With more than 450 vehicles registered from the earliest days of the motorcar, the 2017 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will have its largest field in five years, organizers have announced.
The capital-to-coast event is held annually to celebrate the end of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which until November 1896 required a man to hold a red flag and walk ahead of the “new-fangled machines” as they traveled in England. This year, the event launches at dawn on Sunday, November 5.
Cars are heading to London from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Norway, South Africa and the United States, as well as those from the European continent. Featured this year are cars from France.
Of the entrants, 34 will be making their first London to Brighton starts.
The first car to leave for the coast will be an 1893 Peugeot Type 3.
Also entered is an 1896 Salvesen steam car that looks more like a railroad locomotive than an automobile, and a 1901 Pope Waverley electric that is part of the Harrods department store collection.
The only surviving Creanche, a 1900 model, and the only Raynaud in existence also are entered, as is an 1894 Santler Dogcart, believed to be the oldest British-built motorcar in existence. Originally, the Santler was steam powered, but later was equipped with a 3 1/2-horsepower Benz petrol engine.
The Santler is among the cars scheduled to be offered for sale just before the event at Bonhams’ annual London to Brighton auction. The buyer automatically receives a starting spot in the rally. The car has a pre-sale estimated value of $270,000 to $300,000.
Also being auctioned off are 60 seats in three vintage buses that will follow the rally route. Money from that part of the auction benefits the BBC Children in Need fund.
Celebrities — automotive and otherwise — will be driving some of the cars. Nick Mason will drive his 1901 Panhard et Levassor while Thierry Peugeot and Robert Panhard — direct descendants of the founders of car companies that bear their names — also are taking part.
World Rally event features ‘Big Bang’ for aspiring youngsters
‘Big Bang’ is the label being applied to a STEM awareness exhibition being staged as part of the FIA World Rally Championship’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB with a mission of inspiring more than 1,500 students who will be invited to the event October 26-29.
Students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematical subjects will be invited to the Big Bang fair, where they will hear from racers and automotive suppliers and other manufacturers, including Airbus, Tata, Toyota and the Royal Air Force, looking for future employees with expertise in the STEM subjects.
But instead of dreary presentations, the event will feature opportunities to build vehicles, to take part in “virtual welding,” and a NASA space project.
The Lab Rascals (aka crazy chemists) will demonstrate how to make slime, color-changing liquids, dry ice clouds, smoking bubbles, self-inflating balloons and bracelets that react to UV light. Former Formula One racer Susie Wolff will present a “Dare to be Different” program to encourage young women to consider various aspects of motorsports as a career goal.
“I’m sure the Big Bang will provide all those attending with an exciting and memorable experience that will inspire and motivate them to continue with their STEM studies,” said Ken Skates, Welsh cabinet secretary for economy and infrastructure, who noted that the location not only is adjacent to a Toyota engine-manufacturing plant, but home to some 150 component and systems manufacturers that employ 18,500 people.
“The interactive Big Bang scheme is an exciting way to illustrate the attractions of a career within motor sport or the wider automotive industry,” added Ben Taylor, managing director of the rally event.