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Monica was a brand of luxury cars created in France in the 1970s by Jean Tastevin, a French industrialist whose wife's name was Monique. Monica was the last attempt (after Facel Vega) to create a luxury brand in France. Its only French competitor was the Citroen SM Opera, the sedan which was built by Chapron. Although intended to be built in France, design, development and prototype building was entrusted to Chris Lawrence at C.J. Lawrence Consultants of Ravenscourt Place, London. The 4-door, 4-seat saloon featured a De Dion rear suspension. Final styling and trimming was by David Coward once of James Young (coachbuilders) and Motor Magazine The earliest prototype Monicas were powered by the Ted Martin designed 3.4l V8 engine but later prototypes and the production model were equipped with a Chrysler 5.6 litre V8. Advertised transmission options were the Chrysler Torqueflight system or a ZF 5-speed manual gear box. The styling and prototype body mouldings were produced by Bob Curl in Hastings. Several show cars were repainted after the Motor Show by John Drew, from the Bristol area, after the owner had seen his work for Bristol Cars themselves at the show. John was then invited over to the factory to advise on production of the Monica and recalls that, as many different nationalities were represented on the workforce, any production problem would result in heated multilingual discussions. The Monica 560 was presented at the Salon de Paris in 1972 and production began in 1973 at a facility located in Balbigny, Loire. Only 8 production cars (in addition to 22 prototypes) were completed before the factory closed in 1974, a victim of the 1973 Oil crisis. The Monica offered for sale here is being sold directly from the estate of the late Chris Lawrence, the project's Chief Engineer. It was Chris' road car for the last 8 years of his life, and was collected by him from the Paris head quarters of C.F.P.M. in 2003. The car was extensively worked on and was displayed with great pride at the Cartier Style et Luxe at Goodwood in 2005. Being offered for sale with a new MoT and road fund licence, this is a chance to purchase the ultimate 'Grand Routier', with the provenance and cachet of being the designer's own machine.
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