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London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run @veterancarrun took place again on November 6th in London and nearly 350 pre-1905 vintage cars took part. To qualify for the VCR, participating cars must have been built before 1905.

The VCR is one of the oldest car events in the world. The first run took place on November 14, 1896, and was called "The Emancipation Run" which celebrated the recently passed Locomotives on Highways Act 1896. The outdated law replaced the restrictive locomotive laws of 1861, 1865, 1878 and increased the maximum speed from 4 mph to 14 mph. Since 1878, the speed limit has been 6.4 km/h (4 mph) in the country and 3.2 km/h (2 mph) in the city. An attendant had to advance 18 m in front of the vehicle with a red flag to warn other road participants.

This year's event was not only a challenge due to the bad weather conditions but also showed the way to the future of the automobile. Two of the respected vehicles from before 1905 drove on innovative and sustainable fuels, the so-called synthetic fuels. A 1904 single-cylinder 6.5hp Covert was powered by a 100 per cent fossil-free fuel developed by P1 and similar to the decarbonised fuel officially used by all participants in the FIA ​​World Rally Championship.

The initiative was significant and also successful as both cars successfully completed 60 miles despite heavy rain, surface water and localized flooding. Fossil-free fuels offer an attractive alternative to the upcoming electric cars, which are likely to be only part of the overall solution.

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Photos © Royal Automobile Club, 89 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HS