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Joris

The Battle of Brighton !

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You probably know of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, eligible only for cars up to 1904. This has been changed into 1906 recently. Causing a lot of turmoil in the Empire of Tradition ( the UK ;-). There will be an alternative protest Run for the really, really old cars. See for more: <A HREF="http://www.prewarcar.com" TARGET=_blank>PreWarCar.com </A> What's your opinion on this? regards, Joris battle_of_brighton_250.jpg

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I must admit that I do not know much about this race. What is the significance of the 1904 cut-off? And why when they changed it did they only include 2 more years?<P>Thanks in advance.

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This is a BAD move. The 1904 cutoff was fine, with a few exceptions all the cars were somewhat on a level with one another. There was a lot of advancement in design and performance by 1906. Just think, "Old 16" the first American car to win an International race could now run London to Brighton. "Old 16" a Locomobile was built in Bridgeport, Ct. in 1906, and won the 1908 running of the race. This a 100MPH car that could be out there with curved dash Oldsmobiles.

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The L to B Run is still limited to 1904. I think they figured that a lot of experimentation was pretty much finalized by 1904. The speed also is a good point, they don't want the run to be a race. The car to pick is not the fastest--you don't want speed you want reliability. Three horsepower cars regularly do just fine. An additional suggestion is the curved dash Olds. the car is simple, reliable and well designed AND parts are available. London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 2009 will give you a good idea of what's involved. Dress warm -- it's a cold trip but it's fantastic!--winton

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"In 1895 the Locomotives On The Highway Act was put before Parliament only to fail when the government fell. The Act was reintroduced the following year and did away for need of three persons and the requirement for a man to walk in front of the vehicle. The speed limit was set at 14 mph (22 km/h), although most Local Government Boards had the authority to reduce it to 12 mph (19 km/h). Self-propelled vehicles weighing under 2 tons no longer needed to have a licence.

The Emancipation Run of Saturday 14th November 1896, when over thirty motorists drove to Brighton, celebrates this Act although the "Red Flag" myth still lives on. Many cars did not travel the whole route and the electric cars traveled most of the way by train. On the Sunday an informal parade took place on Brighton front."

Autos were legally the same as road locomitives or steam tractors until the law was changed in 1896.

Today's London to Brighton run memorialises the beginning of the auto age in England. It is not a race, it is simply a drive on ordinary roads. It is frightening to think that these pre 1904 cars drive some 50 miles through modern traffic with no special precautions other than what the entrants make for themselves.

The modern re enactment began in 1929. The cutoff year of 1904 was chosen because it represented the end of the "pioneer" period of autos. By 1905 the auto was an accepted innovation in England if not yet as common as it is today.

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There are pictures of a man with a red flag walking in front of a vehicle from the era. As I understand it, the rule mandating the red flag was relaxed before 1896 but the police & local gouvernments continued to enforce it. In 1896 and before each run, a red flag is ripped in half to celebrate the end of the law. I believe the revival of the run started in 1927 and was formalized in 1937 by Lord Montegu and has been run every year since. The red flag originally enacted to protect people from the steam traction engines which were used as powersources for farms. They were like steam locomotives and were quite unweildy.-winton

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There actually was a period when a self propelled vehicle had to be preceded by a man with a red flag during the day, or a red lantern at night.

This was done away with after a few years. But other restrictions remained until the law was revised in 1896.

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As a child my late Grandfather, who lived in England, bragged to me that he had only received one speeding fine in his life. You guessed it, it was for driving without a person in front with a red flag.

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Love it! After the 1927 L to B Run, Lord Montegu and other old car fans decided that it might be fun to start an old car club. That was the beginning of their old car club founded in around 1930. This probably a model that set the stage for the AACA founded in 1935. Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about the L to B Run. winton

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