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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The World's Longest-Running Car Event

In "A Reason to Time-Travel?" I introduced you to the Old Steine Gardens, and shared photographs of the Victoria Fountain.  On a return visit to the park, we noticed these strange contraptions roll past us.

We followed their progress, and along the beach, just past the Brighton Sea Life Aquarium, we saw the vehicles line up at the finish line.

According to the signs, we were witnessing the Royal Auto Club's 2013 London To Brighton Veteran Car Run.  

The event celebrates "The Emancipation Run," which took place in 1896 to celebrate the raising of speed limits on English roads from a brisk 4 miles per hour, to a staggering 14 mph.  Aside from a few breaks, the event has been run every year since, and qualifies as the world's longest-running car event.  

In keeping with the spirit of the event, no cars made after 1905 are allowed, and speeds are limited to a breathtaking 20 mph.  Given the cold temperatures, and the way they hurtled down the A23, it's no wonder drivers and passengers alike dressed up in their warmest finery.

We chatted with a man who made the the 54 mile journey in his 1902 Delahaye in 3.5 hours.  Some entrants took over 7 hours to complete the trip, he said, and if they took too long, they didn't receive a medal.

No wonder some of them got a little steamed up.

Dragon Dave

Related Dragon Cache entries
A Reason to Time-Travel?

Related Internet Links
RAC Entry List featuring Entrant 118: 1902 Delahaye (middle, 2nd row)
Larger photos of the 1902 Delahaye from the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance

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