Sir Steve Redgrave and 1904 veteran carSir Steve Redgrave is preparing for his latest new challenge – driving the world famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in a 110 year old Thornycroft.

The Olympic rower, who won five consecutive gold medals at successive Olympics Games, will join 400 other entrants on Sunday 2 November for the drive down to Brighton: he, like all other competitors, will be using a car built prior to 1905.

Because it’s the first time Redgrave has driven such an old car, he visited the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon this week for a practice run in the car he’s borrowing from them.

Sir Steve Redgrave said: “I am really looking forward to doing the Run for the first time and, although I know it is not a race, the competitor in me will spur me on to the finish in Brighton.”

HMC curator Stephen Laing said: “We are delighted that Sir Steve will be driving one of the cars from the Museum’s collection.

“The Run is one of the most exhilarating and exclusive motoring experiences in the world. Watching over 400 veteran cars take part in the Run is an amazing and nostalgic experience.”

Sir Steve’s 1904 Thornycroft 20hp was built by marine engineer John I Thornycroft. He started out with steam-powered commercial vehicles, switching to petrol-engined cars in 1902, before shutting up shop in 1913.

It’s a car with form in the London to Brighton run: seven times before the Second World War it was the first car to reach Brighton. We wonder if anyone’s told the ultra-competitive Sir Steve Redgrave that…