De Dion Bouton was the most popular entry, with 65, and it was fitting that, in this year of the Mercedes-Benz centenary, there were 15 Benz and nine Mercedes. Daimler-Benz AG had the oldest entry, No 1 being their 1886 Daimler, although this was last seen being pushed, very late, up to the front of the cavalcade. This being the case, it seemed rather unnecessary to impede the start with a non-orginal “1886” Benz tricycle. The oldest VCC-dated car was Mrs Moore’s 1892 Panhard-Levassor.
An impressive car was the 1904 60hp Napier from America, with Gordon Bennett connotations, reminding us that it is hoped to stage a GB re-enactment next year, at which the 1904 GB Star should be a prominent competitor — the VCC would not accept it for the Brighton Run.
The Run is not a race, and a 20 mph average has to be observed, whereas before the war certificates of speed were issued to all finishers. Nevertheless, the RAC buIlletins still quote the questionable distinction of who got there first. This year the “honour” went to Johnny Thomas on the 1898 Rochet tricycle, which he rode on the sidewalk past some of the hold-ups. Second in was J. Welch’s 1901 Decauville, third to arrive R. Eastmead’s 1900 Stephens, which was one of the first cars to have i.f.s. Jeffrey Rose, Chairman of the RAC, was among other early arrivals on the RAC’s 1901 Mors. —W B