Labelled as one of the world’s oldest and most celebrated motoring events, this year’s Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox delivered a piece of living history as pioneering automobiles made their annual outing from the City to the Sussex sea front.
This year, the Run featured the largest entry in recent years, as more than 400 pioneering veteran cars, their drivers and passengers – including Head of Motoring Jeremy Vaughan and Chairman of the Motoring Committee Peter Read – gathered in Hyde Park on Sunday (5 November), waiting for daybreak to signal the start of the annual Run.
Acknowledged as one of the oldest and most celebrated motoring events in the world, it was fitting that the sun rose in a blue sky as participants headed off for a nostalgic drive to the Sussex coast. Although a number of cars were diverted following a road traffic accident involving one of the participating vehicles, 315 of the 401 starters made it to Brighton to claim a coveted finishers’ medal.
In recent years the Chopard Regularity Trial has introduced an additional interesting element to the Run. This year’s winner was Robert Abrey driving a 1899 Daimler who was awarded with a Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph worth £4,950.
The Run marked the end of the Club’s annual London Motor Week celebrations – a seven-day celebration of motoring, which included The art of Motoring exhibition, the Motoring Lectures, the Motoring Forum and Quiz, and the Motoring Book of the Year awards evening.
The penultimate event in the week was the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, on Saturday 4 November, which turned London’s flagship shopping street into a motoring showcase that put the spotlight on veterans and moderns alike and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The Run, which dates back to 1927, was founded to commemorate the Emancipation Run of 1896, which celebrated the new-found freedom of motorists granted by the ‘repeal of the Red Flag Act’. The Act raised the speed limit to 14 mph and abolished the law that required someone to precede vehicles foot, carrying a red warning flag. The Cub has taken responsibility of organising the event since 1930. This year, the Red Flag was ceremonially torn up by star entrants Damon Hill and Charley Boorman.
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