This year’s London to Brighton Classic, Kit and Sports Car Run, held on Sunday 2nd June, has attracted entries from both ends of the motoring spectrum – from vintage cars to electric conversions.
The oldest car currently entered is a 1915 Ford Model T Speedster, belonging to Tony Robinson from Peterborough. Too young for the Veteran Car Run, Tony bought the Model T, affectionately named Arthur, as he loved watching the film Genevieve with his dad when he was younger.
“Genevieve was my inspiration, having watched with my father over 60 years ago,” Tony explains. “Interestingly, Arthur is now twice as old as Genevieve was when the film was made in 1953. Genevieve was then 50, Arthur is now 104, but he's still too young for the Veteran car run. He's named Arthur after my Great Uncle, Arthur Lander, who died at Gallipoli in the same year that the car was built, 1915.”
Tony purchased Arthur two years ago after the then owner imported it from the USA and when it arrived, didn’t know what to do with it. Since it came into Tony’s care, he’s tried to get it back to its original form.
“My work started with adding a bonnet and the correct fire wall, progressed to a lot of tidying up and correcting errors,” adds Tony. “The current Syverson Cabinet Company body was fitted in 1972. I've been in touch with the son of the cabinet maker that made it, he still had the records of who it was sold too. It is believed that this replaced an earlier speedster body.”
The London to Brighton Classic, Kit & Sports Car Run is the car’s first major outing. Tony, who will be driving with his son, Majied, said: “It's been on a few local events, but nothing like the London to Brighton. The run should take us three hours, plus the stop over. I have two worries; overheating in the traffic getting out of London; and the brakes on the down-hill bits!”
Some 50 years younger, Andre Abadie’s 1965 Fiat 500F will be the first electric car to ever take part in the London to Brighton run. Living in London, the electric conversion was an easy decision for owner Andre who purchased the car just nine months ago.
“I’ve always loved the Fiat 500,” explains Andre. “And when I moved from South Africa to the UK, I decided that was my car of choice. Living in London and working for a bank in social and environmental risk, an electric car was also on my agenda. I looked online and found a Fiat 500F that had already been converted by a Welsh company called Electric Classic Cars, which was for sale in West London. Two weeks later it was mine.
“I’ve made some upgrades including a bigger motor and four Tesla batteries, which gives me 100-mile range on a full charge. So that will get me from the start to the finish line but I’ll need to find a charging point to get home!”
Organiser Stephen Smith from GE Classic Motor Events said: “These two cars are just a sample of the diverse marques that we are lucky enough to have joining us this year, each with its own fantastic story to tell.”
Sponsored by ClassicLine Insurance, the Classic Car Run is open to vehicles that were produced pre-1994, while the Kit & Sports Car Run is available to kit, replica, and modern sports cars owners, to allow motoring enthusiasts to get involved and showcase a diverse range of vehicles.
The entry fee in all classes of entry is £99.00 per crew of driver and navigator, with all run participants receiving a commemorative numbered rally board and sold brass rally plaque, a Tulip style route book, and a personalised certificate of entry.
After starting from the stunning Greenwich Park, one of the finest Royal Parks and the home of the Meridian Line, the 2019 classic route will continue towards Chiddingstone Castle, while the Kit & Sports Car Run heads for the gardens at Penshurst Place.
Both runs then journey to the finish line at Madeira Drive next to the pier, which is also the location for the conclusion of the Veteran Car Run.
Entries are allocated on a first come/first served basis with a closing date of 3rd May 2019. To enter, visit www.classicmotorevents.co.uk or Tel: 07484 151 519.