Monica 560 1974
2017 Concours d'Elegance Paleis het Loo - Apeldoorn (NL)
Another car I was happy to see for the first time, the French Monica. Essentially it was an attempt to relive the classic French Grand Routiers which had died out with the demise of Facel Vega. The brain child of railway equipment manufacturer Jean Tastevin and developed by British engineer Chris Lawrence.
After a long and difficult prototype stage which started in 1968 the production model was finally presented in 1973. It was modern, fast and luxurious. Power came from a 5.6 Litre Chrysler V8, in the middle of the oil crisis. Production was planned in Tastevin's railway equipment factory, complete with a new expensive steel press for the body and without any previous car manufacturing experience. Unsurprising all this spelled disaster for the project. Between 1974 and 1975 around ten production models were made until Jean Tatstevin pulled the plug and the car disappeared from the market.
Apparently only 6 Monica's are still around. Even though it was a commercial failure and not well known at the time the car has acquired a bit of a cult status among car enthusiasts. Mostly because of its attractive styling and its wonderfully plush interior. Strange therefore that this car wasn't entered in the concours but stood a bit on the side.