Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 2015

Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 2015 I had been looking forward to the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run for some time, particularly after I had photographed the Best of West Kent Veteran Car Run back in July.

The London to Brighton run scheduled on Sunday 1st November is the world's longest running motor event, this year celebrates the 119th Anniversary Run, the pioneering cars from the pre-1905 era, the only event anywhere on Earth where so many veteran cars parade in such numbers, the participants dressed in period attire.

Bonhams Auction 30 October

Preceding the run an auction of veteran cars and memorabilia was held at Bonhams in New Bond Street, London. I went to photograph a little of what was on display - just to soak up a some of the atmosphere and learn more about this prestigious event. The centre photograph below shows four cars, the 1904 rear entrance Tonneau (front on the right) sold for £51,750 and the 1904 Winton (corner bottom left) sold for £130,000 including premiums. I found it fascinating to see the photographs on display from the early years, it put into perspective just how much effort goes into the run and how passionate the entrants still are to this day.

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Regent Street Motor Show Saturday 31 October

Always well attended this truly unique motoring event represents the dawn of motoring, and right at the heart of the display, was a remarkable collection of 100 pre-1905 machines. As a curtain raiser to Sunday’s running of the annual Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. This year’s star-studded judging panel included multiple-title winning F1 team principal Ross Brawn and TV personality Edd China. The remarkable 1901 De Dion Bouton Vis- à-Vis owned by Mr and Mrs Gigi Baulino was awarded with the overall prize. The outstandingly original machine has been in storage in Italy for nearly a century and is making its VCR debut this year. I wasn't able to get to photograph and enjoy this event, the supplied photographs below capture the splendor of the day showing Regent Street and the winning car.

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Below the winning car with the owners and entrants with co- chairman of Bonhams, Malcom Barber on the left who conducted the auction on Friday and Ross Brawn back centre and Edd China back right.

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Veteran Car Run Sunday 1 November 2015

On Sunday 1st November at the crack of dawn more than 380 veteran cars dating back to 1898 started their engines at Hyde Park for the start of this year's 60 mile journey south through a misty London to Madeira Drive Brighton for the 119th Anniversary Run. I live half way between London and Brighton and made the decision to get to Brighton bright and early to capture the scene before the arrival of the first car over the finishing line.

For only the third time in more than half a century, this year’s route took the intrepid participants ­– past Buckingham Palace and down The Mall before heading past Big Ben and over Westminster Bridge. The capital’s early morning mist added to the period Victorian atmosphere. The route took the cars through Lambeth, Norbury, Redhill, Gatwick, Crawley - the mid-way check point, down to Hammer Hill, Cuckfield and down into Brighton.

I waited in anticipation to capture the first car over the finishing line, in unseasonably warm weather it was thrilling to see the first car back shortly after 10.00am - a 1903 Berliet, the participants were greeted by cheering crowds, blue skies and sunshine!

Amongst the veteran cars were three classic buses supplied by Lodge Coaches and driven by Radio 2 DJs Chris Evans and Ken Bruce and the One Show presenter Alex Jones, raising nearly £350,00 for BBC Children in Need, thanks to the generosity of their 40 passengers. The adventure – dubbed ‘40 Go Bonkers to Brighton’ was a huge success. Everyone looked do joyous and triumphant.

Also taking part, Nick Mason drummer of Pink Floyd with the oldest car in his vast collection, a 1903 Panhard et Levassor.

In total 342 of the starters managed to complete thejourney from Hyde Park to the Sussex coast before the 4.30pm deadline, thus receiving a coveted finisher medal.

Of the 427 vehicles entered, only 342 cars made it over the finish line: 14 withdrew, 27 did not start and 44 retired.

Below the first car back a 1903 Berliot.

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Camaraderie Hearing the commentary about how the generations of entrants had enjoyed the run from an early age and how they continued a family tradition made it all the more wonderful, everybody had their own special story to tell. The camaraderie was plain to see with many cars arriving together as they bonded on the way arriving in groups.

I shall be back next year, but would love to be a participant, anyone have a spare seat for me?

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Thanks for reading I'll be back in two weeks time with more news.

Bye for now, enjoy the weekend.

Stella

Stella Scordellis

SMS Creative Photography, 83 Station Road East, Oxted, England, RH8 0AX

British Photographer with a career spanning over three decades, photographing people, events and collections.