In true tradition, this milestone staging of what is the world’s longest running motoring event takes place on the first Sunday of November – this year Sunday 7 November – and commemorates the famous Emancipation Run of November 1896 (photo below middle outside the Metropole Hotel start in London) which celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotive on the Highway Act.
It was this landmark legislation that raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4mph to 14mph and came after the equally antiquated requirement for a man to walk in front of all moving vehicles waving a red flag had also been abolished.
Now, 125 years after that very first Run, hundreds of extraordinary pre-1905 vehicles will once again honour the pioneering spirit and engineering dexterities of those intrepid early motorists on the historic 60-mile journey from Hyde Park in Central London with a halfway stop for refreshments and essential fettling in Crawley before crossing through the South Downs to Madeira Drive on the Brighton seafront.
The Royal Automobile Club intends for this year to be a major celebration event with possibly up to 500 participants for what is going to be a truly historic tribute to the pioneers of 1896.
“There is no motoring event anywhere on Earth to rival the incredible history and charisma of the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, and this year’s 125th commemoration will be the most special since the Centenary Run back in 1996,” commented Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club.
“Not only do we have another major milestone to honour but there is also so much pent up enthusiasm – from both participants and huge numbers of well-wishers who always line the roads – to see veteran cars back on the hallowed route to Madeira Drive.”
Though not itself a competitive event, the Run once again will include the popular A. Lange & Söhne Regularity Time Trial thus providing plucky entrants with an additional challenge. Participants have to nominate a target average speed for an allocated section on the roads of Surrey with the driver who gets closest to his or her selected speed being declared the winner.
As in recent years, the Veteran Car Run provides a fitting grand finale to the Royal Automobile Club’s busy London Motor Week – a week in which the Club presents an array of functions and events to suit all motoring tastes. These will include forums, dinners, trophy presentations, motoring book awards, panel discussions, lectures and motoring art exhibitions plus a glittering Saturday veteran car concours in central London on the eve of dawn departure to Brighton.
Adding to the build-up, the Run’s new title partner RM Sotheby’s will also be hosting a special London to Brighton Run sale at an iconic London location in the preceding days with an eye-catching selection of classic cars and related memorabilia coming under the hammer.
For more information on the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – including full details of how to enter – can be found on the official website: www.veterancarrun.com.