The London to Brighton run is back this Sunday (4 November), with veteran cars arriving at London’s Hyde Park before sunrise ready to set off. But how do vehicles gain entry to the longest-running motoring event in the world?
The London to Brighton has been going – on and off – since 1896. Wartime, periods of fuel rationing and other such historical blips have got in the way at points. It began as a celebration of the Locomotives on Highways Act of 1896, which increased the road speed limit to 14mph (from just 4mph). It was known at the time as ‘The Emancipation Run’.
The event has garnered worldwide acclaim ever since. There were just 37 starters in the 1927 run, compared with 605 this year.
But which cars are eligible for the 60-mile London to Brighton run? Simply, any car registered before January 1st, 1905, is eligible to do the run. And those registered after, generally, are not.
There are, however, two circumstances under which some vehicles made later than this date can take part. The first is for cars with ‘Grandfather Rights’. These will have a history of running in the event, but have latterly been found to have been registered later than 01/01/1905.
The second is invited entries. Cars of outstanding interest can get entries by invite, even if they’re too young. Extra points for those of you who spot them on the London to Brighton run this weekend.
The 2018 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the 122nd running of the event. It is, easily, the world’s longest-running motoring event. Only war and petrol rationing (in 1947) has stopped it running. It takes place every November and, since 1930, has been supported by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain.