Media release for immediate distribution: 25/09/17
REGENT STREET MOTOR SHOW
IS A MUST FOR DEDICATED
FOLLOWERS OF FASHION
• Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance turns back the clock
• Drivers and passengers to wear stunning period costume
• Hundreds of veterans, classics and moderns on display
• Entertainment all day at the free-to-view show
London’s famous Regent Street is a mecca for shoppers and has been for almost 200 years.
This November, the capital’s renowned thoroughfare will be turning the clock back more than 120 years to a time when the new-fangled horseless carriage first took patrons to the street that original architect John Nash envisaged as filled with ‘shops appropriated to articles of fashion and taste’.
Saturday 4 November is the day that Regent Street is closed to through traffic and becomes the country’s largest free-to-view motor show. The iconic street will be filled with cars from the past, present and future as mouth-watering classics are put on display alongside the latest future-proof low and zero emission electric and hybrid vehicles from leading manufacturers.
The centre of attention for many of the 400,000-plus visitors to the Regent Street Motor Show will be the annual Veteran Car Concours d’Elegance. Held the day before the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox makes its annual trip from London to Brighton, the Concours d’Elegance will see around 100 of these remarkable motoring pioneers vying for honours.
In keeping with the spirit of the event, many of the drivers and passengers will dress in period costume, reflecting the fashions of the era… fashions just like those that might have been purchased from Regent Street at the end of the 19th century.
Among the prizes this year will be a special award for the top French car and ensemble, reflecting the theme of this year’s Veteran Car Run. Although Germany is generally regarded as the birthplace of the automobile, France was the nation that introduced the car to the world. In 1903, for example, more than 30,000 cars were manufactured in France, representing about half the world’s total production.
As ever, a team of knowledgeable judges will minutely inspect every car to find the winners. Judges in previous years have included Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn, himself a Veteran Car Run participant, and classic car authority, TV’s Edd China.
Commenting on what to expect from this year’s event, Nick Wigley, CEO of Show organisers, Goose Live Events, who run the event on behalf of the Royal Automobile Club, said: “The Regent Street Motor Show embraces everything from the earliest 19th century veterans to the 21st century cars and motoring technologies of the future – the electric vehicles we will all be driving tomorrow. We’ll be closing Regent Street to through traffic during the day to provide a safe and highly accessible environment for everyone to enjoy... absolutely free. It will be phenomenal”.
Both the Regent Street Motor Show and the Veteran Car Run are key events in the week-long London Motor Week run by the Royal Automobile Club. The first Regent Street Motor Show was staged in 2005 and it has now become a hugely popular must-see spectacle, attracting vast crowds keen not only to see the cars and take test drives in the latest machinery but also enjoy street entertainment from dance troupes and a motorcycle stunt team.
And, of course, there’s ample opportunity to shop for clothing that’s the height of today’s fashion. Styles might have changed somewhat, but the Regent Street shops are still ‘appropriated to articles of fashion and taste
Speakers Announced for Royal Automobile Club Motoring Forum 2017 During London Motor Week
The Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Forum has become a favourite of the London Motor Week festivities and, this year will take place on Thursday 2 November at the Pall Mall clubhouse, from 10.30am to 3.30pm.
Now in its sixth year, guests will hear fascinating presentations, on a variety of automotive and motorsport-related topics, from a selection of leading industry speakers, before enjoying the popular and entertaining quiz, hosted by Veteran Car Run Steering Group member, Daniel Ward, to finish.
In 2017, the Club will welcome Professor Ad van Wijk, one of the most influential sustainable energy entrepreneurs and innovators in Europe, who will give a talk on The Future of Motoring, followed by Paul Niblett, a former Michelin employee, who will deliver a presentation on the early development of the tyre.
After a buffet lunch, Dr Shaun Crofton will give a talk on Safety Helmets and Material Failures, ahead of Nick Young, who will provide an insight into Motor Vehicle Registration from 1903 onwards.
The Motoring Forum promises, once again, to be a thought-provoking, informative and fun occasion.
About London Motor Week: The Motoring Forum is an integral part of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week, which in 2017 will incorporate the following events:
The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Lectures
The Art of Motoring exhibition at the Mall Galleries
Dewar Trophy Presentation Lunch
Motoring Book of the Year Awards
Royal Automobile Club Motoring Forum
Regent Street Motor Show
Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by HiscoxFor further information on London Motor Week, go to www.londonmotorweek.co.uk
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 motorsports 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 Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Motor Sport Association (MSA), and RAC Foundation while promoting its own motoring events including London Motor Week, which features the free-to-attend Regent Street Motor Show on Saturday 4th November and the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox, which takes place on Sunday 5th November.
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.
Chopard Regularity Time Trial attracts record number of London to Brighton Run participants
The 2017 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, supported by Hiscox is not a race. For a start, racing on public roads is against the law, and besides, with 20 mph being the maximum speed many of these veterans can attain, it wouldn’t be much of a spectacle.
But the Run – a Royal Automobile Club event – does have a competitive element. Introduced in 2014, the Chopard Regularity Time Trial pits the wits of the drivers and their passengers against the sands of time… and there’s a Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph, worth £4,900 (below), awaiting the Trial winner.
That first Time Trial attracted 52 entrants from the 400 cars on the Run. In 2015, the figure rose to 173 and in 2016 it peaked at 183. But this year a record 313 veterans – 75 percent of all the runners – will be entering the Time Trial.
The Regularity Time Trial starts halfway through the Run after participants have regrouped at the Crawley half-way checkpoint. The Time Trial starts on Crawley High Street and finishes 13 miles later at another checkpoint at Burgess Hill in Sussex.
Before the Run, each entrant will nominate the average speed they think they will maintain over the 13 miles – the options are 8 mph, 10 mph, 12 mph, 14 mph, 16 mph and 18 mph. If no speed is nominated, the default average speed is set at 12 mph. The car and driver that gets closest to its nominated average speed wins the watch.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Road conditions can be affected by the weather and by traffic while there’s a strong possibility that mechanical problems might hinder progress – every car on the Run is at least 112 years old while the oldest on the Run, a Peugeot Type 3, was built in 1893.
“Although there are only 12 years between the youngest and oldest cars on the event, engineering development made rapid progress and the difference in the performance of these vehicles is huge. By setting an average speed over a set distance, the Chopard Regularity Time Trial equalises that difference and instead rewards the skills of the person behind the wheel… or the tiller,” said Peter Read, Chairman of The Royal Automobile Club’s Motoring Committee.
“Now in its fourth year, the Time Trial has become important and keenly fought element of this wonderful event.”
2017 Run will be held, as ever, on the first Sunday in November – this year, it falls on the 5thNovember.
As dawn breaks, a red flag will be ceremoniously destroyed and the 400 entries will start their journey from capital to coast: the Run – the world’s longest running motoring event – celebrates the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act in November 1896, also known as the Red Flag Act and refers to a time when these new-fangled machines had to follow a man holding a red flag.
More than 400 veterans have entered this year among which are a large contingent of cars constructed in France. While Germany is generally considered to be the birthplace of the motorcar, it was the French who accelerated the concept of the horseless carriage and was by far the biggest automobile producing nation as the 19th century turned into the 20th century. This year’s Run has adopted a French theme in honour the country’s contribution to motoring.
The Run is just one element of the Royal Automobile Club’s London Motor Week. A full week crammed with motoring happenings, popular events include the free Regent Street Motor Show. Held on Saturday 4th November, it turns London’s premier shopping street into a motoring showcase that puts the spotlight on veterans, classics and moderns alike.
Auction house Bonhams will be holding its annual Veteran Car sale on Friday 3rd November while other events in London Motor Week include a motoring art exhibition at the Mall Galleries, which is open to the public, as well as invitation-only lunches, receptions and functions at the RAC Clubhouse in Pall Mall.
With less than two months to go until this year’s Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run supported by Hiscox, we have a few final reminders for you, which are designed to help you get the most out of your time with us during London Motor Week. With this in mind, we would be grateful if you could take particular note of the following details.
Don’t forget to study the revised route this year
Given the alterations to this year’s route, as a result of the major roadworks in the Brixton area (meaning that the Run passes through Reigate for the first time since 1954!), please take the time to familiarise yourselves with the revised route out of London. The route guides are available to view online here and full details will also be included in the Participants’ Packs which will be dispatched in the first week of October.
Important Information: In addition, please note that tender vehicles arriving at Hyde Park must only use South Carriage Drive to drop off cars and will only be permitted access to the Park via Alexandra Gate from Kensington Road. Marshals will be in attendance to guide and assist the unloading. This change has come about due to a vehicle weight restriction being put on the Serpentine Bridge in the centre of the Park, and the Run overlapping with the build programme for the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland show which starts 17 November.
For spectators wishing to follow the journey, a spectator map for this year’s Run is available here.
Improving our communications with you
This year we are introducing a text messaging service for participants taking part in the 2017 Run, as a method of providing improved communication links both ahead of and on the day of the Run. Please be assured that only a very select number of messages will be sent with important, event-related information.
Don’t forget that, if you’re joining us for the first time (or even if you’re returning to the Run after an absence of a few years) you can sign-up to take part in the Hiscox First Timer’s Briefing on Saturday 4 November (ahead of the sell-out Hattingley Valley Participants Reception, supported by Hagerty). This briefing is designed to give you some helpful hints and tips ahead of the Run and you’ll have the opportunity to ask the Clerk of the Course any questions you may have in a Q&A session.
Win a Chopard Watch
If you’ve entered the Run but haven’t yet opted to take part in the Chopard Regularity Time Trial for the opportunity to win a stunning Chopard timepiece, there is still time. Please email VCRadmin@goose.co.uk if you would like to enter.
Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph self-winding watch
Embracing the French theme with a pre-event reception on Friday 3 November
Following the success of the inaugural Friday evening reception hosted by Hiscox in 2016, this year a French-themed reception is being held for participants at the Royal Automobile Club on Friday 3 November.
The reception follows the Bonhams Veteran Car Run Sale and transport will be provided from the auction to the Club’s Pall Mall clubhouse to make sure the evening runs like clockwork.
This year, at the official half-way checkpoint in Crawley High Street, participants will have the chance to win a gold, silver or bronze prize by stopping to collect their gift from Gatwick Airport. More news of the prizes in next month’s newsletter…
Enjoy some Motoring Forum insights... and fun!
There is still time to sign-up for some Motoring Forum insights, rounded off with a fun quiz, hosted by Veteran Car Run Steering Group member Daniel Ward, at the Royal Automobile Club’s prestigious Pall Mall clubhouse, which will take place on Thursday 2 November.
A sumptuous buffet lunch is included as part of the Club Motoring Forum event, with tickets priced at just £15. Please note there is limited availability. For more information on the speaker line-up and to book your space, please visit the website here.
Special screening of the iconic film, Genevieve
To get you in the mood for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the Veteran Car Club (VCC) will host a private viewing of the iconic film Genevieve - based on the car that takes place in the Run every year - at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place, just 400 metres from Trafalgar Square. The film starts at 1.00pm on Friday 3 November, leaving plenty of time to reach Bond Street in time for the Bonhams Veteran Car Run Sale later in the afternoon.
Admission is by ticket only (priced at just £10 each) which can be booked via VCC HQ on 01462 742818.
A bumper year for entries
We’re delighted that so many cars are already signed-up to join us for the annual pilgrimage from London to Brighton this year. At the latest count, entries numbered 447 (that’s an uplift of 8% on the same time last year), and include representation from 22 different countries, in addition to the UK. We can’t wait to welcome you.
For those of you that are still planning on submitting your entry to join the world’s longest-running motoring event this year, you have until midnight (BST) on Friday 22 September. Please note that after this date, we will be unable to accept additional entries.
Veteran Car Run 2016, Madeira Drive
From the Archive
Royal Automobile Club Heritage Manager, Jane Holmes, shares some insight into the significance of mascots in motoring history from the Club's archive
In 1905, the motoring monarch, His Majesty King Edward VII, was the proud owner of a car mascot featuring 'Caesar the Dog’. Just two years later, he also owned a personalised Royal Automobile Club badge.
Car badges may show allegiance to an organisation, but early automotive mascots displayed the personalities of the drivers. Today, the Lion, St George, and even a frog are all mascots used by the Royal family.
The exorbitant cost of early automobiles limited their availability to the very wealthy, familiar with displaying their coats of arms on coaches. As the landed gentry switched from coaches to cars, their heraldry switched vehicles, too.
Like most fashions, Italy led the way when Queen Margherita commissioned a gilt St Christopher to bless her car on its travels. In 1899, Lord Montague's Daimler also sported a St Christopher, Patron saint of travellers. Today it is still common to see saints adorning vehicles throughout Europe, with St Bartholomew and St Anthony also vying for pole position.
The hand-crafted nature of early automobiles and their limited run guaranteed an element of individuality. However, as manufacturing techniques improved and cars became more standardised, manufacturers embraced the mascot to give their marque a clear identity distinguished from their competitors. Saints, heraldry and mythological subjects were the most popular mascots. Some were a figurative illustration of the company name such as the 1903 Vulcan, God of war, used by the Vulcan Motor Company.
In Edwardian England, Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge, Keeper of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, was also a celebrity. E. Nesbit and H. Rider Haggard dedicated books to him. A decade before Howard Carter, the Edwardians had caught Egypt-mania. The generation that could go further, faster and higher than anyone else, brought back artefacts from the ancient world, which provided a new theme for mascots. Sun crested falcons were popular and Armstrong-Siddeley sported a sphinx.
Whatever the subject matter, the car mascot displayed individuality and also fulfilled the role of talisman, assuring the Edwardian motorist that luck was on their side.