ACF in Paris – Place of Automobile History

Paris, France

The Automobile Club de France (ACF) in Paris has just been named a Place of Automotive History by the FFVE (French Federation of Vintage Vehicles). In order to inscribe in the memories the places that have marked this history, the FFVE has chosen to celebrate them by creating a program entitled “Places of Automotive History”. The idea is to affix a plaque indicating their presence and describing their history on places deserving that their memory be perpetuated, whether they have lost or retained their original function; Factories, test tracks, circuits, garages, various buildings …

Founded in 1895, the ACF, the first automobile club in the world, has perpetuated since its inception, a double vocation: to constitute a prestigious circle and a society of encouragement for the development of the automobile. Initially established on Place de l’Opéra, the ACF headquarters moved to 6 and 8, Place de la Concorde, in the sumptuous hotels Plessis-Bellière in 1898 and Moreau in 1905. These two buildings built in the second half of the eighteenth century, works of Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux, were rehabilitated by the architect Rives between 1898 and 1912. These hotels are one of the architectural components of the Place de la Concorde.

Created by the actors of the first competitions of “horseless carriages”, the ACF is an incubator and a reference of the discipline with society and the authorities. Motor shows (since 1898), Highway Code (1905), grand prix on closed circuits – such as the Grand Prix de l’ACF (1906-1967) – are his most significant initiatives. The ACF also organized many city-to-city races at the beginning of the 20th century, such as the Paris-Berlin in 1901 illustrated above. A privileged meeting place, a melting pot of expertise, the ACF plays a leading role in the foundation of many automotive institutions and related industries. Today, as in the past, it remains a discreet but influential player in this ecosystem. Find the other Places of Automotive History on the website of the FFVE (in French).

The photos on this page belong to FFVE, no right of reproduction without the express permission of the museum