The Veteran Car Club is for anyone, car owner or enthusiast, with an interest in any make of veteran car, made in Great Britain or anywhere else before 1919. The Club was formed in 1930 after the completion of the London to Brighton Veteran Car run that year and has been at the heart of the British veteran car movement ever since.

The South East section is one of eight geographical sections, which has its own committee, dedicated to organising events and meetings for local members during the larger part of the year. Fellow members have years of experience in the maintenance and running of their cars, and in the tradition of the spirit of the Club, are always willing to help others.

We welcome all veteran car enthusiasts. You do not need to own a car to become a member of the Club. If you have an interest in historic cars of the period, or are considering purchasing a car, why not join as a member, where you can meet like-minded people, learn more about forthcoming events, and use the world-class library that the Club has, located in its Ashwell headquarters in Hertfordshire.

What was the first car?

Well this is a rather hard question to answer. To be honest no one really knows. There are many claims but basically somewhere at the beginning of the 1880’s. The most discussed and known about car is the 1885 Benz which had three wheels and a single cylinder engine.

When did the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run start?

The red Flag act was repealed on the 14th November 1896 which now meant you no longer needed a person walking in front with a red flag and having to stay at 4mph. To celebration, a club was formed and the members drove their vehicles from London to Brighton in one day. This was the first of many London to Brighton Veteran Car Runs.

When was the first all electric car?

The first experiments with an electric vehicle were in about 1832. The first successful electric car was made in 1880’s in France. First American electric was in 1890’s. There are often electric veterans at many of our events.

What fuel do they use?

Most Veterans run on normal petrol you buy at petrol stations, however some do not. Some Veterans used to run on Benzene or Naphtha, but as both are known the be harmful, these days they run on a substitute fuel which is a type of cleaning fluid. Others are of course steam powered so they either run on coal and water or petrol and water.

The myth that Veterans use a lot of fuel is simply not true. It does depend on the size of vehicle, but on average somewhere between 35mpg and for the bigger cars around 20mpg. Their top speed is about 35mph so they really don’t travel too far. For many the LBVCR at 60 miles is the most they do all year. 

What's The Red Flag Act?

In 1865 the UK brought in The Locomotive Act (1865) requiring self-propelled (i.e. not using a horse to pull them) vehicles to be led by a person walking in front waving a red flag or carrying a lantern to warn people of the vehicle’s approach and all vehicles were restricted to 4mph. This became known as The Red Flag Act. This act came in before cars existed, but as Veteran Cars started to be made and used, it very quickly became clear it wasn’t sensible anymore. In 1896 The Red Flag Act was repealed.

In November of 1896 a group of car enthusiasts drove from London to Brighton in a day to celebrate the law being repealed, and there started the famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, also known crucially as The Old Crocks Race.

How fast do veteran cars go?

Most will happily cruise somewhere between 30mph and 40mph. when you come to a hill this is a different story. Some have three gears, this means they have they can choose depending how steep the hill is. First gear will be about a fast walking speed. Third gear is their top gear so that’s needed for flat long fast areas. Second gear can be anywhere between those two.

Its much harder if you have a more primitive car and only have two gears. Fast for the flat, open areas. And low gear for the hills. So that means any slight hill and you are down to a fast walking speed.

Am I allowed to join in events without a car?

Yes of course! It is always wise to drop us a message if you wish to have up to date information, either through the website or FB.

Where can I see these cars?

At all our events we hope to have a good turn out of cars. This is often dependent on weather. (View our events page)

Our news page at the top of the website will attempt to keep you updated on what events are on in the south east area being help by other clubs and organisations.

More About Veteran Cars

Visit our news pages to find out how to get involved

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