Arising out of a suggestion of mine published many years ago, that someone with an appropriate veteran car might like to drive it over the route followed by the Hon Evelyn Ellis on the very first run in this country by a (then illegal) horseless-carriage in 1895, the thing finally jelled this July, all those years after I had suggested it. Congratulations to organisers Malcolm Jeal of the VCC and Michael Edwards, and to the 43 owners of pre-1901 veterans enthusiastic enough to embark on this commemoration, over today’s more congested roads.
Oldest to venture the journey on July 9 was Tim Moore’s 1884 steam De Dion Dos-a-Dos. Johnny Thomas elected to ride his 1898 Rochet tricycle, and the 1896 Lutzmann and the 1894 Santler were there, along with Ruth and Brian Moore’s 1892 Panhard. Lord Montagu drove on the 1899 four-cylinder Daimler. They even came from America, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Jersey, to recall Ellis’s adventure.
At the last moment 78-year-old Denise Critchley-Salmonson, Ellis’s granddaughter, heard of the run and was able to attend. All the more pathetic, therefore, that the Science Museum did not bring the actual Ellis Panhard…
There were only two non-starters, one for domestic reasons, Parkinson’s 1898 Leon-Bollee tricar sensibly, as he had not been able to fix its brakes. In spite of the heat only two veterans needed assistance. Praise be to those who took part.