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Little Classics News: 2 November 2015

380 Veteran Cars Take Part in London to Brighton

1888 Truchete driven by Daniel Ward

More than 380 pioneering veteran cars dating back to the dawn of motoring enjoyed unseasonably mild conditions to take part in this year’s Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Vintage steam car

As tradition dictates, the 119th Anniversary Run set out from Hyde Park at day break and headed 60-miles south through a misty London and onto a sunny Sussex seafront. For only the third time in more than half a century, this year’s route took the intrepid participants – all driving pioneering cars from the pre-1905 era ­– past Buckingham Palace and down The Mall before heading past Big Ben and over Westminster Bridge.

1904 Brennan driven by David Mellor

The first few cars began to arrive on Maderia Drive shortly after 10am – the 1903 Berliet driven by John Bentley just pipping the 1904 Fiat of Dutchman Jan Bruijn to the honour of being first past the finishing post.

1902 De Dion Buton driven by Michael Sapsford

Among the others turning back the clock were Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, renowned Formula 1 team principal Ross Brawn and multiple Le Mans winner Jochen Mass. They were joined en route to Brighton by three classic coaches driven by BBC Radio broadcasters Chris Evans, Alex Jones and Ken Bruce raising nearly £350,000 for BBC Children in Need thanks to the generosity of their 40 passengers.

1900 New Orleans driven by Douglas Pope in Sussex

Before the start Evans, Jones and Bruce were joined by Natalie Lowe from Strictly Come Dancing and Robert Brooks, Chairman of Bonhams, for the ceremonial tearing up of the red flag. The symbolic ritual harks back to the original Emancipation Run, held on 14 November 1896, which marked the milestone Locomotives on the Highway Act and raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14mph abolishing the need for a man walking ahead of the cars waving a red flag.

Robert Brookes, Alex Jones, Ken Bruce, Natalie Lowe, Chris

Other entries included Genevieve from the 1953 comedy film of the same name, a large number of cars from the US celebrating this year’s American theme and significantly the 1901 Isotta Fraschini – chassis number one – the very first car to wear the famous ‘IF’ badge which was making its VCR debut this year.

1900 New Orleans driven by Douglas Pope

Another impressive finisher was the steam-powered 1888 Truchutet (top) driven by Daniel Ward – the oldest car on the run – believed to be one of the earliest vehicles to have ever completed the event.

1901 Locomobile steam car driven by Robert Adams

In total 342 of the starters managed to complete journey from Hyde Park to the Sussex coast before the 4.30pm deadline, thus receiving a coveted finisher medal.

1901 Teledo steam carriage driven by James Gregory

1903 Clement driven by Tim Watson, Crawley

1904 Cadillac driven by Robin Morrison

1904 De Dion Buton driven Roland Duce

Entrants fettle on London pavements

1904 Humberette driven by James Morant

Finish on Brighton seafront


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