The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 2021. More than 300 late 19th and early 20th Century cars tackle the 60-mile route from Capital to coast, in celebration of the dawn of motoring
This year’s entry included cars from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland as well as 10 from the United States. In total, 87 different marques ranging from Albion and Alldays to Winton and Wolseley were represented on this year’s entry – some, like Cadillac, Renault, Vauxhall and Mercedes, still well-known today, but the vast majority lost to history.
The first batch of the pre-1905 horseless carriages – the earliest of the Victorian ‘light locomotive’ vehicles – led the 286-strong cavalcade as they passed through Wellington Arch, down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch and Whitehall into Parliament Square. Half of the participants followed the traditional A23 route past Big Ben and over Westminster Bridge via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham Common; the other half journeyed via Lambeth Bridge and then through Vauxhall, Clapham Common and Tooting. The two routes then merged on the A236 just north of Croydon with the entire cavalcade reunited within the South Downs before finishing at Madeira Drive on the seafront in Brighton
Of 286 starters, 235 cars crossed the finishing line and collected a coveted finishers’ medal. Amongst them was Hagerty’s own 1903 Knox, an American ‘car’ with a single-cylinder engine and tiller for steering,
The Knox Automobile Company was established in 1900, building 15 cars in its first year. When new the ‘Knoxmobile’ sold for $1350 in contrast to the Ford Model F which sold for $2000. It features a single cylinder of some 2575cc, encased within an ingenious heatsink resembling a huge metal hedgehog, created by the precision drilling and tapping of some 1750 threaded studs.