On April 23, 1900, 64 motorcars left London on the Thousand Mile Trial, which took the drivers and their passengers and their vehicles on an endurance test to Edinburgh and back. The mission, according to one newspaper, was to show that the car was “a serious and trustworthy means of locomotion; not a toy dangerous and troublesome alike to the public and its owner.”
The trial, which included four hill climb and one speed test, was won by an 1899 Wolseley Voiturette (OWL 707), which is on display at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, not far from the homes of Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin Lagonda.
Each year on the Sunday closest to April 23, the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs stages a “Drive It Day” to encourage owners of vintage vehicles to celebrate the UK’s transport heritage by all taking to the roadways on the same day. This year the date is April 22, and the British Motor Museum is hosting a free vintage cruise-in car show that day.
Shedding light on the ‘Prince of Darkness’
Americans who have experienced early British sports cars often crack jokes about electronic components producer Lucas as the “Prince of Darkness.”
Lucas Industries was a manufacturer for nearly 100 years and its archives have been digitized by the British Motor Museum and British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and are available online at the British National Archives’ Discovery website. Also available on a special Flickr website is a collection of Lucas company photography.
Rally for The Lane drives on sale
The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, plans its ninth annual Rally for The Lane for two dates this fall — September 22 and October 6. The museum will make 52 cars from its collection available for drives on the rally, which last year raised nearly $42,000 for the museum to help with the costs of housing, restoring and maintaining the more than 500 vehicles in the collection.
The rides — the route typically runs for 150 miles or more — sell out quickly by you can check the rally website to see if any are still available.
Revs Institute staging first Amazon book sale
In conjunction with the 12 Hours of Sebring race, where its Porsche 907 is being showcased in the Hall of Fame Museum, the Revs Institute (Collier Collection) in Naples, Florida, is staging its first Amazon book sale.
The institute has its own Amazon Storefront where it sells extra copies from its library. Enter the code “Sebring20” when you check out and you’ll receive a 20-percent discount on your purchases through March 26.
Special events this weekend
The Gilmore Car Museum winter speaker series Sunday in Hickory Corners, Michigan, features photograph John Lacko on “Slot Cars and the Kalamazoo Connection.”
The Kansas City Automotive Museum in Olathe, Kansas, hosts Cars & Coffee from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. Saturday.
Mark your calendar
On Saturday, March 24, the NCM Motorsports Park across the highway from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, launches its “Cars, Karts & Coffee” meet-up, to be held the fourth Saturday of each month from March through September. The event begins at 9 a.m., and at 11 a.m. go-kart racing begins.
The motorsports park also is leasing the new private garages at the track. Prices range from $488 to $1,490 a month depending on the size of the garage you need.
March is Custom Car Month at the Kansas City Automotive Museum, where customs from the 1950s and ‘60s are featured. As a heads-up, April will feature Avanti and station wagons will be showcased in May.
The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, hosts its Spring 2nd Chance auction, flea market and car corral on April 7. The museum also is making plans for its National Mustang Day celebration on April 17.