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Crawley - Halfway To Paradise For Hardy London To Brighton Participants and Spectators +VIDEO

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The Famous Darracq Genevieve

Friendly Sussex town provides a welcome pit stop for veterans and a superb vantage point for spectators

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LONDON - October 25, 2016: Drive a modern car from London to Brighton and the journey ought to take less than two hours.

Attempt the trip in a pioneering veteran car with little or no weather protection and relying on technology that’s at least 110 years old and, well, it’s going to take somewhat longer.

So for the fearless drivers and their passengers heading from the capital to the coast on the first Sunday in November, a halfway halt is a welcome opportunity to fettle their cars and warm themselves with a hot drink.

As has now become a tradition, the participating cars in the annual Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox – a Royal Automobile Club event – will be taking a well-earned break at the Honda Gatwick dealership in Crawley.

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Upon reaching the half-way point of the run, participants will be able to enjoy the hospitality of The Harrods Stop at Crawley. The iconic Green Men from the famous Knightsbridge department store will welcome guests to enjoy a full service of refreshments from the Harrods Banqueting team, providing treats straight out of the popular Harrods Food Halls. Guests will be entertained by a lively jazz band and served by the ‘Harrods Butlers’.

James Healy, Director of Store Operations, commented: “The Run is a great opportunity to celebrate veteran vehicles in the UK and, for us at Harrods, to celebrate our history as a store. Harrods has been serving customers across London for over 160 years, and it’s fantastic to have our veteran vehicles back on the open road.”

There will be no public access at Honda Gatwick, so the next stop for the cars is Crawley High Street. Here Crawley County Council has organised spectator viewing points, allowing visitors to see the cars close up as they prepare for the trip across the Downs to Madeira Drive.

The High Street will have a full PA system with driver interviews broadcast live while Gatwick Airport will be giving hand warmers to spectators and also providing a genuine veteran car, courtesy of the nearby Filching Manor Museum, in which they can be photographed.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, said: “Spectators love to watch the Veteran Car Run in the High Street and view the ‘old crocks’ up close. This has been a tradition for decades and makes Crawley the vibrant and exciting halfway stop of this fantastic event. I am delighted that Gatwick Airport is helping to bring this to the High Street.”

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The High Street also marks the start of the Chopard Regularity Run, the only competitive element of the event. Finishing 13 miles away in Burgess Hill, the Regularity Run requires drivers to get as close to a chosen average speed as possible.

The first cars are due to arrive at the High Street at around 8.15am with the last car leaving at around 1.45pm.

This year’s Run marks the 120th anniversary of the first ‘Emancipation Run’ from London to Brighton, which was held in November 1896. It celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act which raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4mph to 14mph and abolished the need for the vehicles to be preceded by a man carrying a red flag.

More than 425 three- and four-wheelers – all built before 1905 – will take part in the Run, with the first cars leaving Hyde Park as dawn breaks just before 7am on Sunday 6th November.

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The Run is just one element of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week – a seven-day celebration of motoring, which includes an art exhibition, motoring lectures, a motoring forum and a motoring book awards evening.

The penultimate event in the week is the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show, on Saturday 5th November, which turns London’s premier shopping street into a motoring showcase that puts the spotlight on veterans and moderns alike. Then just before 7am on Sunday 6th November the Club’s premier event, the 120th anniversary Bonhams Veteran Run supported by Hiscox, gets underway.

For more details of the event visit

About Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox

With its unique atmosphere and camaraderie, the Bonhams Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox travelling from London to Brighton (staged specifically as a non-profit making veneration) commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896, which celebrated the Locomotives on the Highway Act. The Act raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14mph and abolished the need for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag.

The Emancipation Run was first commemorated in 1897 with a re-enactment following the same route in 1927 and has taken place every November since, with the exception of the war years and 1947 when petrol was rationed. The Royal Automobile Club has managed the Run with the support of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain since 1930.

About The Royal Automobile Club

The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 and its distinguished history mirrors that of motoring itself. In 1907, the Club was awarded its Royal title by King Edward VII, sealing the Club’s status as Britain’s oldest and most influential motoring organisation.

The Club’s early years were focused on promoting the motor car and its place in society, which developed into motoring events such as the 1000 Mile Trial, first held in 1900. In 1905, the Club held the first Tourist Trophy, which remains the oldest continuously competed for motor sports event. The Club promoted the first pre-war and post-war Grands Prix at Brooklands in 1926 and Silverstone in 1948 respectively, whilst continuing to campaign for the rights of the motorist, including introducing the first driving licences.

Today, the Club continues to develop and support automobilism through representation on the Motor Sport Association (MSA), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and RAC Foundation, while continuing to promote its own motoring events, such as the free-to-attend Regent Street Motor Show and the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

The Royal Automobile Club also awards a series of historic trophies and medals celebrating motoring achievements. These include the Segrave Trophy, the Tourist Trophy, the Simms Medal, the Dewar Trophy and the Torrens Trophy.