Updated: Jun 10
The Royal Automobile Club’s annual Veteran Car Run take place each year on the first Sunday in November. The event is open to all motor vehicles (3 wheels or more) built before January 1905. It represents a rare opportunity to take these extraordinary automobiles on the historic 60-mile run from Hyde Park in central London to the seafront on the Sussex resort of Brighton.
The London to Brighton – Veteran Car Run celebrates the raising of the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 miles per hour to 14 miles per hour in November 1896. The early law required a man on foot to carry a red flag but that requirement was abolished in 1878. However, the Locomotive Act was still widely known as the ‘Red Flag Act’ and a red flag was symbolically destroyed at the start of the Emancipation Run in 1896, by Lord Winchilsea. This is re-enacted in Hyde Park just before the start of the event at 7:00 am.
The first group of cars leaves Hyde Park at 07:00 and the last group leaves around 08:30. Each group consist of 10 to 16 cars with an interval of 2 minutes between the groups. The older cars leave first, and the fastest cars arrives about 1hour 40 minuits after leaving Hyde Park.
This is a great event to watch even if the photography is tricky.
This is an event where you need to set up your camera for low light as it will be dark at 7:00, and the cars will, (generally), be moving – so there is a very high risk of having all your shots blurred. High powered flash can help but it no guarantee of success. It is a good opportunity to practice panning shots and exploring what shots work in these conditions
Hint – You will get better results if you take a photograph of the car as if it is coming straight towards you rather than across you.
To get variety, try starting at Hyde Park and then making your way down to Lambeth Bridge in stages. This will help you explore where the best places are along the route, and give a different backgrounds/angles for your shots- it will also help you explore more of London and keep you warm.
Maps London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally – Central London Section