Organizers of the annual Veteran Car Run, the acclaimed London-to-Brighton rally in England, say the 2015 event will have an American “flavor” in recognition of the large number of early American automobiles that regularly participate in the event.
Entries opened March 31 for what is billed as the world’s oldest motoring event, held annual in recognition of the Emancipation Run of 1896, a drive that celebrated Britain’s Highway Act, the law that raised the speed limit from 4 to 14 mph and ended the requirement that motor cars be preceded by a man on foot holding a red flag.
Some 109 American cars, including the red 1904 Cadillac shown passing in front of Buckingham Palace on the 2015 promotional poster, participated in the 2014 rally. The Cadillac was one of 25 from that marque, though there were more Oldsmobiles – 31 of them – as well as cars from Pope, Stanley, Rambler, Northern, Pierce, Waverley and Ford.
“While the first horseless carriage might have come from Benz in Germany, the Americans were also an inventive force among the early automobile pioneers,” rally organizers said in a news release. “At the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th, they were hard at work producing not just petrol-powered cars, but also cars powered by steam and by battery – today’s electric-vehicle revolution actually started more than a century ago.
Cars powered by petrol, steam and electricity are expected for the 2015 event, which is open to cars produced before 1905.
“We hope to see even more U.S. car marques as we celebrate them this year, and look forward to a stellar lineup from all over the world,” Ben Cussons, chairman of the Veteran Car Run steering committee, said in a news release.
The rally is part of London Motor Week, which also includes the Regent Street Motor Show, a “mile of style” that features cars old and new, a motoring forum at the Royal Automobile Club, a Bonhams classic car auction and other events.
Auction house Bonhams also is the sponsor of the London-to-Brighton rally.