Charles Faroux

29/12/1872 - 10/2/1957

Record updated

The origional doyen of motoring journalists, it was Charles Faroux who came up with the idea of the 24 hour race at Le Mans.

Charles Faroux
Charles Faroux was born on December 29, 1872 in the Rue Noyon in a suburb of Amiens where his father Eugène Théophile was a sheep merchant. After studying at the Faculty of Science of Paris, he won the "Prix Scientifique Fourneyron" which came with a 25.000 franc prize. He travelled to America where he worked for the Metropolitan Street Railway Co.

His travels also took him to Alaska where he discovered his talent for journalism. He returned to Paris in 1900 and became interested in cars. He founded the Société d’Etudes Mécaniques in 1903 with Paul Daniel, the inventor of the rotary engine, and in 1906 they created the first 6 cylinder car. He was also working as a journalist for l'Auto.

In 1908 he drove a Motobloc in the the "Coppa Floria" but did not finish.

Charles Faroux was the doyen of automotive journalists, the original leader of the genre, who ruled from his seat at La Vie Automobile from before World War I.

During the war he fought at Verdun but was then then sent to Chalais-Meudon to work with Hispano-Suiza developing aero engines.

The 24 hours of Le Mans was conceived by him in 1923. He was concerned about the poor performance of the electrical equipment on cars at that time. He therefor suggested to two colleagues, Georges Durand, Secretary General of l’automobile club de l’ouest, and Emile Coquille, Managing Director of the French branch of the Rudge-Whitworth Wheel Company, the idea of running a night race in order to promote the development of these accessories. The race quickly established itself as the ultimate endurance test and one of the most famous races in the world. He was race director from 1923 untill 1956.

He was the official starter of the Monaco Grand Prix from the first race on April 14th 1929, untill Louis Chiron took over.

For the Monte Carlo Rally he donated the "Charles Faroux Cup" for best performance by three nominated cars.

Presented with the Légion d’Honneur in 1953, he died in 1957 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. His son was killed in 1940, fighting for France in the Second World War.