Veteran Car Club hosts second largest ever Creepy Crawly Rally

More than 100 cars built before 1919 took on the 80-mile trip, including Andy Green – the driver attempting to hit 1000mph in Bloodhound SSC

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The Veteran Car Club held its popular ‘Creepy Crawly Rally’ through the winding country lanes of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire over the weekend of the 27-29 April.

With almost 100 pre-1919 vehicles participating in the 80-mile trip, this ‘run’ is the second largest gathering of veteran cars of the year with only the annual London to Brighton car run being larger.

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The first Creepy Crawly was the brainchild of long time club member Bryan Firth who ran the inaugural event in Kings Lynn in 1991. The event is characterised by the lack of formality and it is the relaxed atmosphere and great hospitality of this VCC Mid East Section event which brings back entrants back year after year, many from overseas.

The inclement spring weather didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the hardy drivers and navigators. Based at the Cranfield University site in Bedfordshire, on Friday the participants were invited into the university buildings where engineering students were interested in the variations in veteran car design. Veteran owners also had the chance to drive the incredible Cranfield race simulators with many having an 'off' around Silverstone.

Saturday was the start of the run proper with a route winding its way through the villages out toward the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club headquarters in Paulersbury. On the return run various vehicles had a 'failure to proceed' moment or two with cars and drivers halted in country lanes, spanner and lockwire in hand. World Land Speed Record holder Andy Green was on the run as driver and navigator and has vowed to return next year as his car made it home to Cranfield.

The route on Sunday followed country roads with the addition of more hills, but slightly better weather as the drivers followed the route past Millbrook Proving Ground and onto the country estate of Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. This country pile, now run by English Heritage, is vast with splendid gardens and an imposing 1830s main house built in the French Baroque style by the 2nd Earl de Grey. It seemed only right to photograph a French De Dion-Bouton in front of its imposing facade.

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