London to Brighton 125th Anniversary Celebration At Hampton Court

London to Brighton Celebration - Hampton Court Palace
London to Brighton Celebration at Hampton Court Palace

The London to Brighton rehearsal was in full swing at Hampton Court Palace last week with a gathering of remarkable veteran cars on show at the Concours of Elegance…

Taking place in just a few weeks time on Sunday 7th November, the world’s longest-running motoring event will be honouring the 125th anniversary of the original London to Brighton Emancipation Run of 1896 – a historic capital to coast celebration instigated by a group of intrepid early enthusiasts to rejoice in the passing of the Locomotives on the Highway Act.

It was this government legislation that was to raise the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from a steady 4mph to an eye-watering 14mph thus giving motorists the freedom of the road and effectively ending centuries of horse-drawn transport and dirty highways.

To this day, the historical significance of the Emancipation Run is saluted annually by The Royal Automobile Club via its long-running organisation of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and, to mark the milestone 125th anniversary, The Club is instigating a number of notable celebrations as the remaining week’s countdown to Sunday 7 November.

One of those celebrations was the gathering of some of the most wonderfully era-defining veteran cars at the recent Concours of Elegance which took place last week at Hampton Court Palace in front of a bumper crowd.

1900 Daimler Type A Tonneau - EX10
1900 Daimler Type A Tonneau – EX10

Sharing the spotlight with many of the automotive icons for which they paved the way, these early trailblazers entered Henry VIII’s famous Thameside residence as part of Friday morning’s ‘grand arrival’ entry parade. They were then on public display before being officially presented on the main Concours Stage later in the afternoon.

The dazzling 125th-anniversary collection included a number of very significant early pioneers. These eye-catching rarities included one of only three surviving Dennis cars known to exist, a 1901 Gasmobile, a 1902 Napier, a 1902 MMC, a 1903 De Dion Bouton, and a 1904 Autocar.


BS 8316 – 1900 Daimler 6HP Tonneau

Jeremy Vaughan, Head of Motoring at the Royal Automobile Club:
“It really was the perfect way to kick off our celebrations marking the 125th anniversary of the first London to Brighton Run. It was a privilege to be behind the wheel of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust’s 1900 Daimler to lead the cavalcade of veteran cars through the spectacular Palace gardens and up onto the rostrum.

The cavalcade drew hundreds of excited spectators and it was a joy to demonstrate these early pioneers in action in the company of many of the rarest cars from around the globe assembled for the coveted Concours of Elegance.”

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