London to Brighton in a 1903 Winton.

Full story on The Mechanists, Gallery at the bottom.

Where it all began, back in 1896, on the 14th November to be correct, the madness began or it ended, how one would like to interpret it.

That day is being annually celebrated as the Emancipation Run, which celebrated the raising of the speed limit from 4mph to 14 mph and the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act.


Genevieve and the amazing Louwman family (part of it).

The early law required the man on foot to carry a red flag but that requirement was abolished in 1878. The Locomotive Act was still widely known as the ‘Red Flag Act’ and, to mark this milestone, a red flag was symbolically destroyed at the start of the Emancipation Run, just as it is today before the start of the Run in Hyde Park. In true tradition, the Run takes place on the first Sunday of every November, which fell on the 5th November this year and we made sure to be part of the whole event from the start in Hyde Park till the crossing the finish line in Brighton.


Over 460 vehicles made before 1905 take part in the annual run from London to Brighton to commemorate the Emancipation Run of November 1896, which celebrated the raising of the speed limit.

First group of cars leaves Hyde Park at sunrise and with the last group leaving about 11/2 hours later. Each group consist of about 10 to 16 cars with an interval of about 2 minutes between the groups. Older the car the earlier it leaves or if the same age then it is by HP, the smaller first.

At the official coffee stop at Crawley, the first car arrives about 1hour 40 minutes after starting at Hyde Park. For some, there are many coffee stops on route which end up in brilliant chats with enthusiasts over a nice cup of tea being kindly offered from strangers, at first soon being close friends.


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But arriving in Brighton created the most phenomenal feeling of true achievement and joy, to say the very least. I invite everyone to save the date, next years first Sunday in November, to come and watch the early morning start in Hyde Park or the afternoon arrival in Brighton, maybe even both?! This is the most amazing event I have been to all year and I am forever grateful for having been invited to fulfil one of my childhood dreams – such an honour having been able to drive the 1903 Winton from London all the way to Brighton.

I would like to thank Mr. Evert Louwman, Queenie Louwman and James Wood for the special invitation and this truly special experience in their 1903 Winton from the Louwman  Museum.



Laura Kukuk

Check out my Story and Gallery at Petrolicious coming soon.

The full Gallery:





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