As a prelude to the departure of the 213 remaining competitors for the night of the Turini, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco took the opportunity to pay a vibrant tribute to his father, H.S.H. Prince Rainier III, and to his passion for beautiful cars.
It was a vibrant tribute because at 8pm, the public on Quai Albert 1er heard the roar of the engine of a rare Deutsch-Bonnet (DB) Frua, restored for the occasion. And Prince Albert II was at the wheel, for a whole lap of the Monaco Circuit.
This DB Frua has been completely restored in the workshops of the Prince’s Collection, from a wreck purchased in the United States. It is an exact replica of the car that Prince Rainier himself drove in the Tour Auto in 1953, using a clever pseudonym to avoid being recognised. The adventure was cut short by a minor accident, but 70 years later his son paid him a fitting tribute.
After completing his lap of the circuit in the DB Frua, H.S.H. Prince Albert II returned to the ACM podium to give the start to the first competitors in the overall classification. Their goal: Col de Turini, the Mecca of Rallye Monte-Carlo since the beginning of last century. The challenge for all the drivers involved, whether Belgian, Italian or French, in an Opel, Lancia or Alfa Romeo, was the same: to win this 26th Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique hands down, with maximum panache!