London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

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Otherwise known as the Brighton Run, the Royal Automobile Club’s London to Brighton event took place on its traditional date of the first Sunday in November in unseasonably mild weather and under cloudless skies.

Photo Peter Collins

The event has grown in size, as it is of huge importance in the history of the motor car and now includes activities covering four days, from the preview of a Bonhams veteran car auction on the Thursday, where a Panhard sold for almost double its estimate, through a varied motor show on Regent Street in London on the Saturday up to the last acceptance of finishers on Madeira Drive in Brighton at 16:30 on Sunday afternoon.  The Saturday includes a Concours, the Concours d’Equipe being won by Mark Sabbe and his colourful 1902 Peugeot.  Out of 425 entries, 63 were non-starters and 52 retired.

There is no winner, but Andreas Melkus and his 1903 Oldsmobile were the first to arrive in Brighton, whilst a recent innovation is the Lange and Sohne regularity prize for covering the 13 miles from Crawley to Burgess Hill in as close as possible to an agreed time.  This was awarded to Paul Bessante and his 1904 Darracq.

Sadly the event was marred by a serious accident involving a Mr Carey from Canada on his 1903 Knox, which appeared to take a wrong turning onto the M23 motorway and was in collision with a lorry.  The organisers of the event are working closely with the authorities to ensure that there will be no repetition of incidents like this in the future.

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