Saturday 21st January 1911
Twenty-three cars from 11 different locations around Europe converged on the tiny Principality of Monaco to compete in the first Monte Carlo car rally. Organised by the Automobile Club de Monaco, the challenging race took place along the French Riviera. Results depended not on driving time alone, but on judges’ assessments of the automobiles’ design and passenger comfort, as well as the condition the vehicles were in after covering the 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) of roads not really made for the horseless carriage. The arbitrary system provoked a minor outrage, but the judges’ decision stood. French car dealer Henri Rougier won first place in a Turcat-Méry 45-bhp model. Second place went to a driver named Aspaigu in a Gobron and third to Jules Beutler in a Martini. The rally was held again the following year, but then not again until 1924. World War II and its aftermath interrupted the annual event, with no rallies from 1940 through 1948.