…the braking takes anticipation, shall we say.
Motor racing star Ross Brawn is taking part in his first Bonhams London to Brighton Run Veteran Car Run. He will be driving his own veteran car, the only known surviving British-built Wilson Pilcher.
Manufactured in 1904, it was created by engineer Walter Gordon Wilson who went on to invent the army tank; for years the Wilson Pitcher car was displayed at the British Tank Museum.
“It was a very advanced car for its day,” said Brawn. “It has a 2.7-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine which is suspended in a cradle in the chassis. It also has a sophisticated semi-automatic gearbox which, I believe, was a forerunner of the famous Wilson Pre-Selector ‘box. But compared to a modern car the suspension is crude and the braking takes anticipation, shall we say.”
The Wilson Pilcher joins a number of other cars in Brawn’s private collection and after the Run will rub shoulders with a few Jaguars, including a very early E-type, and some significant Ferraris including the 250 SWB used by Stirling Moss to win the 1962 Tourist Trophy.
The Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run celebrates the original Emancipation Run, held on 14 November 1896, and which marked the Locomotives on the Highway Act. This landmark Act raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14mph and abolished the need for a man walking ahead of the cars waving a red flag.
The Run is the highlight of a long weekend of motoring nostalgia in the capital, much it of it free to view. Other events include the popular free Regent Street Motor Show (Saturday, 1 November) and the annual Bonhams Veteran Car auction (Friday 31 October).
For more details of the Veteran Car Run, the entries and the route visit www.veterancarrun.com.