Young versus old on London to Brighton run

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The youngest driver on this year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will create history when he pilots the oldest vehicle to take part in the annual veteran car celebration.

Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wright will be behind the wheel of the first car to leave Hyde Park at dawn - an 1894 Benz Velo from the Ward Collection  - at 7:02 on 6 November.

The youngster from Skyreholme near Skipton, North Yorkshire only turned 17 last month and is set to take his driving test before the event.

A close friend of the Ward family, he will lead the 500-strong line-up of the pre-1905 cars taking part, all ranked by age.

The 1.5hp Benz is one of three veteran cars entered by Daniel and Toby Ward. Believed to have been ordered new by the Marconi family in Italy, it was shipped to England in 1900 but wasn’t unpacked for 80 years.

Following its sale by auction in 1981, the car was restored and used at events around the world before being acquired by the Ward brothers a decade ago.

This year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the 115th running of the annual celebration of the 1896 Locomotives on Highways Act, regarded as the emancipation of motorists who had previously been required to drive behind a pedestrian carrying a red warning flag.

See London to Brighton Veteran Car Run for more.

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