The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the longest-running motoring event in the world. The first run was in 1896, and it has taken place most years since it was revived in 1927. To qualify, the cars must have been built before 1905. It is also the world’s largest gathering of veteran cars. It takes place, currently, on the first Sunday in November and starts at sunrise from Hyde Park, London and mostly follows the old A23 road to finish at Brighton – a distance of 54 miles (87 km).It is not a race, any vehicle that finishes before 4:30 pm is awarded a medal.
The Run commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896 which celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 mph to 14 mph and abolished the requirement for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot. The early law required the man on foot to carry a red flag but that requirement was abolished in 1878. The Locomotive Act was still widely known as the ‘Red Flag Act’ and a red flag was symbolically destroyed at the start of the Emancipation Run, as it is today just before the start in Hyde Park.
This year will be the 120th anniversary of the very first and over 400 pre-1905 manufactured vehicles will take part.
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run offers a unique spectacle of 400 pre-1905 vehicles travelling along public roads. There are many places and ways to view the cars along the 60-mile route from Hyde Park, London to Madeira Drive, Brighton. If you are not attracted to the early morning start, you can view some of the veteran cars at the Regent Street Motor Show that takes place the day prior to the Run. One of the main highlights of the show is the EFG Concours d’Elegance which showcases 100 veteran cars that will participate in the Run the following day.
The Veteran Car Run is free to view all the way along the route. Public are unable to gain access to the paddocks in Hyde Park, Crawley and Madeira Drive due to safety reasons, but the cars can still be admired from the sidelines. The Run takes place from around 7am (sunrise) last car leaving around 8.30am with the event finishing in Brighton at 4.30pm.
Popular Viewing Locations
London – Hyde Park Corner
London – Westminster Bridge
Croydon, South London
Redhill, Surrey – A23 Brighton Road
Crawley, West Sussex
Staplefield, West Sussex – B2114 Cuckfield Road
Cuckfield, West Sussex – B2036 High Street/South Street
Burgess Hill, West Sussex – B2036 London Road
Brighton, East Sussex – Madeira Drive
Madeira Drive is the final stop and ceremonial finish line for the veteran cars. The cars begin to arrive at 9.54 with the slower cars arriving as late as 4.30pm.
For more information or to book tickets, visit the Event website here
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