Legendary British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss OBE FIE and Lady Moss will take part in the 2012 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, on Sunday 4 November, as passengers alongside Mr. and Mrs. Chris Jaques of Forest Row, East Sussex.
The 83-year-old Sir Stirling is widely recognized as one of the greatest all-round racing drivers in the history of motor sport. He continues to travel the world, fulfilling appearance engagements as well as demonstrating historic racing cars. The annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is hosted by the Royal Automobile Club and is the world’s oldest motoring event.
Speaking about the forthcoming ride, Sir Stirling said, “[e]verybody leads such a hectic life these days that it’s nice to relax the pace every so often. My wife and I are very much looking forward to a gentle trip down to Brighton at no more than 20 miles an hour! However, even at that moderate pace it still takes a lot of skill and concentration to steer one of these old cars to the finish. At least there will be little chance of my being stopped by a police officer and asked: ‘Who do you think you are, Stirling Moss?'”
Chris Jaques will be driving a 1903 Panhard Levassor which he acquired in 1973 from the son of the original owner, the Compte de Blanchard of Rambures, near Abbeville in France. It had been laid up since 1926, but Chris had it running again within 24 hours. A few years ago, the car won the prestigious Regent Street concours event that always precedes the run to Brighton.The Jaques have completed around 35 London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs and only broken down once.
Chris Jaques stated, “[n]owadays the interest in these early cars is much higher than it was when we first took part, although there were quite large crowds even then. Although the start is early on the Sunday morning, there is a wonderful atmosphere in Hyde Park with all the old engines firing up and creating a haze of exhaust smoke.”
One hundred and sixteen years since it was first run, the 2012 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will feature a maximum entry of 500 pre-1905 vehicles making their way from Hyde Park in London to Madeira Drive, Brighton. The event is part of a weekend Celebration of Motoring that includes the RAC Future Car Challenge (for low energy use vehicles) and the Regent Street Motor Show (celebrating the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring).