When somebody calls you and asks whether you'd like to join them in Monaco for the Top Marques Show, very rarely do you decline.
Fast forward two weeks and I'm joining Formula Life on the French Riviera sipping Chicken soup from ‘Song Qi’ opposite the opulent Grimaldi Forum.
After the pleasant drive from Nice Côte d'Azur airport - wafting through the twisting alpine passes and gazing down onto the yacht lined gentlemen’s playground that is Monaco - I was handed my press pass, and ushered through the velvet ropes into the show.
Arriving in the main atrium, I was met with a gadget fit for Sean Connery’s Bond in the shape of the ‘Martin Jetpack’, several bespoke watches adorned in diamonds, and Roger Moore’s Lotus Esprit - complete with rooftop mounted skis. A fitting entrance to display Monaco’s grandeur for one of the most highly anticipated shows in the automotive calendar.
Moving swiftly through the diamonds and ‘Bamford’ led Rolex customizers, I found myself heading up to the second floor and the real jewel at the Grimaldi - The Top Marques Supercar show.
Unlike other shows, Top Marques Monaco really allows the manufacturers and upmarket tuning companies to showcase their worth to an audience comprising the world’s finest black book of who’s who in business, celebrity status and aristocracy.
One such car being launched at Top Marques Monaco was the first 670 bhp fully titanium ‘Icona Vulcano’. Looking every inch the supercar, which, thanks to its titanium coat (matte unfinished, since you ask), stood out as the first car on arrival into the great hall. Whilst LED lighting projected from the front end, and bare carbon lavishly dressed the rear, it had a menacing, purposeful stance more akin to Thor's hammer than a motor car.
Tearing myself away from the Vulcano, I find myself in a pleasantly easeful room, filled with the like minded. Nowhere to be found were the characterless vast spaces that typify most motoring shows. This is a show for enthusiasts through and through - and the atmosphere inside was voltaic.
To the right I see the Jaguar C-X75 from SPECTRE. To the left, one third of the holy trinity - an acid green Porsche 918 Spyder, and straight ahead nestled behind a luxuriant Brabus tuned AMG GLE - the new Arrow in Gumpert’s bow - The Apollo Arrow.
Choosing the circular route of Jaguar first, I admire the rakish profile and working prototype of this British built car, and can't help but feel nostalgic as comparisons are made to their last great supercar - the 213 mph XJ220.
It's not just the Bond Jaguar here in fact, but also the entire SPECTRE line up including the stunning 007 Aston Martin DB5 and several custom Range Rovers used in the latest movie.
Top Marques Monaco isn't just the show. Monaco in itself is an event. The joy of this show is that the cars on display are also likely to be found cruising the Grand Prix circuit passing by Casino Square every half hour or so.
This makes quite the spectacle for admiring bystanders, and whilst sipping a Corona in the Square's Cafe de Paris, I am in awe of the symphony of eight, ten and twelve cylinders filling the warm still air. Heaven.
Top Marques is a flawless diamond staple in the calendar of the Monacan province. The world’s second smallest country enkindles with more buzz and excitation than anywhere else on Earth. This is a show I will not be forgetting in a hurry.
Stunning scenery. Stunning cars. Wildly opulent and completely Monaco.