The Automobile Club de Monaco was successively known as Sport Vélocipédique Monégasque, Sport Automobile et Vélocipédique de Monaco and Sport Automobile de Monaco before taking its current name.
On August 26, 1890, under the reign of HSH Prince Albert 1er, 21 cycling enthusiasts established an organisation called Sport Vélocipédique Monégasque (SVM), which soon became a member of France's national cycling body, Union Vélocipédique de France. In 1894, the first automobile race between Paris and Rouen was organised.
Sport Vélocipédique Monégasque increased the number of events, parades and races held under its auspices. Its members adopted a uniform and formed a brass band.
On August 28, 1907, SVM changed its name to Sport Automobile et Vélocipédique de Monaco (SAVM). Automobiles were now formally on the club’s agenda. Two years later, SAVM’s Chairman, Alexandre Noghès, came up with the idea of holding a car rally in Monaco right in the middle of winter. The first Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo took place in January 1911.
The current name "Automobile Club de Monaco" (ACM) was finally adopted on March 29, 1925. Chairman Alexandre Noghès sent his son Anthony to the Association Internationale des Automobiles Club Reconnus (AIACR – the forerunner of the current Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) to apply for membership. The ACM was not admitted as a member because it did not organise any motor racing events in its territory. On his return to the Principality, Anthony Noghès suggested organising a Grand Prix in the streets of Monaco.
His idea quickly won over the driver Louis Chiron and they both designed the Grand Prix track layout, which has changed very little since the early days.
The first Monaco Grand Prix was held on April 14, 1929. The circuit was inaugurated by HSH Prince Louis II. The Automobile Club de Monaco celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2010.
In January 2009, the Rallye Monte-Carlo became a round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge created by Eurosport, which promotes and organises the championship. The 79th Rallye Monte-Carlo ran from January 18 to 22, 2011, while the 2012 event will qualify once again for the World Rally Championship.
The Rally and the Grand Prix are the ACM’s two hallmark events. Other major events include:
- The Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique, which was last held between January 26 and February 2, 2011. This was the event’s 14th consecutive year and the number of entrants has risen from 60 for the inaugural event to around 330 in 2011.
- The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, which was first organised in 1997 to commemorate 700 years of the Grimaldi dynasty and then held again in 2000 to mark the end of the twentieth century. This event proved such a success that it will now be held every two years. The next event is scheduled for May 11-13, 2012, two weeks prior to the F1 Grand Prix.
- The Monaco Kart Cup, which takes place in October on the lower part of the F1 circuit, includes two FIA/CIK races (including one for juniors), as well as a team endurance race for amateur drivers. - The 13th Rallye Monte-Carlo des Energies Nouvelles et Electriques, which will take place on March 22-25, 2012, is a must for new-generation eco-friendly vehicles.
The Automobile Club de Monaco counts 5,000 members worldwide. Its premises also host the Monaco Ferrari Club and has two sections: Karting and Classic Cars.
The ACM expanded its operations to include a members-only restaurant, which opened its doors on January 10, 1987, and a shop, inaugurated in May 2000.