by Rose Atalante Veenenbos
OMG!!! Too much to report after such a long radio silence… So many events to write about and my apologies for the delay, but due to some personal issues it was way too quiet out here. Let’s go for the London Brighton Run today. As I had to go to the UK, which is yet another story and I will tell all about that next up, I was not far from London, just at the right moment. Some friends with an addiction for veteran cars were participants and convinced me to give it a try, because you know I am all about vintage swag, at least most of all…
How does a day look when doing this crazy event? Well, you wake up at an inappropriate time after a night you stayed too long in a pub. Then it is time to try to start the engine of the oldest possible car, which is always a surprise… Then you leave the garage and after a few yards you stop and stay there for a couple of hours to fix the engine again while freezing to death. Haha this veteran car hobby is even more madness than driving in a vintage car without windscreen while it is raining cats and dogs! The amazing thing of waiting for so long so early in the morning in the middle of London is that you see something which you will otherwise neer see. Constantly you see other veterans passing by just in between the normal morning London traffic. Some cars had even been flown in from New York and Hong Kong!!! The drivers and co-pilots are having a hard time to cope with the extreme cold weather conditions, not to think if it had also been raining… But they love this so much that this doesn’t bother them at all. The Brits everywhere around seem to understand this passion as the drivers don’t like to stop for traffic lights, but “Yeah, its all fine buddy, we appreciate this kind of madness on the road”.
When I finally reached the start-line at Hyde Park everyone, except one car that had broken down, had already left, so off we went in a hurry in my black beauty to catch up with the gang. I can pretend that I was just as cool as all the participants, but to be honest… I was sitting in a modern car with heated seat… I love to cheat. It is a nice way of following this event. You see a part of London, you see many veterans as I was the fastest car on the rally and here and there I acted as a kind of safety car, so the cheating is forgiven this time. There were also some steamers in the rally and damn… Those veteran drivers are cool, most of them know how to fix their car. So it is strange when you see a car which has broken down and the crew stands next to it, staring at it with no clue what to do. Another funny typical thing is the pushing. Some hills were a bit too demanding for the oldies, so you see 3 people pushing, but actually only one of them appears to be taking it seriously… The other 2 were really bad actors as they did nothing while pretending, which looks hilarious.
Sadly some of my friends didn’t make it to the finish line, but one did. The one who did was the one who was spending half a day to fix his car, so always keep having faith despite the fact that these veterans are less reliable than the worst Italian playboys. The route was really good, and I loved to see so many Brits taking out their old cars and sitting by the road in their front garden with a fire in a wheelbarrow, giving support to the participants. My friends told me to get to the finish at about noon time, but better make that 4.00 pm if I remember well.
The PreWarCar team bolide was unstoppable after it had been fixed, they did not stop for any red light, nothing was able to stop them anymore, so even in a modern BMW it was sometimes hard to keep up with them.
The location of the finish is superb, the seaside boulevard of little London town, Brighton! The PreWarCar de Dion de Bouton made it, so there was a good reason to pop the Champaign. I guess the rest of the year there will be some jealousy between the team which made it and those who didn’t.
It was my first time seeing this cool event and it was so cool to follow, but still I prefer faster cars more, at least going as fast as Amillion, but it is amazing to experience the passion those owners have for their veterans, the oldest road going cars on this planet. It is WICKED!!!