Here's why we love the London to Brighton
Want to know what's so special about the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run? Then watch this evocative video!
This year's Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run saw 401 pre-1905 cars gather before sunrise in Hyde Park, with the oldest setting off first at 7am.
This was the largest entry in recent years of what is acknowledged as the world's longest-running motoring event. It's only beaten by the record entry in 1996 for the centenary of the run.
For 2017 the route changed, taking the cars through Clapham and Balham in south London to avoid road works on the usual route through Brixton. It then headed past Banstead to pass through Reigate for the first time in 63 years, before rejoining the traditional route to the Harrods hospitality stop at Crawley, the halfway point.
A remarkable 315 of the cars made it to the finish on Madeira Drive in Brighton. The Chopard Regularity Trial element of the run was won by Robert Abrey driving a 1899 Daimler; he was awarded with a Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph worth £4950.
Three participants, John Dennis, John Kemsley and John Newens, were awarded gold medals for taking part in more than 50 runs. John Dennis has completed every Run since 1960 in the 1902 Dennis Tonneau made by his grandfather’s company, Guildford-based Dennis Brothers, a company better known today for its buses, trucks and fire appliances.
The Run marked the end of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week – a seven-day celebration of motoring, which included an art exhibition, motoring lectures, a motoring forum, a motoring book awards evening and the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show on the day before the run, which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Sadly, this year's run was marred by a fatal accident, in which a 1902 Benz was involved in a collision with a Ford C-Max, a Mercedes GLE and Fiat Fiorino. All four occupants of the Benz were injured, the driver seriously so. He was airlifted from the accident and later died in hospital. The organisers of the event are investigating the cause of the accident.
Read how AutoClassics fared on this year's London to Brighton Run here.