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

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!’

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