History of the avd (1899 – today)

Since the German-Chinese automobile club in the avd was a revival of the former local automobile club of tsingtau (1912-1914), the oldest automobile club in china, we would like to give you the opportunity to learn about the great history of the most prestigious German automobile club.

parts of the text are based on texts of the imperial automobile club, some parts are taken from wikipedia.

Have fun reading!

today’s automobile club of germany (avd) is the oldest german automobile club – and one of the oldest automobile clubs worldwide.

1899 – 1904

In 1899, the German Automobile Club (DAC) was founded in Berlin. the suggestion came from her imperial highness, grand duchess anastasia of mecklenburg-schwerin. The DAC formed the umbrella organization of various local and corporate clubs throughout germany, and was thus the first germany-wide automobile club.

Those who joined the DAC had a wealth of benefits to enjoy – in addition to social prestige. Membership in this closed, exclusive society was gladly demonstrated by means of a DAC badge, clearly visible on the radiator grille of the vehicle. Members included many nobles, military officers of high rank, landowners, directors, bankers, commercial councillors, politicians and diplomats. in a certain position it was essential to be a member of the DAC, because it was the only institution in berlin where it was possible to converse with the top echelons of the economic bourgeoisie.

Just one year after its founding, a local club of the DAC of 14.-29.7.1900 the first international automobile exhibition in frankfurt/main. Although at that time there were only ca. 70 automobiles in frankfurt, the exhibition is to celebrate 100.attracted 000 visitors. even today, the IAA frankfurt is one of the largest and most important automotive exhibitions in the world.
in 1904, the avd organized the first international car race in germany, the coupe gordon bennett race at homburg vor der hohe. This competition, donated by the publisher of the "new york herald" in 1899 as a challenge cup, enjoyed international significance and had an unprecedentedly strong impact on the international automotive industry. Germany defended its honor with dignity before the eyes of the emperor, but the victory was won by France.
emperor wilhelm was so impressed by the club’s achievements that he accepted honorary membership in the same year.
On the initiative of the DAC, a meeting was held following the race on 20. June 1904 the representatives of the international automobile clubs present in bad homburg to discuss the foundation of a world automobile federation. These consultations resulted in the establishment of the "association internationale des automobile-clubs reconnus" in paris (AIACR), the international federation of all recognized national automobile clubs. The DAC is a founding member of this world federation, today’s FIA.

1905 – 1911

On Christmas Eve 1905, a new, pioneering era began for the DAC: Emperor Wilhelm II. took over the protectorate of the club "by supreme cabinet order. Since then, the club has enjoyed the unique privilege of being able to call itself the kaiserlicher automobil-club, KAC. with the emperor and his brother, prince heinrich of prussia, the KAC had two extremely influential and important supporters behind it. The ties with prince heinrich, who had always been very fond of motor sports, were particularly groundbreaking. The latter took over numerous protectorates, such as that of the international automobile exhibition in 1906, and also gave its name to its own races, such as the prinz-heinrich-fahrten.

The KAC was also strongly involved in questions of traffic infrastructure and traffic regulation and safety. From 1906, the club was actively involved in the development of the first traffic regulations. In addition, he also addressed social and tourism issues in his association’s work. questions of road traffic improvement, technology, safety, the prevention of excessive stress on the motorist and motor tourism fell within its remit. A pension fund for chauffeurs was founded, which later became known as the "Kaiser Wilhelm Foundation" did a great deal in the social field for drivers who were in distress, for example as a result of an accident.

in general, the club’s founding goal at the time, to strengthen germany’s position in automotive sports, among other things, was almost achieved. the KAC held regular races in which prince heinrich personally participated. These included the 1907 kaiserpreis race, the 1905-1907 herkomer competitions and, of course, the 1908-1910 prinz-heinrich rides. These races, whose venues were spread all over germany, were enthusiastically received by the public and enormously promoted the technical and economic development of the automobile.

1912 – 1935

in 1912, the KAC-ortsclub automobil-club tsingtau was founded in the german colony of tsingtau (china). This had 30 members. The capitulation of the german colony of tsingtau on 7. November 1914 the existence of the tsingtau automobile club ended after only two years, because the german defenders were taken to japan as prisoners of war. read more under: "automobile club tsingtau (1912-1914)"!

In germany, too, the development of the automobile was brought to a head by the outbreak of the 1. World War II an abrupt interruption. Although the KAC continued to operate in its functions, it was severely limited by the events of wartime. After the 1. After World War II, and the associated end of the monarchy, the KAC changed its legal form by passing a resolution at an extraordinary general meeting on 7.12.1918 changed its name to automobilclub von deutschland, avd.

In addition to motorsport, to which the avd remained committed, road safety was and still is another important issue: in 1924, the avd was therefore one of the founders of the german traffic watch organization. In 1926, the club organized the first "grand prix of germany" at the AVUS in Berlin, which it helped to finance.

in 1935, the avd abandoned its statutory purpose and changed its name to the deutscher ausland-club (german foreign club) in order to avoid the Nazi motoring corps (nSKK).

1948 – 1972

On 6. november 1948 the avd was re-established in konigstein im taunus. the following year, the FIA assembly unanimously decided to reinstate the avd. avd members huschke von hanstein, manfred von brauchitsch, paul von metternich and juan manuel fangio again achieved success in motorsport.

1953 the club started its roadside assistance service with six DKW box cars. in 1967, avd sports president huschke von hanstein brought formula v to germany. in the same year (1967), the avd promoted the introduction of the safety belt with public accident demonstrations. 1968 saw the launch of the avd car ecG – the first technical test to be conducted on the move.

in addition to its commitment to road safety and roadside assistance, in the following years the avd became more and more involved with older vehicles. Together with the club historischer renn- und sportfahrzeuge nurburgring e. V. (CHRSN) and the hesse motorsport club e. V. Wiesbaden, the avd therefore organized the first international historic race at the nurburgring in 1972 – this event later gave rise to the avd-oldtimer-grand-prix.

1973 until today

In recent years, avd has developed into a modern service company and significantly expanded its services. With the am 6. October 2008 announced cooperation with allianz in the areas of insurance and service, the offer of the club was again improved.

in 2012, the foundation of the imperial automobile club revived past traditions. The new, old KAC is a lifestyle-oriented club "in a small circle for lovers of classic cars and "savoir vivre to preserve the joy of engineering excellence of its time – from connoisseurs for connoisseurs – based on authentic history and tradition.

in 2013/2014, 100 years after the dissolution of the then chinese local club "automobile club tsingtau" in 1914, the german-chinese automobile club was founded in the avd, but also other clubs (german-american, german-russian, etc.) were founded.).

In this way, Germany’s oldest and most prestigious automobile club is not only living up to its social responsibility in Germany, but increasingly in other countries as well. Because the world is growing ever closer together, it makes sense to tackle the major problems of future individual mobility together.

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Christina Cherry
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