Today, the mountainous country road at La Turbie above Monaco is just a public thoroughfare with a great view of the Mediterranean. From time to time it is closed for the Rally Monte Carlo. From 1897, however, there was once a hillclimb race here. At that time the surface wasn’t yet asphalted. Gravel, sand, and potholes were part of the landscape instead. Accordingly, wrong decisions at the wheel meant even worse consequences than nowadays, when you merely hit the guardrails. From 1904 to 1908 and during World War 1, the hillclimb didn’t take place. Exactly 100 years ago, at the eighth edition of the race, Jean Mabille was among the participants in a Bugatti Type 13. He kept his sports car safely on the road and easily mastered the 6.3-kilometer course. With a time of 6 minutes and 24 seconds, he also achieved the best time and thus won the race.
Ettore Bugatti was proud of this first appearance of a sports car from his company in this hillclimb. Many more victories and podium finishes followed, especially with the Type 35 and Type 37 model series. To celebrate the historic success of 1922 in a worthy manner, a Bugatti customer took a team of photographers with him on the climb to La Turbie. He himself, a former Formula 1 racing driver, was behind the wheel of his Chiron Pur Sport, which had only just been delivered. Interestingly, Jean Mabille’s Type 13 wore a livery of silver and green that is echoed to some extent by its modern descendant. Here, however, the green parts are manufactured in green bare carbon. The nickname of this specific car can be found on the rear wing: “Green Rhapsody”. Inside, the new owner opted for black and light grey leather. However, the steering wheel received red grip areas. Special graphics are painted on the door panels.