Interview: Thierry Boutsen shares his secrets to success in the aviation and classic car industries

In this interview with Monaco Life, F1 driver-turned-business magnate Thierry Boutsen talks about the successes he has enjoyed at the helm of Boutsen Aviation, the innovations he is driving and the cars he will be presenting with his son at the upcoming edition of Top Marques Monaco.  

24 years after the launch of Boutsen Aviation, the firm is celebrating the 20th sale of a Falcon 7X. 

“It’s a great satisfaction in all aspects,” Thierry Boutsen tells Monaco Life, adding how he and his team like to visit each customer personally following the conclusion of a sale.  

The very first collaboration with Dassault, which designs and engineers the Falcon fleet, came back in 2002 when Boutsen sold a Falcon 20 that had previously been owned by Prince Rainier III.

“It was a fireworks moment for us as this was our very first Falcon,” he reveals.  

The interior of a Falcon 7X. Photo supplied

A lot has happened since then. The recent sale of the Falcon 7X is the 422nd sale to be handled by Boutsen and his team in an impressive 72 countries worldwide.  

“Each of these sales is like a victory,” says Boutsen. “The most significant thing that I am very proud of is that we sold aeroplanes from all manufacturers involved in the aviation business.” 

This sense of magnanimity, and of inclusivity, permeates Boutsen Aviation, with the founder saying that his recipe to success in managing a team is where, “There’s no such thing as a person being more important than the other one in Boutsen Aviation.”  

Another key element is being ready to adapt and to update, to innovate and be prepared for change.  

Low-emission planes are one sector of the market that Boutsen is keeping his eye firmly on. Trends happen quickly, he says, and it’s important not to miss the moment. 

Boutsen Classic Cars at Top Marques

But while his focus is on the aviation industry, the former F1 driver is always abreast with the luxury automobile sector, as evidenced by his preparations for the upcoming edition of Top Marques Monaco, which will be held between 5th and 9th June at the Grimaldi Forum. 

Of the 150 or so supercars on show here, around a dozen or so will be representing Boutsen Classic Cars. 

His son and the co-founder of this branch of the business, Cedric, will be helping Thierry to man the company’s 80sqm metre space at the Grimaldi Forum and field questions on the spectacular line-up of cars and vehicles that the brand will be presenting.  

Among them are a Lamborghini Murcielago and a very special 1990 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 Nomad, which is powered by a 3.5L V8 engine producing 183BHP.  

“This car has been completely restored and renewed to become a high-end Defender,” Boutsen says proudly.  

The “high-end Defender” that Boutsen Classic Cars will be hoping to sell at Top Marques Monaco. Photo supplied

Other pieces include a beautiful 1960 Ferrari 250, a completely restored 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III, an Aston Martin Volante and a Lamborghini Huracan LP 1200 Zyrus, which is one of just nine ever produced. All will be available for sale.  

“My expectation for this year will be to sell a few of these cars as well as expand our network and find new customers,” he says. “My life has been driven by passion, whether it is racing or aviation.” 


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Main photo of Thierry Boutsen (left) and Dominique Trinquet, President of Boutsen Aviation, supplied