It's the show that gives two fingers to any economic crisis; the ninth edition of Top Marques Monaco held at Monte Carlo's Grimaldi Forum is under way, showcasing some of the most exotic and expensive offerings the automotive world has seen.
Alongside luxury boats, limited edition watches, rare jewels and art, at Top Marques the super-rich can view and even experience the latest Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, but also the truly low volume supercar manufacturers. Think Pagani, Koenigsegg, Savage, GTA, Roding, Fisker and new Slovenian supercar builder Tushek. For those needing to upstage billionaire neighbours, these are the niche toys to own.
Tushek's hand-built Renovatio T500 was given its world premiere at the show, attracting huge attention with its abundance of carbon fibre, removable hardtop and scissor doors. With a weight of 1,133kg and a fettled Audi RS4 4.2-litre V8 engine good for 450hp, it claims a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed nudging 320km/h.
Dutch manufacturer Savage unveiled its 700-800hp Rivale GTR - a racing version of the Roadyacht GTS; Pagani showcased its 730hp 6.0-litre V12, twin-turbo AMG-engined Huayra; and Koenigsegg brought a customer's Agera for show and a CCX for passenger rides.
A unique aspect of Top Marques is a dedicated pit area where some of the manufacturers offer passenger rides in their supercars around Monaco's tight and twisty streets, including parts of the Grand Prix circuit. If you look like a potential customer, you may even get a drive yourself.
The pit area directly beneath the show hall means there is a constant sound of supercar engines being fired up and then blasted away towards Monte Carlo's Marina. A fine soundtrack to enjoy while exotica shopping.
For those seeking ultimate exclusivity, Italy's Soleil Motors introduced its 320km/h Anadi using GM's LS3 supercharged V8 and a Corvette chassis. Just two have been made so far, and it's squarely aimed at the Chinese and Middle East markets, illustrated by the likes of gold stitching for the bespoke interior.
For those who prefer the Nürburgring, just 23 Roding Roadsters 23s are being produced in Germany, relying heavily on carbon fibre in the monocoque and body design, and utilising a transverse mounted BMW twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six. At just 950kg, and with 320hp, this convertible/coupé looks a superb track and fast road proposition, and is one of the more tasteful machines on show.
Top Marques Monaco is by no means a big event, but it's the exclusivity and the test drives through Monte Carlo that sets it apart. With tuners such as Gemballa, Hamann, Mansory and DellaVilla also at the party, these are the niche offerings and the supercars the super-rich want to see and be seen in, all in the world's most exclusive city.