Old is gold at the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
For the first time in its 117-year history, the 2013 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will have a competitive element
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is not a race, but is certainly a challenge.
For the hundreds of hardy drivers at the wheel – or sometimes the tiller – of their pioneering motorcars, the only aim is to cover the 60 miles from London’s Hyde Park to Brighton’s Madeira Drive without mishap. For most participants, merely arriving at Brighton is sufficient reward.
But this year, for the first time ever on the Run, jointly sponsored by Tindle Newspapers and Bonhams, there will be winners. The Royal Automobile Club is delighted to announce that a Regularity Trial will be included in the world’s greatest celebration of the first pioneering motorists.
A Regularity Trial demands that entrants maintain a specific average speed over the event, with penalties for arriving at the finish, or at one of the secret intermediate time control points, too early or too late.
Competitors can choose a specific time to aim at: three hours equates to a 20mph average, but they can opt to take four, five or even six hours, with the latter time equating to a 10mph average speed.
For each minute under the target time, two penalty points will be imposed with one point imposed for each minute over the nominated time. Winners will be the cars with the fewest penalty points in each of the four time classes.
Ben Cussons, Chairman of the VCR Steering Group, said: “The Steering Group is committed to evolving the event and adding value and involvement for the participants. We are restricting the Trial to 150 entries for the first year as it is a new initiative.”
The 2013 Veteran Car Run, which takes places on Sunday 3 November, will attract as many as 500 automobiles from the dawn of motoring. As the longest running motoring event in the world, it is no surprise that 500,000 onlookers turn out to enjoy a genuine and free to view spectacle.
And, in line with tradition, the event takes place as close as possible to the date of the original 1896 run. Whilst the weather may be capricious, it does produce the most splendid display of motoring apparel as many drivers and passengers dress in period clothing to complement their cars.
The special weekend now also features the Regent Street Motor Show on Saturday 2 November, which now hosts the world’s premier Concours d’Elegance for veteran cars adding to the wonderfully nostalgic experience for both participants and spectators.
With its unique atmosphere and camaraderie, the Run (staged specifically as a non-profit making veneration) commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896, which celebrated the Locomotives on the Highway Act. The Act raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from four to 14mph, and abolished the need for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag.
The Emancipation Run was first re-enacted in 1927 and has taken place every November since, with the exception of the war years and 1947 when petrol was rationed. The Royal Automobile Club has managed the run with the support of the Veteran Car Club since 1930 and moved the start to Hyde Park in 1936 – this year will be the 77th Anniversary of that move.