London to Brighton: Museums in motion

London to Brighton: Museums in motion

Brass-era vehicles get their exercise in British capital to coast drive

It’s one thing to display a more-than-century-old vehicle in a static setting, but it’s another thing to keep it in running order — and then to drive it in a competitive event. That’s just what happens every year with the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, held the first Sunday in November in England.

“It’s a unique spectacle and brings notable exhibits from our collection to life,” said Stephen Laing, curator of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust. “We need events like this to keep the cars going. It provides us with a great opportunity to involve our key trustees and also to get the cars out in front of the public.” 

Damon Hill and Charley Boorman In the museum’s 1904 Rover

The Trust has the world’s largest display of historic British vehicles, more than 300, including eight dating to pre-1905 models and thus eligible for the London to Brighton event. The museum annually enters vehicles, often with such celebrity drivers.

Another museum that regularly sends cars to the event is the Haynes Museum in Sparkford, Somerset. The museum was established by John Haynes of the Haynes Manual auto-repair guides.

“Senses are only truly engaged when you see, hear and sometimes smell (such vehicles),” said Chris Scudds, deputy chief executive of the Haynes Museum. “We’ve always prided ourselves on the work our Workshop and Restoration Centre do to persevere and restore our collection. The museum’s ethos is that cars and motorbikes are living, breathing machines.”

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Thus, the museum’s 1903 Darracq Type L is a Veteran Car Run regular. This year it will be driven by Bronek Masojada, chief executive of Hiscox Insurance, a major Run sponsor.

The London to Brighton Run honors the original Emancipation Run staged by British motorists to celebrate the raising of the national speed limit from 4 mph to 14. 

An MGA competes in the Pyrenees 1000 vintage rally | Bespoke Rallies photos

DB5 wins Pyrenees 1000 vintage rally

An Aston Martin DB5 driven by Julian Reddyhough and Gus Pope won Bespoke Rallies’ inaugural Pyrenees 1000 vintage event, which began and ended in Pamplona, Spain. The route also ventured into France and Andorra.

E-type Jaguar on the ro3

The 1969 Jaguar E-type that won the recent Highland 1000 rally was second, with Nick Seaton-Burridge and Dennis Greenslade in the cockpit, edging out an AC Cobra driven by Dominic Manser and Jill Brum.

The final event on the 2018 Bespoke Rallies scheduled runs October 18-November 17 when vintage vehicles do a 10,000-kilometer test, the Grand Prix of South America that takes them to Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

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FIVA also sets its 2019 rally date

The Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens has set dates for its 2019 World Rally: May 22-26, when vintage vehicles will explore the Austrian Alps.

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