St James's International Concours confirmed for London to Brighton curtain raiser

St James's International Concours confirmed for London to Brighton curtain raiser

St James's Palace provides the perfect backdrop for traditional curtain-raiser to the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 

The Royal Automobile Club has confirmed that the St James’s International Concours will return on Saturday 4 November as the preview to the following day’s world-famous RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

The prized concours of pioneering vehicles will be centred on Marlborough Road next to St James’s Palace located just a short walk from the clubhouse of the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall and Marlborough House, the stately grounds of which again will be the setting of RM Sotheby’s major London sale of standout collector’s cars taking place on the same day.   

Built by Henry VIII in the early 1530s and sited close to Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace is one of London’s oldest royal residences where Kings and Queens of England have resided for more than 300 years. The stature and provenance of the historic red brick building provide the perfect backdrop for a display of remarkable pre-1905 vehicles all dating back to the dawn of motoring. 

With Marlborough Road – linking The Mall to Pall Mall – members of the public will be able to savour these remarkable cars up close and talk to many of the owners from 10.00am until 3:30pm. The event is expected to feature around 100 automotive icons from the many hundreds of veteran cars – all now nearly 120 years old – which will be setting out for the Sussex coast from Hyde Park at dawn the following day.

One of the highlights this year will be the two movie star cars from the classic British film Genevieve which was first released in 1953, another royal coronation year. The much-loved comedy caper follows the adventures of two couples participating on the London to Brighton Run aboard a pair of veteran cars: a 1904 Darracq called Genevieve and a charismatic 1905 Spyker.

To mark the film’s 70th anniversary, the Darracq and Spyker are being reunited on this year’s Veteran Car Run and, as a high profile preview in central London, both will be in the spotlight outside St James’s Palace.

The concours will have a competitive element with an expert judging panel deliberating over the displayed vehicles to determine the overall winner, alongside other awards to draw out the very best of the display. Amongst the other prizes on offer, there will be one awarded for the driver and passengers wearing the most authentic period costumes.

“We are delighted to be returning to Marlborough Road for the veteran car concours. The annual event has become the perfect entrée to the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and we are thrilled that last year’s tremendous success has cemented the event’s new home within St James’s," said Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Royal Automobile Club.

“The magical surroundings enchanted both participants and visitors. What’s more, the display’s proximity to both the Royal Automobile Club’s clubhouse and the RM Sotheby’s sale within the gardens of Marlborough House, helped to create a real feeling of camaraderie and excitement on the eve of the Veteran Car Run.”    

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