Child Car Monaco Ladies Vintage Rally 2023

The 10th edition of the Ladies Vintage Car Rally took place on Sunday, September 10th, with nearly a hundred women – and for the first time – men stepping out to support Child Care Monaco. This year’s dress code: “The Charleston”, a nod to Prince Rainier as 2023 marks the centenary of his birth.

Now, usually, I would write about how unique this fundraiser is, how it shines a very bright light on women in Monaco and how wonderfully they can come together for a humanitarian cause. I would probably say that Martine Ackermann founded Child Care Monaco in 2012 with a mission to “promote and help the education of disadvantaged children in the world”, and has on-the-ground projects in India, Guatemala and South Africa. And, surely, I would add that Martine not only pours her heart into organising this vintage car rally for women (with the help of Bernhard, Theo, Carla, Annie, Dominque and David Golland), but she also finds the time to support each and every one of us for our events across the year.

Instead, I want to share other rally driver’s experiences. Throughout the day, I spoke with familiar faces and new faces to the Ladies Vintage Car Rally.

Here are the day’s highlights:
8:15am: Breakfast at the Café du Paris. I met up with Olive and Maria, and Tracy. (Scroll down for lots of photos.)

9:45am: Departure of 39 classic cars, including a 1947 Delahaye 135 MS and 1962 1500 Giulia Spider Alfa Romeo, courtesy of the Prince’s Car Collection and its director, Valérie Closier.  (WATCH VIDEO TOP OF ARTICLE).

12pm: The group made their way west past Nice and up to Opio to the secluded (this was a speakeasy, after all) Le Mas des Geraniums, where lunch was followed by roulette, a tombola and dancing, and not necessarily in that order. Here is Béatrice Bordier and Magali Jacquet-Lagreze from CFM-Indosuez Monaco,

12pm: The group made their way west past Nice and up to Opio to the secluded (this was a speakeasy, after all) Le Mas des Geraniums, where lunch was followed by roulette, a tombola and dancing, and not necessarily in that order. Here is Béatrice Bordier and Magali Jacquet-Lagreze from CFM-Indosuez Monaco, which donated the use of six cars.

5 pm: The post-lunch route led to afternoon tea at l’Antre Potes in Eze. Newcomers Simone and Audrey share their thoughts.

7pm: The day comes to an end with a prize giving in the presence of Princess Stephanie at Castelroc, next to the Palace.

Breakfast shots from the Café du Paris.

Valérie Closier, Director of the Prince’s Car Collection.
Bernhard Ackermann leads the way.

Article first published September 11, 2023. All photos and videos copyright Nancy Heslin.

Rugby legend Rives opens art exhibit at Prince’s Car Collection

His long blond hair earned him the nicknamed “casque d’or” (golden helmet). The BBC called him a “cult figure” in France. Jean-Pierre Rives played for France’s rugby team from 1975 to 1984 and was the first captain to lead the team to victory against the All Blacks in New Zealand on July 14, 1979. The flanker was the country’s first truly international rugby star.

Yet despite a record-breaking career in rugby, as a child Jean-Pierre had always been fascinated by colour and form and dreamt of the Beaux-Arts. Born in 1952, in Toulouse, perusing art was not an option for his generation, especially as his grandfather was a cyclist and his father favoured tennis.

When Jean-Pierre retired in 1987, after winning 59 caps for France (34 as captain) and two Grand Slams in 1977 and 1981, he gave away his game jersey and trophies because for him, what mattered most, were the people: “Rugby is the story of a ball with friends around and when there is no more ball, friends remain.”

The soft-spoken artist reflects, “Both rugby and art both are based on emotions.” (Watch Video).

The studios may have come knocking – he appeared in three films: Qui sont mes juges? (1987); Connemara (1990); and Druids in 2001 – but after discovering the work of sculptor Albert Féraud, Jean-Pierre fulfilled his calling.

As a renowned sculptor who has lived in Mendocino, California, and has a home in Grimaud, Jean-Pierre’s art has been shown around the world, in New York, Paris, Moscow, Dubai and Shanghai. In 2007, the “Rives sur Berges” outdoor exhibition installed eight of his sculptures along the Rhone River in Lyon during the Rugby World Cup.

Jean-Pierre’s “Abstraction Géométrique” exhibit opened on Monday, April 3, at the Prince’s Car Collection in Monaco. Jean-Pierre and director Valérie Closier welcomed Prince Albert at 6pm and accompanied him along the main floor where paintings and cars came together in the form of art, including a Formula 3000 and Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

Valérie enthuses, “The work is very colourful, a touch of pop art in the collection, that ties into two customised cars covered with his work. It is the link between cars and art.” (Watch Video.)

This is the first art show at the modernised Prince’s Car Collection in the new La Condamine location and the energy is contagious. Invited guests included Gareth Wittstock, secretary general of the Princess Charlene Foundation. One of Jean-Pierre’s paintings will be auctioned in the Principality later this year with proceeds going to Princess Charlene’s Foundation, which among other activities supports the Monegasque Rugby Federation in organising the Saint Devote Rugby Tournament for youth. This year it takes place on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

Also present were Jean-Francois “Jeff” Tordo (former captain of the French national rugby team and founder of the humanitarian association, Pachaamama), Tiffaney Perlino (president of Monaco’s Women in Motor Sport Commission), Brigitte Boccone-Pagès (president of Monaco’s National Council), and Martine Ackermann, founder of Child CARE Monaco and the Monte-Carlo Women’s Vintage Car Rally, this year on September 10).

Valérie hopes to bring in several exhibits every year to create a “living space” that will keep people coming back. (Breaking News: Monaco Fashion Week will have its catwalk to the backdrop of the cars and art in May.)

This is the first time Jean-Pierre Rives, 70, is sharing his “Abstraction Géométrique” with the public. The exhibit runs until the end of May at the Prince’s Car Collection at 54 route de la piscine. Admission is €10 or €5 for under 18. Open daily 10 am to 7 pm.

Prince Albert with artist Jean-Pierre Rives and Valerie Closier,, director of the Prince’s Car Collection.
Valerie Closier, Prince Albert and Jean-Pierre Rives .
Tiffaney Perlino, Valérie Closier, Jean-Pierre Rives, Martine Ackermann, Nancy Heslin and Jean-Jaques Bally. at “Abstraction Géométrique”vernissage.
Jean-Pierre Rives with Jeff Tordo.