Nick Mason's entry in Veteran Car event
Written by Matt   
Saturday, 06 November 2004

Today (Sunday November 7th) saw the 71st annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run event, which attracts vintage cars and drivers from all over the world, to celebrate the introduction of the Highway Act. This permitted light locomotives to increase their top speed from 4mph to 14mph and abolished the requirement to be preceded by a man on foot carrying a red flag!

For a number of years, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason has entered his 1901 Panhard et Levassor into the event, and most years, has done all the driving himself - whatever the weather may bring! The car, a four cylinder, 24 brake horsepower, open topped vehicle, is the one remaining example of this make and model, making its appearance amidst the other rarities, even more special.

Eligibility for the event covers pre-1905 four-wheel cars, tricars and motor tricycles, and featured this year a start line of no less than 470 vehicles, with 80 cars making the journey from all over the world to take part. It also included three vehicles which took part in the original 1896 run!

Thankfully, the event suffered none of the awful weather conditions of last year's run, with overcast skies keeping relatively clear of precipitation, and temperatures kept the right side of freezing, for the majority of the entrants. The run starts in London's Hyde Park, at 7:30am, and finishes along Madeira Drive in Brighton, with the drivers met by the Lady Mayor. The first cars to make the 60 mile journey normally start to arrive from around 10:30am. In keeping with the spirit of the event, speeding is frowned upon, and a maximum of 20 miles per hour is kept to by most drivers!

Nick's car made a later than normal appearance, coming to the finish line at midday. Although expected to take the controls, Nick was unable to attend at the last moment, and instead family and friends took DS6670 on her annual trip to the seaside. The driver commented that "Nick usually makes it down here a lot quicker" which shows that his racing blood extends even to vintage cars!

As with the other cars and trikes taking part, Nick's car is in immaculate condition, and it is a tribute to the owners and mechanics that all the wonderful examples of automotive design and development, look so fine, and take the journey (which includes some rather testing hills!) in their stride.