London to Brighton runners and riders wind the clocks back more than 125 years next weekend as they tackle their annual pilgrimage to the coast on Sunday 3rd November.
A bumper entry in excess of 400 pre-1905 cars will leave Hyde Park as dawn breaks, ready to tackle the epic 60-mile drive from the capital to coast as the world’s longest-running motoring event gets underway.
Dressed in darkness, Hyde Park will once again witness the sights, sounds and smells from yesteryear. From 6 am a wonderful gathering of veteran cars, their drivers and their passengers – many dressed in period costume – will be preparing for their annual trip down memory lane.
Makes and historic brands
Some of the makes and historic brands represented – such as Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Daimler, Vauxhall, Mercedes and not forgetting Benz – will be familiar to today’s motorists. But there are plenty of long-forgotten marques there, too: Daley, Napoleon, Yale, Durkopp, Maxim, Star, Lambert and Gladiator to name but a few.
As ever, the historic event’s unique charisma has attracted a number of star cars and well-known personalities and among this year’s notable machines is Britain’s oldest Fiat, a splendid four-seater vis-à-vis bodied model which will be helping the illustrious Italian company to celebrate its 120th anniversary.
Meanwhile TV personality and classic car enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh will be fulfilling a lifetime ambition when driving a 1902 Mors to the Sussex seaside resort, while fellow TV presenter and motoring guru, Fuzz Townshend, will be behind the wheel of the National Motor Museum’s meticulously prepared 1904 De Dion Bouton.
After the traditional pre-dawn tearing up of the red flag, they will be among the hordes of remarkable cars and well wrapped-up crews being flagged away from Hyde Park as the sun rises at 6.56 am.
Aside from the start, timings are approximate with the first cars expected at Crawley from 8.20 am with the last leaving by 2.00 pm. The first car is due at the Madeira Drive finish shortly after 10 am while to be sure of a finishers’ medal to celebrate a punctual arrival at Brighton, participants need to make it to the finish before the 4.30 pm curfew.
Aside from Hyde Park, Crawley and Madeira Drive, the organisers have suggested the following locations as popular viewing points:
6.56 am – 8.15 am: Constitution Hill, London
6.56 am – 8.15 am: The Mall, London
6.56 am – 8.15 am: Whitehall, London
7.10 am – 9.15 am: Clapham Common, London
7.05 am – 9.15 am: Streatham Common
7.35 am – 11.00 am: Croydon – A236, A235 and A23
7.50 am – 11.30 am: Redhill – A23
8.00 am – 12.15 pm: Gatwick – A23
8.20 am – 2.00 pm: Crawley High Street
8.30 am – 2.15 pm: Hammer Hill B2114
8.45 am – 2.30 pm: Cuckfield High Street, B2114
8:55 am – 3.00 pm: Burgess Hill – B2036
9:00 am – 3.30 pm: Clayton Hill – A273
9.56 am – 4.30 pm: Brighton – Madeira Drive
Miles Wade, Club Secretary of the Royal Automobile Club:
“Seeing all these lovingly maintained cars is more than a spectacle. It’s a piece of living history, a reminder of the fearless motoring pioneers who, literally, paved the way for all of us.”
The Bonhams Veteran Car Run is a Royal Automobile Club event and is the final act in the Club’s annual London Motor Week – seven days filled with a whole range of functions and events to suit all motoring tastes culminating with the free-to-view Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show on Saturday 2nd November and the world-famous Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on Sunday 3rd November. Some events are open to the public while others are invitation only.
For more information on London Motor Week visit www.londonmotorweek.co.uk.