The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run that celebrates the abolition of the Red Flag Acts has been running of the last 126 years and claims to be the longest running motoring event. Vehicles that were built before 1905 are eligible for the run and the entries always show a very eclectic range of approaches to the challenge of developing a horseless carriage. Propulsion methods range from coal fired steam, through electric, to petroleum powered internal combustion engines. An early form of hybrid also shows itself in the De Dion tricycles that rely on pedal power plus a small petrol engine. Pure pedal power is also on show as bicycles are also eligible. Over one hundred makes were entered this year – of which seven are still in business today.
Veteran Car Run: The Wet One
I suspect that the 2022 event will be remembered as “The Wet One”. As I drove to Brighton my Range Rover was often inundated in water as it ploughed through huge puddles and I was extremely thankful for its outstanding ability to provide warmth, safety and comfort in all conditions. My sympathies went out to the drivers and passengers of the mostly open cars that were participating, most of which do not even have windscreens.
On arrival was expecting to see a large number of drenched and disgruntled people turn up. I had obviously underestimated the fortitude, determination and good humour that must be a prerequisite running such magnificent machines. Most looked very happy to have endured the challenges they had undoubtedly faced. The expressions may have been tinged with the relief of having made it to the end but I am sure that virtually all will be back next year. It is certainly an unmissable event on my calendar and has been for many years.