Super-Rich Car Collectors Head To Monaco For High-End Auction

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There's something for everyone - providing you have very deep pockets.

What the Principality of Monaco lacks in size, it more than makes up for in terms of grandeur and excess. As a playground for the world's multi-millionaires, the tiny sovereignty is chock-full of the greatest luxury cars and exotica - the sort of wheeled wonders that render a Ferrari Roma positively pedestrian in comparison. Aside from being the setting for one of the most iconic Formula One circuits (perhaps not for much longer), there's a strong car culture.

And this weekend, some truly special classics and supercars are heading to the auction block in Monaco. There's something for everyone, from race-ready Ferraris to gorgeous Mercedes-Benz cabriolets just begging to cruise along the French riviera. Like a kid in a candy store, we were truly overwhelmed when we perused the auction catalog, but a few vehicles caught our eye.

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Seen above is the 2004 Ferrari 360 Challenge. This particular example is one of the last ever made and was pressed into duty in the Danish and Swedish editions of Ferrari Challenge for several years. Unlike the road-going version on which it's based, there are no creature comforts; indeed, this lightweight 360 has no audio system, air-conditioning, or soundproofing - even the airbags have been removed. This factory-built race car is expected to sell for between $95,000 - $125,000 and may just be the ultimate track toy.

Equally as striking is the 2001 Lamborghini Diablo GT. Just 80 units of this swan song exist and, like the 360 Challenge, is a track-focused vehicle. Thankfully, this one is road-legal and has covered 42,916 km (26,666 miles) from new. Finished in Jet Black, the Diablo GT is 265 lbs lighter than the original. This more hardcore variant also sports more muscle (575 horsepower) resulting in a 3.9-second sprint to 60 mph. Interested? Expect to pay between $550,000 - $650,000.

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If you prefer coastal cruising to intense track days, RM Sotheby's will point you in the direction of these drop-tops. This 1988 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante is one of the pricier lots and is estimated to sell for $650,000 - $850,000. The Suffolk Red example has covered just 1,099 miles and recently enjoyed a service at Aston Martin Monaco. This V8 Vantage boasts what is called the X-Pack, bringing more power - 432 hp, to be exact. It's every bit as fast as a contemporary supercar, with the added benefit of a sumptuous interior.

If you want a more Teutonic feel from your cabriolet, the 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 will pique your interests. Carefully looked after by the same family for 47 years, this Benz is the ideal machine to pose with on Avenue Princesse Alice. This American ex-pat is a recent arrival to the continent but, with just 28,201 miles, it's ready for a new life in the European sun. Expect it to sell for $170,000 - $190,000.

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But if none of these gorgeous European collectibles make you want to pick up your checkbook, perhaps the 1999 Ferrari 333 SP will catch your eye. This little-known Prancing Horse is the brand's only sports racing prototype in the last five decades and, as such, has become highly sought-after in Ferrari collector circles. Number 32 of just 41 units ever produced, this 333 SP was supplied new to its original Japanese owner, a serious car collector.

From there, this V12-powered racer made its way to Canada by way of Australia. By no means a garage queen, this highly limited Ferrari enjoyed plenty of track time before returning to its maker, Michelotto, for extensive maintenance work to the tune of nearly €190,000 (approx. $197,000). Now, it's ready to hit the track again (or form part of an incredible Ferrari collection). What's the price, you ask? Listed as a private sale, this 333 SP's price tag is only available on request. In other words, if you're asking, you can't afford it.

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