THE VETERANS GO TO BRIGHTON
The Annual Veteran Car Run organised by the
R.A.C. attracts 60 competitors, of whom only 10 fail to finish. NOT the least remarkable feature of the revival of veteran car motoring is the amazing number of old warriors that have been brought to light. From farmyards, junk-yards and disused stables any number of early, one might almost say historic, vehicles have been discovered, and after
months of hard work spent in taking the machinery to bits, dust ing cobwebs therefrom, and reassembling, have taken the road once again in the full lustre of their The month of November was a red letter one for these hoary veterans, for on the 14th of that month in the year 1896, took place that momentous run to Brighton organised by the leading motorists of the day to celebrate the removal of the 2 m.p.h. speed limit and the Man with the Red Flag. And so to celebrate the anniversary of Emancipation Day, as it was called, the Royal Automobile Club now hold an annual
Commemoration Run, which this year took place on November 20th.
A huge entry was received, no fewer than 74. At least one vehicle, the Arnold Motor Carriage entered by Capt. E. de W. S. Colver, actually ran in the 1896 Emancipation Run. The rest, as we have said, have been resuscitated from odd corners, many of them coming from the stock of C. S. Burney’s concern which specialises in these ancient vehicles, Veteran Cars Ltd., at Brooklands Aerodrome, Byfleet, Surrey.
The start took place at Moon’:, super garage in Buckingham Palace Road at 9.30, and an interesting point was that the cars were dispatched in chronological order. Thus the first man away was C. H. Perrin, on a Cannstatt Daimler which first saw the light of day in the year 1894. In a drizzling rain the cars were sent off at intervals, on their adventurous journey, and all but 11 were able to leave the line satisfactorily at the signal to start. Several drivers well known in the sporting world were at the wheel of veteran cars. Sir Malcolm Campbell, looking very happy and smoking a pipe, was driving a 1904 Sunbeam, and made third fastest time for the
run. His car had a four cylinder engine, water-cooled, four speeds, chain-drive running in the famous Sunbeam “oil-bath,” and with quite smart lines looked surprisingly upto-date. The Hon. Brian Lewis was on his usual mount for these events. a 1901 Sunbeam-Mabley, which had a 2t h.p. single cylinder engine,
water-cooled, with drip-feed lubrication and automatic inlet valve. The car has a remarkable appearance, for each of the four wheels ran in a track of its own. The old
car ran very well. but suffered from a lack of power occasionall y on long gradients, whereat the wretched m e c hanic added his pushing power to that of the chugging engine. Other motorsportsmen w ho were down to take part were A. Powys-Lybbe, on a 2 cylinder 1900 Fiat, S. C. H. Davis with a Leon Bollee of 1897 vintage, R. R. K. Marker, on one of the earliest British cars, a Charles T. Crowden, Leslie
Wilson with a Panhard Stirling Dog-Cart, R. G. J. Nash (1900 Peugeot), S. G. Cummings (Peugeot Voitu.rette) and C. D. Siddeley (1904 Armstrong Whitworth). There were troubles aplenty, but not as many as would be expected from such well-used motor-cars, but the process of reconditioning their cars had given all the competitors a thorough working knowledge of the machinery, and made them well equipped to deal with any idiosyncrasies likely to develop en route. Some of the cars were capable of a really good turn of speed, notably the racing Gordon-Bennett 1904 Napier, a 50 h.p. machine which can still clock a lap of Brooklands at 60 m.p.h. Unhappily, ” magneto” trouble developed beyond Purley, so that the car’s chances of making fastest time were destroyed. Another speedy vehicle was the 1904 Humber entered by
C. de Lisle Hewitt, who has owned the car since 1906. Before then it was a works demonstration car, and is still capable of a genuine 55 m.p.h. on the level !
The fastest time for the run of 561 miles was made by Tom Thornycroft , with a 1904 car bearing his own name. His speed was 23.82 m.p.h.-good going for a car which was in constant use until 1916, and has since been in the Works Museum. One by one the veterans arrived at the Aquarium Garage, and so consistent was their performance that only 10 failed to answer the roll-call.
THE FASTEST TIMES.
Tom Thornycroft (1904 Thornyeroft), 23.82 ra.p.h.
S. Sutton (1904 Darracq), 23.56 m.p.h.
Sir Malcolm Campbell (1904 Sunbeam), 23.50 m.p.h. C. de Lisle Hewitt (1904 Humber), 23.18 m.p.h. S. J. Upton (1904 Clement-Talbot), 22.72 m.p.h. ” Quickmore ” (1904 Humber), 22.45 m.p.h. S. G. Cummings (1903 Peugeot Voiturette), 22.31
J. 14. Hudson (1903 Oldsmobile), 21.42 m.p.h. J. H. Wylie (1903 Wolseley), 21.30 m.p.h.
J. R. H. Baker (1903 Vinot et Deguingand), 21.2 m.p.h.
H. C. Butterfield (1902 Daimler), 20.82 m.p.h.
K. P. Tweedie (1903 De Dion), 20.74 m.p.h.
R. S. C. Beresford (1901 Fiat), 20.38 m.p.h. C. D. Siddeley (1904 Armstrong Whitworth),
J. A. Turner (1902 Panhard), 20.32 m.p.h.
H. E. Symons (1903 Siddeley), 20.22 m.p.h.
F. S. Bennett (1903 Cadillac), 20.0 m.p.h. S. Cummings, jtmr. (1904 Panhard), 19.80 m.p.h,
0. W. If Junr. (1903 Lanehester). 19.74 m.p.h.
G. Southon (1903 Decauville), 19.55 m.p.h. F. Wiginton (1902 Wolseley), 19.11 m.p.h. S. C. H. Davis (1897 Leo-Boilee), 19.03 m.p.h.
TEAM AWARDS. The Team : P. S.
1. The Leon-Bollee Team : E. L. Wood, P. S. Barnes and S. C. H. Davis.
2. Daimler : G. H. Pruen, R. C. Blake and H. C. Butterfield.
3. Panhard : J. M. Turner ; J. A. Turner and S. Cummings, Jnr. 4. De Dion : H. J. F. Parsons, R. C. Porter and G. Burtenshaw, (Note.—The team award was decided by taking the average speed of the three cars comprising the team and adding to it two points for the age of the car each year older than 1904.)