The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the longest-running motoring event in the world. The first run was in 1896, and it has taken place most years since its revival in 1927. To qualify, the cars must have been built before 1905. It is also the world's largest gathering of veteran cars. There were 449 starters in 2012 with 372 finishers. The annual Veteran Car Run commemorates the Emancipation Run of November 14, 1896, which celebrated the Locomotives on the Highway Act. The Act raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14 mph, 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 2013 event will be held Sunday, November 3rd.
The event starts at sunrise from Hyde Park, London and mostly follows the old A23 road to finish at Brighton – a distance of 54 miles. There are two official stops along the way: Crawley (for coffee) and Preston Park (in a suburb of Brighton). Preston Park is the official finishing point. The cars then proceed to Madeira Drive on the seafront; also the venue for Brighton's other big motoring event, the Brighton Speed Trials. Organizers emphasize that the event is not a race – they do not even publish the order in which cars finish, and participants are not permitted to exceed an average speed of 20 mph. Any that finish before 4:30 pm are awarded a medal.
Eligibility criteria requires the cars to be of three or four wheel design and certified that their build took place prior to January 1, 1905. Famous celebrities including members of the Royal Family, Stirling Moss, Jochem Mass and Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason driving his 1901 Panhard et Levassor Roi-des-Belges have been seen on the Run. For many years the route has been lined with hundreds of thousands of spectators standing in the chilly Sunday morning rain to cheer the drivers of this unique spectacle of early motoring.
See the attached slide show of London to Brighton veteran motor carriages and check the official event website at: http://www.veterancarrun.com