Brighton Backtrack

As stated last month, this year's Veteran Car Run was a great occasion. Although 79 of the pre-1905 cars were withdrawn before the start and another six were non-starters, that still left the remarkable number of 392 veterans to face the road to Brighton. It was pleasing that the Chief Constable of Sussex, who permitted an entry of 400 this year, rode on a 1904 Sunbeam. Transport Secretary Cecil Parkinson was Lord Montagu's passenger on the 1903 Daimler and said he would hope to go again in 1991. Not evidently a political decision! HRH Prince Michael of Kent had Sir Peter Ustinov with him on the 1904 Mercedes, from the Daimler-Benz Museum. Apart from racing drivers referred to last month, Andy Wallace, the Le Mans Jaguar driver, was 20 minutes late getting away, after fettling the engine of the 1897 Daimler. The 61 unfortunate who failed to get in by the 4pm time limit were, for the record:

1884: T. Moore (De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux — low head of steam (but got within four miles of the finish). 1891: R. Southwood (Panhard). 1893: R Fuchs (Benz). 1896: Miss Arnold (Arnold), Mrs Pittuck (Leon-Bollee), I Moore (Panhard), P Briggs (Peugeot). 1898: D Herrmmann (Benz). 1899: R Highman (De Dion), M Fletcher (De Dion), P Lumsdon (Locomobile) — retired after Brixton Hill, J Baker (Metz), C Loder (Star) — broken front axle. 1900: P Thompson (Daimler), R Phillips (Daniel Augeo), M Frattorini (De Dion) — engine trouble, with two miles to go, R Hounslow (Mobile), G Briere-Edny (SFA). 1901: M Holmes (Clement Bayard), R Sinclait (De Dion), A Earnshaw (Panhard), W Wrather (Panhard), Dr Dyke (Steamobile). 1902: T Rose (Albion), T Amyes (Bartholomew), D Corry (Benz), P Reed (Boyer), J Smallman (Darracq) — broken valve, D Can (De Dion), Dr Holden (Locomobile), M Post (Oldsmobile), M Manning (Peugeot) — lost stubaxle. 1903: B Ferguson (Brown), W Presinger (Covert), Count Labia (De Dion), D Marne (De Dion), D McNeill (De Dion), M Essex (De Dion), Cllr Garrett (Gladiator), A Whitelegge (Humberette), M Barber (Peerless), R Skerman (White), D Sharpe (Wolseley). 1904: J Mason (Cadillac), G Parrish (Darracq) — lubrication problems, R Knight (Darracq), Miss Thompson (De Dion), K Russel (De Dion), A Lock (Ford) — gearbox failure, Mrs Ayley (Franklin), Miss Strong (Humberette), L Allen (Glide), R Sevenoaks (Northern), K Moore (Oldsmobile), Sir J Rogers (Orient Buckboard), N Burke (Pope-Tribune), B Richardson (Stanley), P Brandt (TurnerMiesse), R Temple (TurnerMiesse) and G Drew (Wolseley).

Unhappily, 18 drivers were reported for contravening the rules and some were disqualified, including Wolf's 1900 Lux, which anyway had no gears left, after reaching Crawley. The oldest car to finish, with five minutes to spare, was Ruth Moore's 1892 Panhard, in spite of overheating troubles, and the last car officially in was Sharman's 1903 Oldsmobile. Now for 1991!