RAC Veteran Car Run

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Although it cannot rank with top racing fixtures, large rallies and the like (and is not in fact either a race, a rally (except at the start and finish) nor a Concours d’Elegance, except as a mobile one) the RAC/Tindle Newspapers Veteran Car Run, watched by a massive audience, is an important event in its own right. As was obvious, when this year’s Run brought worldwide entries to the formidable total of 468 pre-1905 cars. There were non-starters of course, but those released from Hyde Park on November 5 formed a remarkable cavalcade of motoring history, all the more important this time, as the British Motor Industry approaches its first century.

Oldest was an 1893 Benz of T W Garrett/P R Welch. From overseas came five veterans from Australia, eight from Belgium, four from the Channel Islands, two each from Denmark and France, sixteen from Germany, three from Hong Kong, four from Norway, three from Sweden, two Swiss entries, two from Guernsey, eleven from the Netherlands, while a dozen arrived from America and single ones from Eire, the Czech Republic (a 1902 Benz Parsifal), the loM, S African and Turkey (a 1904 Covert). Definitely an international occasion!

The most popular make represented was De Dion (70), followed by 39 Panhards, 26 Oldsmobiles and 26 Darracqs. Many museums and leading clubs put their cars in, the 750 MC provided many marshalls, and once more the 57¾-mile route to Brighton turned off the A23 at Pease Pottage, regaining it just beyond Clayton Hill. And now, over to Malcolm Jeal, the VCC’s Librarian and member of its Dating Committee, who was riding his 1900 De Dion Combination, for a report on some of the action.

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