The RAC Veteran Car Run is not a race, in spite of what some papers say. At one time certificates were issued quoting the average speed attained on the journey from London to Brighton by each finisher. Then some quite fast cars began to take part and the RAC took fright and abandoned this happy scheme. Today to average more than 20 mph, over the much easier A23 route, easier that is for early numbers or fast veterans able to keep ahead of the converging modern traffic (why do so many spectators insist on continuing to Brighton and why are only the Brighton Constabulary so indifferent to congestion and hostile traffic lights affecting the veterans?), is frowned upon and may earn an RAC reprimand. However, there is an element of competition, because anyone not passing the Pylons about three miles before Brighton by 16.00 hours is disqualified; which implies a minimum average of about 6-1/2 mph for the older cars, around 7-1/2 mph for the later ones, as no sliding-scale tolerance is allowed on the finishing time. Wilson McComb, writing in a contemporary of the only Lutzmann in the UK, an 1896 2.4-litre single-cylinder horseless-carriage, believes that to take part in the Run on such a primitive vehicle is the equal in guts and skill of taking part in an F1 race. On the other hand, there were 22 veterans entered by women this year, which you do not find in racing, Lib or not!
This year those reported as failing to start were: R. S. Miles’ 1899 Benz, F. Horton’s 1899 Star, Sir Clive Edwards’ 1900 New Orleans, R. F. Tolhurst’s 1901 Benz, R. A. Westscott’s 1901 Lanchester, C. R. Lynam’s 1901 Sunbeam Mabley, Donington Park Racing’s 1902 Albion, L. M. Cascante’s 1902 Renault, J. Schofield’s 1902 Renault, W. A. Lockley-Cook’s 1903 Argyll, J. Foyle’s 1903 Clement, Dr. North’s 1903 De Dion Bouton, P. M. A. Griffin’s 1903 Humberette, N. H. Cullen’s 1903 Humberette, C. W. P. Hampton’s 1903 Mercedes, R. L. Hubbard’s 1903 Oldsmobile, E. P. Sharman’s 1903 Oldsmobile, G. St. J. Larkin’s 1903 Phoenix Trimo, H. D. Lee’s 1903 Stevens-Duryea, The Transport Trust’s 1903 Vauxhall, D. E. Sharpe’s 1903 Wolseley, van Ackerman’s 1904 Bayard, A. W. Hutt’s 1904 Cadillac, G. M. Parrish’s 1904 Darracq, the Harrah Museum’s 1904 Mercedes, A. J. Bailey’s 1904 Phoenix-Trimo, H. E. Bowden’s 1904 Renault, T. Love Junior’s 1904 Rolls-Royce, D. J. Goldsmith’s 1904 Stanley steamer and P. Kendall-Torry’s 1904 Turner-Miesse steamer.
Even more unfortunate were those who started but who failed to finish, these being given as: T. Lindvell’s 1895 5 h.p. Benz; J. R. Garrett’s 1895 2-1/2 h.p. Gladiator; D. Martin’s 1896 2 h.p. Leon-Bollée; W. Vaux’s 1897 4 h.p. Daimler; F. H. Parkinson’s 1900 8 h.p. Peugeot; J. Bullivant’s 1901 7 h.p. Godiva; P. A. Brandt’s 1901 Locomobile steamer; Lady Montagu’s 1901 Progress; E. D. Sharp’s 1904 6 h.p. De Dion Bouton; J. F. Denton’s 1904 10h.p. Ford; P. A. Armour’s 1904 4-1/2 h.p. Humber tandem; S. R. Southall’s 1904 12 h.p. Lagonda tri-car; C. F. Dumbell’s 1904 Turner-Miesse steamer.
The BL 1901 Wolseley co-driven by W.B. got there after many vicissitudes see page 1818. (This web issue page 76).