- Written by webmin
Mercedes and Daimler-Benz are among the very few automakers still extant that were around to partake in the original London to Brighton drive, of which more than 30 cars participated on November 14, 1896, as England’s Emancipation Run.
This event celebrated the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the road speed limit from the walking pace of 4 MPH to a more reasonable 14 MPH, as well as removed the legal requirement for any motorized vehicle to be preceded by a person on foot waving a red flag. This 60-mile Emancipation Run between London and the Essex Sussex seaside resort of Brighton was reenacted in 1927 and was open to cars built up to 1904, and with the exception of the WWII years and 1947 (due to gas rationing), it has been organized and hosted by The Royal Automobile Club each year since.
The 2010 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will attract participants from around the world, and will take place this coming Sunday, November 7. Daimler-Benz will be entering two of the historic automobiles from its museum collection: a 1902 Mercedes-Simplex 38/40hp racer and a 1904 Mercedes-Simplex 28/32hp touring car. Both of these Wilhelm Maybach-designed cars feature front-mounted four-cylinder engines, low-slung chassis, honeycomb radiators and inclined steering columns that are far more modern in appearance and function than the carriage-like automobiles typical of their period.
The 40hp racer had an approximate top speed of 47 MPH, while the 32hp tourer topped out at a still-breezy 37 MPH, both a great deal faster than your run-of-the-mill Curved Dash Olds.
The London to Brighton run is great fun to watch, so if you’re in the 60-mile neighborhood, stop in and cheer them on!