Learn the Fascinating History of the Monte Carlo Rally

The Automobile Club of Monaco organizes the Monte Carlo Rally, also known as Rallye Monte-Carlo or Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo, every year. The rally was created in 1911 by Prince Albert I with the goals of showcasing advancements in-car technology and promoting Monaco as a Mediterranean vacation destination. The competition used to be a “concentration rally,” in which participants would leave from various starting locations around Europe and travel to Monaco, where the rally would continue through a series of unique stages. The concept changed in 1997. The rally presently takes place in southeast France and Monaco along the French Riviera.


With a long history that dates to 1911, the Monte Carlo Rally is one of the most recognizable and storied racing competitions in the world. The rally, commonly known as the Rallye Monte-Carlo, is put on every year in the Principality of Monaco and the territories along the French Riviera by the Automobile Club de Monaco.

The 1911 Monte Carlo Rally was the first of its kind, and it served to further the growth of the motor industry. The competition had a series of difficult stages that put the cars’ and drivers’ endurance and ability to the test. The rally gained popularity rapidly and established itself as a regular event on the racing calendar.

The Monte Carlo Rally has undergone various adjustments throughout the years to keep up with the changing rules and technology in the racing industry. The race has been run on a variety of surfaces, including metropolitan streets, icy highways, and winding mountain roads. The rally has also included a variety of automobiles, including both vintage and contemporary rally cars.

The Monte Carlo Rally has always been renowned for being difficult and unexpected, despite the modifications. The rally’s variety of surface types and weather conditions, such as ice, snow, and rain, make it a genuine test of the drivers’ and teams’ mettle.

The Monte Carlo Rally is still one of the most thrilling and anticipated competitions on the racing calendar today. For both participants and spectators, the rally offers an amazing event that honors the heritage and competitive spirit of racing.


Winning Monte Carlo Car Berlinetta Rally 1973
Winning Monte Carlo Car Berlinetta Rally 1973

Several different types of vehicles are permitted to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally. These vehicles are based on production versions but have undergone extensive modifications to conform to the rally racing rules established by the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile). The following are the cars used in the previous Monte Carlo Rally:

  • 2000s – Alfa Romeo 147 Range
  • 1950s – Allard J2
  • 1940s – Allard P1
  • 1960s – Alpine A110
  • 1970s – Alpine A310
  • 1920s – Amilcar CGSS
  • 1920 – Arrol-Aster
  • 1950s – Aston Martin DB2/4
  • 1980s – Audi Quattro S1 E2
  • 1960s – Austin A40 Farina Mark II
  • 1910s – Bignan History
  • 2000s – Citroën C4 WRC
  • 1950s – Citroën DS
  • 1990s – Citroën Xsara 
  • 1930s – Delahaye 135
  • 1940s – Delahaye 175
  • 1960s – Fiat 124 Sport Spider
  • 1980s – Ford Escort RS Cosworth
  • 1990s – Ford Focus MK 1
  • 2000s – Ford Focus MK 2
  • 1950s – Ford Zephyr Mark I
  • 1970s – FSO Polonez
  • 1920s – Invicta
  • 1920s – Jaguar History
  • 1950s – Jaguar Mark VII
  • 1940s – Jowett Javelin
  • 1950s – Jowett Jupiter
  • 1980s – Lancia Delta Group A
  • 1980s – Lancia Delta S4
  • 1970s – Lancia Stratos
  • 1890s – Lorrain-Dietrich
  • 1980s – MG Metro 6R4
  • 1960s – Saab 96
  • 1950s – Sunbeam Rapier
  • 1950s – Sunbeam Rapier Series II
  • 1950s – Sunbeam-Talbot 90 MkII IIA
  • 1930s – Triumph Dolomite Straight 8
  • 1920s – Triumph Super 7 & 8


Throughout its history, the rally has been won by a variety of notable drivers and teams. Some of the most successful drivers in the history of the Monte Carlo Rally include:

  1. Sébastien Loeb
  2. Tommi Mäkinen 
  3. Juha Kankkunen 
  4. Walter Röhrl 
  5. Stig Blomqvist 
  6. Carlos Sainz 
  7. Miki Biasion 
  8. Björn Waldegård 

The Monte Carlo Rally is one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world, taking place every four years. The event has produced some of the world’s most talented and successful drivers and teams over the years.

Interesting Facts

  • In 2019, Sébastien Ogier set two event records with the smallest winning margin in history

Sébastien Ogier set a record with his sixth consecutive event victory (a new record) and his seventh overall. It was the 100th victory for the Citroen World Rally Team since its founding in 1998. 

  • Jari-Matti Latvala become the joint-most experienced driver in WRC history

Jari-Matti Latvala breaks Carlos Sainz’s World Rally Championship record by making his 196th WRC start. The Finn tied the record at last year’s Monte Carlo Rally when he made his 202nd appearance. He broke the record in Sweden where he drove a Toyota Hilux for the M-Sport Ford team.

  • A British driver has not won the Monte Carlo Rally in more than half a century

Vic Elford won the Monte Carlo Rally and the Daytona 24 Hours in 1968. He also won the Targa Florio and Nürburgring 1000km in a Porsche 908. Elford made his Formula 1 debut at the 1968 French Grand Prix in a Cooper T86B.

  • Its lineage dates to 1906

The first Rallye Monte Carlo started in 1909, with Prince Albert I of Monaco’s blessing. The Société des Bains de Mer sponsored the road rally event. Each competitor would drive thousands of miles from five starting locations in Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Vienna, and Berlin. Charles Jarrott may be considered the forerunner of today’s Monte Carlo Rally. In 1906, he set a lofty goal of traveling from London to Monte Carlo in 48 hours. Challenge by Hon. C. S. Rolls, driving a more potent Rolls-Royce, beat his time by 90 seconds.

  • The podium has been locked out only seven times since 1911

The standard has only been duplicated six times since it was established in 1960. Sandro Munari led home Björn Waldegrd and Bernard Darniche for his third consecutive Monte Carlo victory in 1976.


Monte Carlo Rally is renowned for its difficult and hard roads that wind through Monaco’s stunning and picturesque nature and the neighboring districts. Some of the most recognizable personalities in motorsports history have won the rally.