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Automobile Club de France (Association, France)


Last modified: 2016-11-19 by ivan sache
Keywords: automobile club de france |
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Flag of the ACF - Image by Randy Young, 5 July 2013

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Presentation of the ACF

The Automobile Club de France (ACF, website) is a men's club founded on 12 November 1895 by Albert de Dion(pioneer of the automobile industry in France), Paul Meyan, and its first president, the Dutch-born Baron, Étienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt. It was the first Auto Club in the world.
The ACF, aka or "l'Auto", was initially located near the Paris Opera and benefited from a villa in the Bois de Boulogne. In 1898, the club moved to the exceptional site of the former Place Louis XV (currently Place de la Concorde) in order to offer its members more comfort in a prestigious setting. The club still occupies more than 10,000 square meters in the Hotels du Plessis-Bellière and Moreau, both located between the Hotel de Crillon (website) and the Hotel de Coislin.
On 16 January 1906, the ACF licensed the departement of Sarthe to organize an auto race. Their historical action marked the beginning of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the French Grand Prix. Organized Grand Prix motor racing evolved to become the Paris-based Formula One organization.
Today, the club maintains its head office and top notch facilities on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

The importance of the ACF is that it was the first such organization that "sparked" the automobile fever across Europe and it was a starting point for other organizations that followed and also served as sponsor of automobile races back when there was no "official racing calendar", it played a major role into the spreading of the automobile culture. Later on, this evolved into other Auto Clubs to be set up all over the world, then even an International Federation was established, the FITAC (Interamerican Federation of Touring and Automobile Clubs), which is more focused towards the defence of the rights of tourists.

Esteban Rivera, 5 October 2010

Flag of the ACF

The flag of the ACF, as seen hoisted over Hotel de Crillon, is blue with the emblem in the center.

Esteban Rivera, 5 October 2010