Pat Coulter braves a chilly start for the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
I LOVE driving down memory lane. Most years I can joyfully do just that by making an annual pilgrimage to marvel at the cavalcade of veteran vehicles on their annual jaunt from London to Brighton.
It evokes fond memories of early childhood outings in the mid-sixties with Mum and Dad, parked up at the roadside north of Brighton watching the characterful cars of yesteryear head for the coast.
I’d be sitting on the warm bonnet of our Sunbeam Rapier, keeping the chill out on a cold November morning, waving enthusiastically to the intrepid drivers and plucky passengers of the fondly named “old crocks” as they came puttering by, often backfiring along the way, much to my delight.
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the world’s most popular free-to-view motoring event. Tens of thousands of all ages line the 60-mile route, gleefully cheering on the grand old motor vehicles, centenarians one and all.
Veteran car owners bring their cherished vehicles from around the globe especially for this traditional annual outing. It’s a most exclusive club with only around 400 vehicles taking part.
Excitingly, my latest outing takes me to the start line in London’s Hyde Park on the traditional first Sunday of November. It’s bitterly chilly at 6 a.m. waiting for sunrise.
Like modern-day vehicles, most of the veteran cars have air conditioning, except that means open-top motoring for the hardy participants!
Many of them are bundled up in original Victorian-style attire. Tweeds and heavy woollen overcoats are the order of the day for gentlemen, with many sporting leather motoring gauntlets and “Biggles” style goggles. Flat caps and deerstalkers top off the ensembles.
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