In 1899, the German Automobile Club (DAC) was founded in Berlin. Immediately afterwards the Club became well known due to the strong support of Prince Henry of Prussia. In 1904 this young club was put to the test by organizing the V. Gordon Bennet race around a castle in the Taunus region close to Frankfurt. The opportunity to successfully coordinate such a challenging race, instantly raised the DAC’s international reputation and gave it world-wise credibility.
1804 and 1905 were significant years. After the race on June 20th 1904, the DAC organized a meeting with representatives of other international automotive clubs to discuss possible mergers. The International Automobile Federation, now known as the FIA, was formed as a result of this meeting with the DAC as one of its founding members.
On Christmas Eve of 1905 a ground-breaking era began for the DAC when Kaiser Wilhelm II took over patronage of the club under the Allerhöchste Kabinettsorder (AKO). Since then the club enjoyed the unique privilege to call itself the „Emperors Club“ (Kaiserlicher Automobilclub or K.A.C.). Also in 1905, the club took over the former Palais Bleichröder on Leipziger Platz in Berlin, which for many years stood as a landmark and a social centre for the German automotive industry. The K.A.C. also became instrumental in several pioneering efforts to raise automotive standards. For example, through its efforts, the first automobile liability law was introduced. In addition, the K.A.C. was very active in matters related to transportation infrastructure, traffic and safety control, and participated in the development of early traffic regulations. As a further part of its charter, the K.A.C. worked on social and tourism issues of the day. Among its concerns were road improvement, various safety technologies, security, protection of excessively stressed drivers, and motor-tourism.
By World War I the K.A.C. played a very active role in motor sports and became famous for its automotive competitions, like the „Emperor’s Prize Race“ and the „Prince Henry Rallies“. At a landmark general meeting on 7 December 1918, the K.A.C. changed its name to Automobile Club of Germany, AvD, which remains to this day. Unfortunately, World War II abruptly cut short the development and growth of the club till later.
In 2012, a new K.A.C. was founded to recognize and build on these timeless traditions. Its mission, amidst the wonders of today’s automotive innovations, is to appreciate and treasure its history and assets, and to build a strong future on its unequalled reputation and heritage.