Old ‘Crocks’ in the sunshine – London to Brighton 2017

Sorry we’ve been quiet since Goodwood but there was catching up to do and then we actually had a holiday. No blog or photo’s as we went in a modern car and saw very few classics although we had a great time. There hasn’t been much happening on the car front at all, the last couple of Goodwood Breakfast Clubs were cancelled due to the poor conditions of the carparks after the Revival. James is currently on the RAC rally of the tests, navigating the Fiat 2300 for Michael Moss again.

Last weekend, on a beautiful sunny November morning we went to spectate on the 2017 London to Brighton Vintage Car Run. We went back to the Friars Oak near Hassocks which is a good place to watch from and obviously has facilities and is a good location to meet up with fiends. Some of our friends were taking part in the event and they can stop off and say hello.

We were there in good time and wanted for the veterans to come along. As it was such a lovely day classics of all ages were out in force and we wish we’d made the effort to bring Mario along! The route for the run had been altered due to roadworks in London and it was causing a lot of problems which meant the cars were quite slow in coming through but it wasn’t too long before Jan and Mike came along in their De Dion Bouton. This is a different car to the one James took part in with Mike, a bit more modern and comfortable and more reliable. They had a guest from Bonham’s with them, who’s Great Grandfather had had a similar car.

After waving them off to Brighton we watch some more cars come through. Everything was running rather late, in part due to a serious accident in Reigate involving one of the entrants and several modern vehicles. Hopefully the crew will make a good recovery and the incident won’t have any implications for the future of the event. As it was already 2pm we decided not to go into Brighton to Maderia Drive.

Anyway here are some photo’s from the day – I had a new camera to play with and I was quite pleased with the results. They were much better than previous years  although it is quite difficult to know if that’s the camera or the better weather conditions!


If you are interested the full set is online


A warm day for the London to Brighton Veteran run…

The weather was unseasonably warm for the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run although for much of the route it was rather misty and foggy, in Brighton it was glorious sunshine… This year we were only spectating and hoping to meet up with and support several groups of friends and clients taking part.

We had considered taking Mario along as lots of people turn out in their classics of all ages and join in or park up and watch the veterans going by but we weren’t organised enough and to be honest by the evening when we were travelling back, the fog was so bad that we were really glad we hadn’t as the visibility was terrible on our cross country route home.

Not being very good at getting up on a Sunday morning we went to just North of Hassocks which is fairly close to the finish to watch from outside the Friars Oak pub. We quite am assortment of vehicles come past including our friends Mike and Jan in their De Dion Bouton and Radio 2’s Chris Evans, Ken Bruce and Alex Jones in classic buses which were driven for Children in Need raising £320,000. Chris had been talking the event up on the radio for weeks and whether it was this or the mild conditions but there were certainly loads of supporters out lining the route.

We went on into Brighton although the amazing November sunshine had brought people out in droves and getting into and parking in Brighton was horrific. Luckily we had passes and so were able to go into Maderia Drive and the Bonham’s area to meet up with friends and enjoy a bowl of finishers chilli. Most of the people we knew finished the event although it would appear that quite a high percentage of the entrants didn’t make it to Brighton, a bit strange as the conditions were so good.

Anyhow it was a great day out as always…DSC06116 DSC06117 DSC06118 DSC06119 DSC06120 DSC06122 DSC06127 DSC06132 DSC06133 DSC06135 DSC06142 DSC06143 DSC06144 DSC06148 DSC06149 DSC06151 DSC06152 DSC06153 DSC06157 DSC06155DSC06161 DSC06172DSC06164 DSC06169 DSC06173 DSC06197 DSC06198 DSC06203 DSC06206 DSC06212 DSC06213 DSC06215 DSC06216 DSC06217 DSC06223 DSC06224 DSC06227 DSC06228 DSC06229 DSC06230 DSC06233 DSC06251 DSC06266 DSC06267 DSC06270 DSC06276 DSC06277 DSC06282 DSC06283 DSC06287

Glorious day at Goodwood

DSC02183Yesterday was the annual open day for the Goodwood Road Racing Club. This year Mario’s Brother ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv was given an invitation to display. It was lightly raining when we left home but by the time we arrived at Goodwood House the sun was shining and it stayed for the rest of the day. The 48 display cars were parked around the carriage circle and all given a board telling a bit about their history. There is always a wide range of cars belonging to members from all over the country and this year even one couple who came from Holland!

DSC02199We had a chance to met and talk to the other entrants over a coffee, the goodwood news website and forum fortyonesix.com were there filming and interviewed our friend Mike about his De Dion Bouton, the oldest car there and the one which we have been on the London to Brighton on. The chosen cars ‘humans’ were all invited to have lunch in the house which was superb in a lovely setting, especially the dessert, a plate of tiny really fruity jellies, and macaroons sandwiched with fabulous gooey chocolate.

Lord March himself was there to look at the cars on display and we had a opportunity for a nice chat about our cars and working at the Revival, we even let him in on the ‘big surprise’ being planned for the Revival but you will have to wait for that!

This is always a fun family day out with entertainment for the children and people picnicing in front of the house, lots of people arrive in their classic and sports cars but unfortunately we didn’t make it to the car park to see what wonders were on display.

DSC02184People voted for their ‘car of the day’ which was won by a bright orange Lamborghini Miura, the owners were presented with champagne and laurels from the GRRC team, who also revealed that there is a new event being planned for 2014 and to keep the last weekend in March free – lets hope it’s not snowy like this year!

After the presentations we left for a lovely sunny drive home, stopping off to give Mario a wash ready for his important outing tomorrow, this involves the press but we can’t tell you more at the moment… watch this space.

DSC02188DSC02201 DSC02206 I loved the VW ambulance, we had lunch with the owners who had acquired it after the previous camper they owned and restored was destroyed by fire on the way home from Le Mans.

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The day I was pleased to be left at home…

I normally have a little sulk if I get left at home but on Sunday I was very pleased to stay tucked up safe and warm while my ‘humans’ set off on the annual London to Brighton Veteran car run, for which of course I am far too young!

After leaving home at the unearthly time of 4.45am, the morning was absolutely dreadful with torrential rain and so cold it was sleeting from time to time. It was still pitch dark when unloading the car, a 1900 De Dion Bouton in Hyde Park. The cars depart in age order so the De Dion had a fairly early number – 66 and corresponding start time of 7.10am.

James and the De Dion’s human, Mike set off for the start while the (sensible) girls left in the tender vehicle to find a suitable spot on route to wait for them to come past. We stopped between Redhill and Crawley at a spot where the locals provide water for steam cars and refreshments. The rain had been heavy now for hours and there was a lot of surface water and some localised flooding. The cars started coming past all looking very wet and cold but most managed a wave and smile at the equally wet spectators who had turned out in the bad conditions to watch the run come past.

By the time we arrived in Brighton it was dry and the sun was starting to shine, although it was so windy you could hardly stand up. The Pier looked very dramatic with huge rolling waves and sea mist.The cars started to arrive shortly before ten-thirty, although the bulk didn’t get there until lunchtime and beyond. The cars that were last to leave often arrive first as they are ‘newer’ and faster. There were several celebrities on the event including Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass, Nick Mason and Charlie Boorman. An ultra-marathon runner did the entire 63 miles on route, running against a friends car with a prize of the loser buying the ice-creams – his time was faster than James and Mike! The final car crossed the finished line as the sun was going down shortly after 4.30pm.

James and Mike arrived at 1pm, under six hours from leaving London and the fastest time Mike had ever completed the event in. The De Dion had performed very well, much better than last year but then much tinkering has been done in the last twelve months. After some warming soup at the finish it was time to hit the hotel and a set of dry clothes before preparing for the post event VCC dinner.

In the late afternoon we took a walk up the pier, after the appalling start to the day there was a beautiful sunset and it was much calmer, in fact Monday was typically a glorious sunny day but then if the weather had been better there wouldn’t have been so much  to talk about, for many years, the entrants will be talking about the ‘wet run of 2012!’

More images


Working hard at PR

Mario spent today working hard at the local Charter Fair to promote the forthcoming Haslemere Classic Car Show which his humans help to organise. After a rather damp set-up and start the sun finally came out and a good afternoon was had by all. Sharing the stand with a 1900 De Dion Bouton, Mario was the bright young thing and did a great job doing what comes naturally  – creating attention. Lots of people were given leaflets about the event to be held at the end of May which will hopefully mean we have a big crowd at the show.

Mario and the De Dion on the stand – Mario respects his elders and let the De Dion use the gazebo!

Parade of Town Criers from all over the country who were here to take part in a Town Crier competition.