Pre-1905 pioneering cars revved up for November’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run with an enhanced day trip through rural Surrey and Sussex. The second-running of the Royal Automobile Club’s Summer Run on 20 July was hailed as an even greater success than last July’s very well-received inaugural event.
The Summer Run was introduced to provide owners and drivers of these wonderful pre-1905 machines with the opportunity to enjoy their cars in warmer and more relaxed surroundings than usually experienced on the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run which by tradition takes place on the first Sunday in November.
As a welcome warm-up to the celebration of the original 1896 Emancipation Run, this year’s summertime homage to early motoring was again based at the Club’s beautiful Woodcote Park clubhouse near Epsom. To provide an enhanced driving experience, the day’s driving route was extended to a 54-mile tour through the largely traffic-free highways and byways of rural Surrey and West Sussex.
After gathering under bright blue skies on the Cedar Lawn, a full-capacity field of 30 veterans set out through the Woodcote Park gates at one minute intervals. First to leave was the oldest car – a venerable single-cylinder 1899 De Dion Bouton vis-à-vis – followed by a captivating cavalcade of Cadillac, Daimler, Napier, Peugeot and Renault models along with less familiar marques such as Argyll, Dennis, Gladiator, MMC, Mors, Norfolk and Rambler.
“What a perfect day,” enthused Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club. “This was the English summer at its very best: blue skies, beautiful villages and some very, very special old cars. I’ve been lucky enough to have driven cars of many great eras, but none are as well received by on-lookers as these magical, century old machines. All those marvelling really appreciate the fact that these cars are all so very different with their glittering brass and the stunning bodywork. Judging by the huge grins on all the faces, everyone has had a fantastic day behind the wheel.”
With the Summer Run now successfully completed, the Royal Automobile Club will be focusing its full attention on this year’s RM Sotheby’s London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run, which will be honouring the 70th anniversary of the much-loved movie Genevieve.
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