In 1909 the Automobile Club de Monaco (Sport Automobile Velocipedique Monegasque) started planning a car rally at the behest of Albert I, Prince of Monaco. The Monte Carlo Rally was to start at points all over Europe and converge on Monte Carlo.
In January 1911, 23 cars set out from 11 different locations and Henri Rougier was among the nine who left Paris to cover a 1,020 kilometres (634 mi) route. The event was won by Rougier in a Turcat-Méry 25 Hp.
The rally comprised both driving and then somewhat arbitrary judging based on the elegance of the car, passenger comfort, and the condition in which it arrived in the principality. The outcry of scandal when the results were published changed nothing, so Rougier was proclaimed the first winner.
Over the years, the rally has witnessed many great battles and various winners and losers– none more than the famous 1966 event when the first four finishers (3 Mini Coopers and a Ford Cortina) were disqualified for not having standard dipping bulbs.
Riley were no strangers to the Monte and Rupert Riley competed in 1932/3/4/5, the first three years were in a Riley 9 War Department or ‘Army’ Tourer, the final entry was in an MPH
Each year Mr Riley started from Athens as this was considered to be the most arduous route and was the longest distance (some 3,786 kms). In 1932 he finished in 5th place in the light class and in 1934 and finished 7th overall and took 2nd in the light class.
The 2016 event celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the ﬁrst John O’Groats Start of the Monte Carlo Rally in 1926 when the Hon Mrs Victor Bruce won the event after starting from John O’Groats. It is an official ACM event which will run alongside the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, but will start at John O’Groats and will follow the original Monte format – the Concentration Run, the Mountain Circuit and Wiggle Waggle Tests.
This, combined with the obvious Riley connections, meant that it was an event not to be missed.
Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to announce that our own 1931 WD Tourer will be competing in the event in January 2016.
Full details of the event, the team, and the preparation of the car will follow on and these updates will have a separate page on the BD website, it is our intention that you will be able to track and follow our progress live during the event.
In the meantime, details on the rally can be found from either of the below websites.