Chris Evans Describes London to Brighton Veteran Car Run as the “best car experience ever”

At the start line with Robert Brooks, Alex Jones, Ken Bruce, Natalie Lowe and Chris Evans

The world’s longest running motoring celebration got off to a roaring start on Sunday November 1st. From Hyde Park in London the 60 mile route took drivers past Buckingham Palace and down the Mall before heading on to the Sussex resort of Brighton. More than 380 cars took part in the event's 119th anniversary run.

Organised by Bonham’s, cars driven were from pre-1905, a period of discovery and engineering ingenuity. The vintage line-up included an 1899 Peugeot, a Renault from 1905 and 1904 Mercedes.

There to start the event were BBC broadcasters Chris Evans, Alex Jones and Ken Bruce, Strictly Come Dancing's Natalie Lowe and Chairman of Bonhams, Robert Brooks, who as tradition demanded tore a red flag. Chris and Alex recently passed their PCVB (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) test and enabling them, along with Ken, to drive 40 passengers. In the process they managed to raise £350,000 for Children in Need.

A selection of vintage cars en route to Brighton

Chris said, "That was without doubt the best car experience I have ever done. I had no idea it was such a fantastic event. It was just an incredible day and one we must do again."

First introduced in 2013, the Veteran Car Run now includes a regularity section, which tasks those taking part to average a precise speed between two controls. This year’s top performer was the 1900 Georges Richard of Rodney Fowler.

Ben Cussons, Chairman of the Veteran Car Run Steering Group and speaking on behalf of the Royal Automobile Club said: “This must have been one of the best London to Brighton Runs ever. Once the early morning mist burned off, the sunshine was unbelievably warm – some were even remarking that it was too hot! Motoring more than a century ago was never for the faint-hearted but today’s mild conditions were welcomed not just by the participants but also by the hundreds of thousands lining the entire route.”

The event is the largest veteran car parade in the world and some famous faces participated. These included; Pink Floyd's drummer Nick Mason, former Formula 1 team principal Ross Brawn and multiple Le Mans winner Jochen Mass.

By Tracey McBain