Nothing in Monte Carlo is understated, from the baubles to the yachts to the bank accounts. Now add traffic pile-ups to that list.
The Hope Diamond of fender benders unfolded yesterday in possibly the most conspicuous stretch of asphalt in the .75-square-mile principality — the round-about in front of the James Bond-worthy casino — when three blondes in a jelly-bean blue Bentley Azure ($363,000) scraped the rear of a white Mercedes-Benz S-Class (a paltry $91,000). And that was merely the appetizer.
Served up for the main course were a hapless black Ferrari F430 ($186,000), which was hit nose-first by the 2.7-ton Bentley. Then, like two tankers mashing in the fog, a four-door Aston Martin Rapide ($228,000) crunched into the Azure’s passenger door. The cherry on this metal, plastic and carbon-fiber shattering souffle: a stray Porsche 911 ($77,000).
In all, a Titanic mess in mere moments, involving nearly a million dollars of primo automotive machinery. How did this happen? A quick photo-based forensics of the scene based on knowledge of the Place du Casino offers many clues.
What’s evident is that these five vehicles did not all converge on each other in one massive supercar big bang. The Bentley clearly was at fault. Its nose is pointing straight at the casino’s entrance, an entrance where fine cars are routinely valet-parked diagonally. It seems that the Bentley’s driver thought she could sneak past the white Mercedes, then swerved right when she realized they were going to collide, which in turn clipped the Rapide coming up on her right. The Ferrari and the Porsche were collateral damage – parked directly in the Bentley’s now diverted path.
Any chance that the trio responsible for this mess — whose damage tally will easily hit six-figures — would get to scamper off anonymously after a quick chat with Monaco’s famously efficient and ever-present white-gloved police were dashed given both the coordinates of the crash and the time of year. If there ever was a season when this moneyed retreat is more crowded than Times Square on New Year’s Eve, it’s summer. Photos of the crowd, gleefully gawking and photographing the impromptu car show run amok, only go to show that when rich people do dumb things in a big way, the masses are more than happy to snicker.