Here’s a biennial pleasure:  the Historic Grand Prix Race of Monaco, which took place last Sunday.

(It’s an 8-hour video, watch it in segments or by race.)  The only thing which spoiled it for me was the ubiquitous appearance of facemasks — okay, also the lack of crowds, because only Monegasques (citizens of Monaco) were allowed to watch because of you-know-what.


The cars and races are grouped by era, and the first race (post-WWI to1961 F1 cars only) made parts of me tingle that haven’t tingled in years (Maserati 250F, oh yeah baby):

One of the most beautiful race cars ever made.

The second race featured pre-WWII cars (1928-1938), a.k.a.  the “supercharged” models:  Frazer-Nash, Talbot-Lago, Bugatti 35, Mercedes SSK, Riley, Maserati 6CM, Delage… be still, my beating heart.  Here’s the Bugatti 35B:

Supercharged… woof woof.

The next race was for the teeny 1961-1965 F1 era cars… the era of Lotus, a.k.a. the era of Jim Clark and Graham Hill, driving 1500cc engines.

…all following the Colin Chapman maxim:  “Make it faster.  Add less.”

Race 4 (1966-1972 era) was the time when aerofoils made their first appearance in F1 — and turned the cars from tubular shapes (like the Lotus above) into space-age machines, with wider tires as well.  Also, the engines grew from four-cylinder 1500cc into flat-12 three-liter monsters, and (other than Ferrari) the marque names changed a little, too:  McLaren, Surtees, Brabham…  and here’s the Matra 120C:

The cars are getting wider, here:  in earlier eras, the cars could fit three across the track, comfortably.  No more.

Anyway:  let me not go on and on — watch the whole thing for yourselves.  And enjoy… I certainly did.  And from a later race, here’s an Aston Martin DB3S:

…also, the peerless Maserati 300S:

And if that doesn’t make your bits tingle, I don’t wanna talk to you no more.


  1. SO far I’ve only managed to attend the Monaco GP once. In 1971 , I went with wife #1 and my Father-in-Law. We drove down from Paris and we were passed by the same Lamborghini 3 times. Practice and Qualifying at 6 am Sat . Even in those days , you parked in France and walked to Monaco. We had seats in the Stand at Turn one ( just before the uphill ) Hard to see much of anything. The PA was in French when you could hear it. Had to manually keep a lap chart because there was no scoreboard or Giant TV Screen like there is now. Jack Brabham won with a last Lap pass. Best Monaco race ever. Like to go back one more time as well as see the 24hrs of Le Mans but a package to see the race is $ 10,000 + with Gran Prix Tours. last time I checked Much better to watch the race on TV . but you should go once for the experience. Nothing like seeing a GP in person to really understand what it’s all about. Even if the race is a parade.

    1. My first time was the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, just outside Johannesburg. Niki Lauda won… how’s that for Old Phartte memories?

    2. Even Longtime Friend & Drummer Knob — who lives there — thinks that Monaco F1 is best watched on TV. I just find the prospect of $500 for a bleacher seat somewhat off-putting.

      1. My “Circulair” Badge ( General Admission ) says it was 20 F in 1971 ( ~ $ 4 at the time as I recall ) Grand stand seats were 100 F So, yes, the Prices have gone up. Our Hotel was in La Tourbe – We could see Monaco about 3.000 feet below us.

    3. First GP: US GP @ RIR 1960 – a local track.
      Drove out for Friday practice in my Mini 850, and arrived in Riverside just in time to welcome a parade of F1 cars onto the freeway (they were garaged at various car dealers in town, and the mechanics drove them to the track). Interesting driving alongside a BRM, or Cooper, and having the Brit mechanic give you a nice wave.
      Ol’ Stirl’ won the race in the Walker Lotus-climax.

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