The Royal Automobile Club is hosting the world’s oldest motoring event, the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on Sunday 4 November. One hundred and sixteen years since it was first run, the event will feature 500 pre-1905 vehicles making their way from Hyde Park in London to Madeira Drive, Brighton.
The event is part of a weekend Celebration of Motoring that includes the RAC Future Car Challenge (for low energy use vehicles) and the Regent Street Motor Show (celebrating the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring).
This year the thousands of spectators who line the route will be treated to the sight of some well known faces – including Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, TV adventurer Charley Boorman, Coronation Street actor Tony Hirst and former Formula One drivers Jochen Mass and Sir Stirling Moss OBE.
Nick Mason has taken part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run every year since 1985 and only failed to finish on two occasions. This November he will once again be on the start line in London with 1901 Panhard et Levassor Roi-des-Belges owned by his company Ten Tenths Limited.
Charley Boorman will make his debut on the event. He has accepted a ride with John and Diane Shawe and their son Jack in the family’s 8hp 1904 English Mechanic veteran car. The Shawe family has taken part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 33 times since 1972, reaching the finish line on 30 occasions. They are huge fans of Boorman.
Jochen Mass competed in 114 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, driving for Surtees, McLaren, ATS, Arrows and March teams. Most recently, he drove an AC Cobra in the Goodwood Revival. He will take part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run with Dr Alexander Schroeder-Frerkes in his 1904 Autocar.
Sir Stirling and Lady Moss will be passengers alongside Mr and Mrs Chris Jaques, from Forest Row, Sussex in their 1903 Panhard Levassor. The Jaques have completed around 35 London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs and only broken down once so their passengers are unlikely to have to push!
Tony Hirst, best known for playing Paul Kershaw in the iconic British Soap Coronation Street, Tony has raced in the Silverstone Classic and is passionate about the world of automobiles. His Great Grandfather Frank Morriss was a pioneer of British Steam Car’s and played an active role in the London to Brighton run since the 30’s. Tony will be taking part alongside David Starks from Exeter, Devon in his 1904 Tourer Cadillac. David has taken part in the event over 25 times, and has been involved with motor sports since 1950’s from rallying, hill climb to classic racing trials.
Other personalities on the event include car enthusiast, Joy Rainey, who has taken part many times. This year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is a warm-up for her planned 2,826-mile trip across the USA in her faithful 109-year old Oldsmobile in 2013. Meanwhile, ultramarathon runner, Duncan Philips, will run from London to Brighton as he has a friendly wager that he can beat Dan Suskin from the USA in this 1902