Backtracking on the successful 1991 Benson & Hedges RAC Veteran Car Run, the permissible number of ancients had been increased to 400. There were still 96 optimistic reserves but the number who started was 394, withdrawn 93, and Renault Ltd’s 1900 Renault, A Court’s 1901 Clement-Panhard from Australia, R Coleman’s 1901 De Dion, Dr West’s 1903 Cadillac, P Beckwick’s 1903 Oldsmobile, the 1903 Malicet et Blin from Belgium, J Banner’s 1904 De Dion, J Barter’s 1903 De Dion coupé and B Hon’s 40/50 Mercedes from America non-starting –which looks as if the RAC had exceeded the stipulated number of runners by three!
It would be interesting to know who has done the greatest number of Runs; J Howes (1902 Wolseley) was on his 39th. Benson & Hedges continued the myth that the original Emancipation Run of 1896 was a celebration of the abolition of the Red Flag Law, which had been started by the Earl of Winchelsea when he destroyed such a flag before the 1896 Run, and which was to be perpetuated when another such flag was used to head the parade along Brighton’s Madeira Drive after the 1956 event.
J Brown was among the finishers this year on his 1901 Baker Electric which had also earlier managed a 950-mile journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity.
For the record we append the names of those who unhappily did not complete this year’s Run or did not do so by 4pm; 1894; Lord Palumbo (1 1/2) hp Benz). 1895; H Malatre (Rochet-Schneider), Miss Arnold/NMM (Arnold). 1898; II Davies (Benz), R Brooks (Mors). 1899; Kart (Benz), T Dekker (De Dion), T Moore (Panhard racer), G Edney (Perfecta), F Horton (Star). 1900; M Jeal (De Dion), Gagg (Lux), R Hounslow (Mobile), H Crother (SFA). 1901; D Cleaver (Albion), J Waine (Arrol—Johnston), I Rendle (Georges—Richard), R Jones (Georges— Richard), T Curry (Locomobile), P Mum (Luc Court), A Hancock (Milwaukee steamer), M Holt (Neustadt) C Schmitt (Panhard), D Akehurst (Pick), L Malmberg (Renault). 1902; T Haynes (Batholomew), D Corry (Benz), C Moon (De Dion), J & M Bird (Georges—Richard), D Davidson (Oldsmobile), J Hough (Oldsmobile), M Post (Oldsmobile). 1903; C Wingfield (Argyll), D McNeill (De Dion), J Tunecliffe (De Dion), J Hoogstad (De Dion), M Hudson (Flint), P Jaye (Ford), L Allen (Glide), P Furze (Humberette), J Smith (Northern), S Green (Oldsmobile), C Wrathen (Phoenix), T Davies (Sunbeam), P Forster (Waverley Electric). 1904; B Dobson (Autocar), J Davies (Cadillac), Mrs Smith (Darracq), A Cross (Franklin), P Fowler(Talbot), H Rose (Thornycroft).
Nine competitors were reported for contravening the Regulations and may be disqualified or otherwise penalised; they included HRH Prince Michael of Kent and Lord Strathcarron, so we hope their crimes were not too heinous. . . We apologise for not having space in which to list the 342 successful finishers but hope that their achievements will have been sufficient reward! WB
British Motor Heritage announces that its Gaydon Centre, which is intended to house the biggest ever display of British cars of all ages, is progressing and opening in the Spring of 1993 seems assured. One new exhibit is a 1936 Rover Speed 14 aluminium-bodied coupé and Wolseley memorabilia from the Ward End Gaydon Centre Birmingham, which was closed last September, has also been acquired. When Gaydon Centre is opened the Heritage Motor Museum at Syon Park, London, will be closed. Incidentally, the oldest of the Heritage’s vehicles to be entered for the 1991 Brighton Run, an 1899 Royal Riley tricycle, made the journey successfully. WB