The Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is set to feature the biggest entry list of the past five years when more than 450 pioneers from the age of the horseless carriage – up more than 50 from last year – set off from Hyde Park at 7.02am on 5 November, bound for Madeira Drive in Brighton.
This year’s event will pay homage to French manufacturers and their overwhelming contribution to the development of the motorcar, with no fewer than 65 De Dion-Bouton cars and trikes and almost 30 Panhard et Levassors tackling the 60-mile route. Among those taking part atop Gallic machinery is Pink Floyd drummer and car collector Nick Mason, a regular at the event since 1985 who will be driving his 1901 Panhard et Levassor.
Other notable participants include Thierry Peugeot and Robert Panhard – direct descendants of the founders of the automotive companies that bear their respective names. In addition to the better known French manufacturers, a number of the Continent’s rarer cars will also be on show, chief among them the sole surviving Créanache and the only Raynaud in existence.
An 1893 Peugeot Type 3 built just seven years after the world’s first car is the oldest car registered for the run, which will be joined by an 1897 Type 14 – the only example of 18 built still in running condition and the first model to use a Peugeot designed horizontal twin engine.
British veterans will also be well represented, with Vauxhall, Wolseley, Humber, Riley and Siddeleys expected to be out in force. Meanwhile, the world’s oldest fully operational British car – an 1894 Santler Dogcart – is set to go under the hammer at Bonhams’ pre-event auction on 3 November. It will be sold with a guaranteed entry in the 2017 Run.