The Tour de France automobile is a competition consisting of stage races across France in cars. This event was created in 1899 by L’Automobile Club de France and organized by the newspaper Le Matin. The first edition ran from July 16 to 24, 1899. 19 cars were at the start, 9 on the finishline. 25 motorcycles also took part in the race which counted 7 stages on 2 216 km. René de Knyff won on a Panhard & Levassor.
This event has changed quite a few times of name and has been set up in many different ways through time and has gone from very popular when the best drivers on the best cars of the moment face it, but also had some far less attractive editions, if not almost anecdotal.
From 1970 to 1974, the Tour de France automobile was organized in parallel with the “Grand National”, a race reserved for French licensees, competing on the same dates and on the same course, albeit reduced. It will be abandoned in 1986.
A new event called “Tour de France Automobile Historique” was set up from 1992 to 1998 by Peter Auto and the Automobile Club of Nice and Côte d’Azur as a competition reserved to historic vehicles. In 1998, ASO, organizer of the famous cycling Tour de France, imposed that the name of the race could not be “Tour de France Automobile”, and it was then renamed “Tour Auto”.
Organized since 1992 by Peter Auto, the Tour Auto gathers every year 230 historic cars, including at least one model of the same type participated in the Tour de France Automobile between 1951 and 1973. In 2009, the Tour Auto takes the name of Tour Auto Optic 2000.
It will take place this year from April 29 to May 4, 2019 and will start by the exhibition of all vehicles competing in front of the Grand Palais n Monday April 29. The race will end in Deauville on May 4. More information on the official website of Peter Auto.