On April 14, 1929, Prince Pierre inaugurated the 1st Monaco Grand Prix organized by the Automobile Club de Monaco (founded in 1890), and performed a lap of honour in a Voisin Torpedo driven by Race Director Charles Faroux. There were 16 cars on the grid (eight Bugattis, three Alfa Romeos, two Maseratis, a Licorne and a Mercedes SSK) with positions drawn at random. A certain Englishman by the name of W. Williams, who arrived too late to take part in the official practice sessions, got up at dawn on the Saturday and stunned all onlookers with an unofficial practice run. Williams went on to win the Grand Prix in a green 35B Bugatti in a time of 3 hours, 56 minutes and 11 seconds, at an average speed over the 100 laps of 80.194kph. The race was a phenomenal success. On April 19, 1932, the assembled crowd gave a rapturous welcome to Sir Malcolm Campbell who opened the 2nd Monaco Grand Prix at the wheel of a superb black and silver Rolls Royce Torpedo. From 1938 to 1947, the Grand Prix could not be held. Finally, on May 16, 1948, the almost forgotten roar of engines was once more heard echoing through the streets of the Principality. However on May 9, 1949, Prince Louis II died and the Grand Prix was not held that year. On May 21, 1950, the 11th Grand Prix was won by the late Juan Manuel Fangio from Argentina. The following year, the race was once again cancelled due to budgetary concerns and because rules for newer faster cars had not yet been drafted. The 12th Grand Prix was held on request of HSH the Sovereign Prince. However, it was run with sports cars, as the international regulations had still not yet been finalized. In 1953 and 1954, the Grand Prix was not held for the same reason. On May 21, 1955, the 13th Monaco Grand Prix returned to the streets of the Principality and has been held every year since. Since then, however, the course has undergone several transformations and the Gran Prix de Monaco continue to be a legend.




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