Top Marques 2011: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.


If there exists one city in the world that wouldn't benefit economically from an exclusive nouveau riche billionaires only autoshow, its the tiny principality squeezed between the Cote d'Azur and the Italian Riviera. This week all the richest people in the world jumped in their supercars, drove a few minutes down the road, and started throwing cheques at whichever auto tuner managed to glue the most carbon fiber to our beloved hyper cars.  

If you haven't guessed it already, it's Monaco that I'm on about. The car spotters over at www.autogespot.com have already shown us a glimpse of the ridiculousness of the current Monaco street scene. Pictures of Bugatti Veyron traffic jams and masses of Gemballa Porsche's and Mansory Aston Martins stuck in traffic have started to surface and it's become completely surreal. The show itself is an acquired taste as its all quite brash and poke your eyes out my daddy is richer than your daddy. But for supercar spotters, if you take sloane street in London on a mid july day out of the equation, than it doesn't get much better than this.
  • The Good
 Jaguar XKR-S: Coupe Jags have always enjoyed the last word in design perfection, and the newest rendition, the 2011 XK's, are no different. Now they've come out with an "S" edition, which adds even more oomph to the already bloody fast supercharged XKR. If you can't afford a new one, then please, by all means, buy a second hand previous generation XKR. If you can get past the outdated everything, you'll appreciate the Jag for it's unparalleled beauty and design. Cars.com 2005 XKR $24k
  • The bad
Conquest Knight XV: Bad to the bone, and immensely impressive, this fully armored vehicle is twice the size of a Hummer in every dimension, and is as close as anyone can get to legally driving an army tank on the road. Don't ask about fuel consumption, all you need to know is that it's Canadian,  powered by a GM 6.8 liter V10, costs $500,000, has ballistic windows, and can withstand a rocket launcher guerrilla attack. 
  • The ugly
Crashed Ferrari 599 GTO. With so many mangled and ruined tuner supercar creations , I decided to go with an actually mangled Ferrari 599 GTO. This utterly beautiful Fezza in a very unique color was wrecked today during the Tour Auto 2011. The car was registered in Monaco and had previously been spotted in front of Hotel de Paris, intact. Although the driver and passenger were not hurt, it's a seriously saddening accident. To see a picture of the car in better times click here: http://www.gtspirit.com/2011/04/15/car-crash-ferrari-599-gto-2/ 


What makes Top Marques unique is it's infamous test car paddock. Typically any well known autoshow will have an area for serious buyers to test out it's newest premieres upon flashing some cash. At Top Marques it's similar business, but the test car paddock has more in the way of a future supercar hall of fame. The test drive will typically consist of a slow ride through the Monte Carlo tunnel, along the casino, past Cafe Paris and back down to the boats. Surely a supercar test route through public streets is dangerous, but in Monaco it's bumper to bumper traffic and you'll be riding the clutch more than you'd be riding anything else. You'll know exactly how many cup holders the Koenigsegg Agera has, but no impression of it's performance. The fastest moving thing on any given day in Monaco will be the car spotter sprinting through Ferrari and Porsche traffic to snap the first pic of a 2012 hypercar in the wild. 

What the Monaco streets look like right this second: