Did you know that the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the oldest and longest running motor race in the world?

The first race took place on 14th November in 1896, and it was held in order to celebrate the passing of the Locomotives on Highways Act .

The significance of the passing of this law, meant that the speed limit was increased to 14mph.  Previously, the limit was just 4mph in the countryside (and even lower in towns).  This act also removed the need for an escort, who had previously been required to walk ahead of the vehicle with a red flag.

So in fact, this change in motoring law was well-worth celebrating, and probably still is!

The race is for classic cars with a difference.  Forget ageism, this car run is all about the oldies.  In order to take part, the cars must have been built prior to 1905.  Therefore, the participating cars are amazingly all over 100 years old.  The value of each car ranges from £25,000 to millions of pounds.

Due to their age, the idea is not for the cars to race, but to take part.  In fact, a number of participating cars don”t finish the route at all!  Although, usually around 90% of the cars do finish.  The cars are not permitted to travel faster than an average speed of 20 miles per hour for the 54 mile journey.

Today, 116 years later, the event is as popular as ever.

Each year, around 600 entry applications are received, in order to fill the 550 available places.  The entrants come from all around the world, and ship their veteran classics into the UK in order to take part.

Amongst those taking part are are some famous names.  Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason, is a well-known classic car collector.  He owns a 1901 Panhard, which he uses in order to take part in this event.  He has driven the Panhard in the veteran car run every year since 1985, and has only not made the distance on two occasions.

The event takes place on the first Sunday of November each year.  The cars leave Hyde Park at 7am in order to arrive at the Brighton sea-front at around 10am.  The route takes the vintage classics over Westminster Bridge and out of London by Lambeth.  It then takes in Redhill and Crawley along the A23, before arriving in Brighton.

What better way to spend your Sunday morning than supporting these beautiful vintage classics along the route of the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run?

It might be a good idea to wrap up and take a nice hot flask with you, as you can support the group along the route with no charge.  There is even the possibility to follow the runners in an open-top bus.

If you want to know anything further regarding this year”s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, you can visit the organisers” website at www.veterancarrun.com


Emma Jones


This article was written and published by Emma Jones.  Emma works for Trade Classics as an in-house journalist and copywriter and has many years” experience in the classic car sector.  Why not write a reply on this article below – she”d love to hear your thoughts on her thoughts!Google

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