London to Brighton Car Run

The clip is from the 1953 movie. It shows how streets in London and vehicles (other than the veteran cars) looked at that time.


Dance being over the grand ballroom cleared and two rambunctious
couples collected coats from their hangers and hats from the hat-rack
but nothing could stop both men from their track.
The bet and the race, were now on!
Next morning each eyed their automobile with looks that said simply: ‘admire’
dismissive of their rival’s car as obsolete and a good for nothing old croc!
Swallows in winter’s fallow garden searched around the village pond for their breakfast’s last crumb, all took to flight at the sound of the bell as engines were cranked, backfired and spluttered and through fair means or foul,  race begun.


The Wordle Words were such a mix this week, but when I saw them for some reason this old 1953 movie Genevieve Starring Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kenneth More and Kay Kendall, sprang to mind. The film is based on an actual annual event which usually occurs on the first Sunday in November.
It’s officially called The London To Brighton Veteran Car Run and, is the longest running car event in the world. It first took place in 1896 and the rules have always been that no car built after 1905 can take part. In Brighton we’ve always called it ‘The Old Crocs Race’ and the public line the roads all the way from London into Brighton to see these beautiful old classic cars come spluttering into town and end their rides on the seafront.

Over many years there have been famous people take part in it, (The Queen once completed the ride) and also Prince Michael of Kent is a frequent participant in it, although, they are careful not to call it a race. They have to keep to certain speed limits and many old crocs break down on the way.  A lot of people ‘dress’ in vintage clothes to make it authentic and because mostly only the ‘well-to-do’ can afford to keep and maintain these veteran cars, which still have to meet insurance and plate requirements to be legally on the roads, it is these ‘genteel’ folks who take part in it and, they usually end with tea parties or champagne drinks .

The movie is a comedy about two middle class young(ish) couples. The men get into a bit of bragging fight over who has the best vintage car. They place a bet of One hundred pounds for the journey back to London and turn it into a race of who can get there first. The movie shows all of the comical dirty tricks they play to beat each other.

Genevieve, is a real car!  And, there is another little piece of history.

If anyone is interested I see they have the whole movie Here on Youtube

Shared with The Sunday Whirl #25

Author: Daydreamer

I live on a beautiful island in Atlantic Canada.

10 thoughts on “London to Brighton Car Run”

  1. Like where you took the words. Nostalgia and memories of my father’s stories, and photos from old sepia stained albums. Thank you,


  2. Another fun learning experience from a poem. This is a race I’d never heard of before.

    Genevieve is a good name for a car. I’ve always named mine, everything from the present ‘Silver bullet’ to ‘Ralph,’ my first old clunker. Ralph was named after a cantankerous old neighbor. It fit.

  3. Enjoyed the film clip and your wordle story too!! You have shared a beautiful piece of history too!! I used to love the tramcar rides here which were similar to the ones in London. 🙂

  4. What a charming clip! Sputtering vintage cars! Lots of mishaps and laughs. How you ended your piece with those swallows is just wonderful.

  5. Cars and sure get some people revved up. 😉
    I didn’t own one until I was 30, but can appreciate the awe and wonder of cars back in the day. I love the video clip. Thank you for sharing it.

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