London to Brighton Veteran Car Run


Vauxhall and Renault ready to remind London to Brighton Run spectators of their venerable heritagesGladiator, Autocar, Argyll, Truchutet… these are just some of the largely forgotten makes of car to be found among the 439 entries in the 2014 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

But for every New Orleans or Cleveland there are representatives of makes that are still in production today. The 2014 edition of the world’s longest running motoring event features cars from Ford, Peugeot, Cadillac, Mercedes and Benz.

Two other names that will be familiar to today’s motorists are Renault and Vauxhall. And this year both companies will be underlining their long histories in London and again in Brighton as the famous event’s two official ‘Manufacturer Patrons’.

With 15 entries built between 1900 and 1905 (above and below bottom), Renault is one of the best-represented marques on the Run. The oldest example making the 60 mile trip, a 4.5hp single-cylinder car from 1900, comes from the French company’s own heritage fleet.

A special area near the traditional finale in Brighton’s Madeira Drive will be set aside where spectators will be able to see for themselves all Renault finishers, up close.

Vauxhall, Britain’s oldest surviving car manufacturer, will also be entering a veteran from its own collection, a 6hp single-cylinder open two-seater from 1904 (below top right). As well as undertaking the Run on Sunday, 2 November, the car will take part in the Regent Street Motor Show the day before. Meanwhile, Vauxhall’s first car, a 5hp model from 1903, will be displayed at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall for a few days before and after the Run itself.

The Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run celebrates the original Emancipation Run, held on 14 November 1896, and which marked the Locomotives on the Highway Act. This landmark Act raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14mph and abolished the need for a man walking ahead of the cars waving a red flag.

The Run is the highlight of a long weekend of motoring nostalgia in the capital, much it of it free to view. Other events include the popular free Regent Street Motor Show (Saturday, 1 November) and the annual Bonhams Veteran Car auction (Friday 31 October).

For more details of the Veteran Car Run, the entries and the route visit