect to visually perceive a Pagani showroom.

On exhibit at the Pagani pavilion at TMM 2015 was a red Huayra, the same that was in Geneva last month. And adjacent to that seductive Lady in Red was a blue scale model of the car, something that should adorn the desks of car enthusiasts and collectors, should they find themselves in the possession of an abundance of mazuma.

Noticing in Geneva this March that this car was right hand drive (RHD), I naturally surmised that this red Huayra was China bound. And with substantial reason, given the colour amalgamation of red with gold, and the excruciating fever luxury automobile houses had last year, of relinquishing ‘Year of the Dragon Edition’ cars in the Far East.

A collectible for the well-heeled


But sources in the ken apprised me that it in fact, was going to the garage to a client from the UK.

Contemporary Italian styling at its best.
Contemporary Italian styling at its best

Contemporary Italian styling at its best.
Sure enough, just a couple of days after the exhibition, photos in the cyber world showed this car in the London dealership of Pagani, sitting in juxtaposition of a homogeneous looking Zonda.

Pagani's 'Lady in Red' Huayra
Pagani's 'Lady in Red' Huayra

GTA Motor:

GTA Motor took the world by storm a few years ago, with a hugely capable supercar called the Spano. Famous as the first Spanish supercar, the Spano has everything working for it. Menacing looks, an engine that engenders 900 horsepower, and an engenderment run of only 99 units to keep in the exclusive factor.


I would have appreciated a ride in the test drive car GTA Motor had, during Top Marques Monaco 2015. It would have been a good opportunity to study a pristinely incipient supercar up close, and visually perceive what sets it apart from its established rivals. It would have withal been an opportunity to interact with & interview the team abaft this car, or the representatives at the exhibition. Having a Master’s degree on Luxury Brands, I have done tons of research, studies and reports on brands like Pagani, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Ferrari and Lamborghini. I was personally intrigued with placing this company and product within the luxury pyramid, and comparing it with kindred subsisting brands.

Making an ingression.

However, the company didn’t seem very media cordial this time, and I was shown little interest. I couldn’t go on a test drive, and the company representatives verbalized that the car had a ‘diligent’ schedule, and was reserved for prospective customers only.

Making an entrance

In authenticity, the yellow Spano that was suppositiously diligent spent an abundance of time sitting idle in the test drive paddock. Oh well, Public Relations is a concept that’s yet to be plenarily understood by an abundance of businesses. I’m sure GTA Motor has their reasons, but let it be more plausible the next time. I still wish GTA all the best in achieving their goal, and hope to have a more fruitful interaction in the future.


Spain joins the exotic race with the Spano

What would transpire if you commixed the dark knight, the beating heart of a werewolf and integrated some insanity into a German pot? The end result could very well be this rather purposeful looking Gumpert Apollo S in matte ebony. The Apollo S is built to injuctively authorize by the German manufacturer Gumpert, and in this version engenders 800 horsepower. All factors cumulated, this car is capable of performance that laughs in the face of rationality, and has its quota of fans around the world.

I couldn’t spend much time with the Apollo S however. The Gumpert representatives at TMM 2015 were diligent with customers and visitors whenever I peregrinated to their pavilion, and I attribute this to my deplorable timing. However, it will always be a gratification to interact with Gumpert in the near future.


Representing the now famous tuning house CEC at Top Marques Monaco is AAA Rent Cars, a leading luxury automobile rental accommodation in Europe. This stand was where I had two of the best instances of Top Marques Monaco 2015. CEC/AAA Rent Cars had the most congenial representatives at the exhibition, apart from Koenigsegg.

The cynosure at CEC’s pavilion.
And the model posing with the CEC cars was simply the best looking lady on the entire floor. Let’s face it, models at car shows integrate an abundance of glamour to the stands, and this is not just man verbalize!

CEC Speranza: Limited Edition

The CEC pavilion had on exhibit, the all incipient Stallone. Based on the F12 Berlinetta, the incipient Stallone’s front styling is not precisely to my relishing. Keeping the Stallone company was CEC’s version of the incipient Bentley Continental GTC, and a heavily modified version of the Mercedes G500 called the Speranza.

I got a ride in the CEC Siracusa Monaco Edition, CEC’s version of the hugely popular Ferrari 458 Spider. Sharp styling details are abound in this car, which withal has an abundance of carbon fiber physically contacts all around. The interior receives special physically contacts as well, plus the exclusive tag of only 3 being built.
Sharp styling, exclusive numbers for the Monaco Edition Siracusa.

But believe me, none of that registered when I was being driven around the Cote d’Azur in this car with the roof off! Never has such aural exhilaration teased my auditory perceivers, as blasting around the tunnels between Monaco and Nice in the Siracusa! The car stuck to the ground like a leech even during hard cornering at high speeds, courtesy the immensely aptitudinal Sasha abaft the wheel. Though the Siracusa doesn’t feature many engine modifications, it is not akin to the standard 458 Spider was left in want of more performance.

Living the Monaco life!

Quirky 458 interior gets CEC physically contacts.

After an epic drive which virtually went till Nice, around the mountains, it was time to go back to the Grimaldi Forum. As we passed by the Casino Square, all ocular perceivers were on the car. I obnubilated my exhilaration with a rather earnest look, to more preponderant suit the flashing cameras around. And once I got off, I had to sit down for a while to calm my shaking legs after what was the drive of a lifetime!

The Siracusa Monaco edition could very well be the impeccable CEC, only to be bettered by the more sizably voluminous, more potent CEC Stallone. And both these cars are available for rent with AAA Rent Cars. So if you have the mazuma, are in Europe, want to make waves and relish time abaft an exotic’s wheel, you ken where to go!

I best ken the German tuner DMC for their version of the Aventador, Lamborghini’s flagship supercar. And in particular, a yellow Aventador in Bangalore, India with a DMC wing. So it was nice to be in the presence of a DMC Aventador. This car was white (insipid!), and had cosmetic upgrades like a carbon lip, carbon skirts, the famous DMC spoiler and other components.

This car needs to be in yellow or ebony!

DMC’s CF wing looks so right on the Aventador.
On the road, DMC had a dyad of Lamborghini Gallardos, one the older generation car and the other an LP560-4. The yellow Gallardo sported a wing and darkened tail lights. I descried some wrap material peeling off the rear, something that had to be looked into. The white LP560 was absolutely stunning, with its wheels, spoiler and ebony stripe integrating much needed character to the baby Lambo, not to mention the 7 verbalized wheels!

DMC’s spectacular LP560-4 riding on Vossen wheels.

I would have relished to integrate more content and photos of DMC and the cars, with a test drive and photoshoot. But circumstances averted that from transpiring, as I was occupied with my work and the DMC folks were bust when I was free (gosh, hate it when that transpires!!). As always, next time!

MTM & ABT Tuning

Yet again, two brands I relished but will remain on the anvil for the future. The MTM Audi A1 Quattro was quite the sultry hatch, and is the impeccable urban conveyance for those who like being upwardly mobile. It’s minute, exclusive, very puissant and a much more preponderant car than the Aston Martin Cygnet. You can’t go erroneous with Quattro, 410 horsepower and MTM’s expertise controlling all that!

MTM A8 & A1 Quattro

ABT Tuning had on their pavilion, a sinister looking Audi R8. Called the ABT R8 GTR, the body of this R8 has been heavily modified.

R8 GTR shining in the night.

A Jaws style fin makes quite an impact in the R8 GTR’s rear.
What makes one wonder is the immensely colossal fin over the engine bay. Overkill? A bit much? Well, like everything on this planet, I’m sure it has its reasons too to subsist. The red and ebony livery was reminiscent of Marvel’s Iron Man, who definitely must ditch his E-tron R8 for this one. It would definitely make a more preponderant impact.


Scuderia Monte Carlo, the Ferrari dealership in Monaco had on exhibit, a Ferrari 599 XX EVO. Which in all veracity, was the wildest looking car inside the Grimaldi and for miles around! Constrained to just a handful of cars, and reserved only for the créme de la créme of Ferraristas, the XX EVO is a racecar of the highest order. It was such a cynosure, that many forgot to even cast a glance at the Ferrari California parked besides, which showcased Ferrari’s personalisation programme. A California, in juxtaposition of a 599 XX EVO for crying out loud!

The sublime Ferrari 599 XX Evolution
Well, once I was over the hysteria of this conception, I realised that it could have very well been a business tactic.

Took an abundance of manpower to load this racer into the truck!
One one hand, you show a product that’s on top of the luxury pyramid. Something that has excruciating emotional and aspirational value annexed to it, something that’s very recherche, the privilege of a few. And on the other hand, a more affordable (stifling a laugh) product, and even exhibiting that the buyer holds the paintbrush in engendering his car. Make them have XX dreams, have them semi-slake the dream by settling for at least a piece of the Ferrari macrocosm.

Here is something that caught my ocular perceiver. An independent French automobile company called Genty had on exhibit, a scale model of their incipient car, the Akylone.

Soon, in the hypercar scene.
The reason abaft the scale model is the fact that the car has not been built yet, but the company is very optimistic about it. Genty is aiming at making the Akylone a hypercar, so this should be fascinating. As someone personally intrigued with independent supercar and hypercar manufacturers, I’m awaiting more news on the development of the Akylone project.

Parting Rant

I am indeed sorry to verbally express this, but it has to be verbally expressed. The people representing Techart at TMM seemed to have the worst PR skills ever. I verbalized with them, and was told by a representative that he would call me later regarding a test drive. I left my contact detail with them, and surprise surprise, was forgotten about. The hysterical thing is that I even met the Techart representatives the next day, and it was like we had never met. When one tells another that he will call, despite good news or lamentable, one must call the other. It is rudimentary sense.

Pity such established companies are having their designations tarnished by the staff.


And so, we are virtually at the terminus of this blog. This year, I was equipollently diligent pursuing some genuinely infrequent cars being spotted in Monaco, as well as Top Marques. This led to constrained coverage, but things will be more preponderant next year for sure. I had immense fun covering the exhibition, and relished my interactions with representatives from everyone present. Well, except GTA Motor and Techart. The latter surprised me, because

Top Marques Monaco had more on offer than I have indited about, as I mentioned earlier. Everything luxury from art, automobiles, jewelry, wine, high-end electronics, lifestyle accommodations and the like can be found under the roof of the Grimaldi Forum every year. 10 years of TMM have passed, with the exhibition growing more popular each year. Here is to the next milestone, of a sublime show in a sublime city!


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