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Rally round: The epic long-distance car races to join this year

Rally round: The epic long-distance car races to join this year

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Bonhams-London-to-Brighton
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Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Where/when: From London to Brighton, UK/3 November
Who goes: Veterans in period dress
What to bring: Anything pre-1905 – an 1898 Panhard et Levassor... if you have one in your garage
Endurance/difficulty: 3/5
Great if... you like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and have only a day to spare

Not just old cars, but seriously old cars take part in the London to Brighton, the original horseless rally. One of the world’s oldest motorsport events, it is 123 years since its first run. Starting in order of age from Hyde Park and passing some of London’s most iconic landmarks (some actually younger than the cars), before a 96-kilometre trip south to the coastal city of Brighton. The event has a Victorian feel to it, with drivers and riders in period dress. It was originally run to celebrate the Locomotives on Highways Act 1896, which meant cars no longer required a person to walk in front with a red flag. In a dramatic flourish, a red flag is ceremonially burned at the start of each event. Despite the short route, it is still a huge challenge owing to the age of the vehicles. Cars are steered by a tiller rather than a wheel and use candles instead of headlamps... and, of course, there’s also the British weather to contend with...

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