London To Brighton Just A Warm-Up For Car Enthusiast
The world’s oldest motoring event, the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, organised by the Royal Automobile Club, once again takes place on Sunday 4 November.
One hundred and sixteen years since it was first run, this year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will feature a maximum entry of 550 pre-1905 vehicles making their way from Hyde Park in London to Madeira Drive, Brighton. Each year the event has a chosen country to celebrate and in 2012 it is Great Britain – tying in with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will support The Royal British Legion.
And every one of the 550 participants is a car enthusiast and can relate many interesting motoring adventures, but Joy Rainey has more than most.
A person of restricted growth, Joy has a very varied motor sport career. She campaigned a Jaguar E-type in speed hill climbs before progressing to a 2.3-litre single-seater – breaking several records along the way. She took part in the London to Sydney Marathon in 2004 (in a Morris Minor) and, showing real verve and enthusiasm, the 5,000-mile Carrera Sudamericana two years later – in a V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee converted to run on LPG.
In 2001 she first took part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in a 1901 Clément Voiturette lent to her by Haynes Motor Museum, and even though the car didn’t manage to make it all the way it didn’t deter her from trying again. In 2006 Joy returned with 1904 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Runabout from the USA, which she bought by selling her single-seater hill climb car. She says: “An invitation to a pub lunch and a viewing of the veteran resulted in me arriving home complete with the back axle and mangled gears and a decision to sell my 400bhp single-seater racing car and take on a 7hp 1904 Oldsmobile.”
And it is this Oldsmobile that has taken Joy to the finish of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on several occasions – a feat she is hoping it will repeat in 2012.
But this is just a warm-up for the real test that Joy is hoping to complete, as Joy plans to drive her 109-year old Oldsmobile 2,826 miles across the USA next year. On 14 April 2013, she will leave Los Angeles to drive coast to coast across America to raise funds for Cancer Research UK as a tribute to her partner and co-driver in long distance rallies, Trevor Hulks, who sadly passed away in 2010. Joy says: “A few months after Trevor’s untimely death I was contacted by Gary Hoonsbeen of the CDO Club in the USA who gently suggested that at some time in the future I might consider undertaking the trip myself as a tribute to Trevor. My reply was something like, ‘I never say never’, but in my heart then, I did not think that I could take on such a challenging trip without my soul mate.
“Now, after considerable soul-searching and encouragement from old and new friends, I have decided that this challenge feels like unfinished business. Therefore on 14th April next year I will start my coast-to-coast USA trip from Los Angeles and drive to Daytona Beach arriving on the 15th May in my 109-year-old Curved Dash Oldsmobile. And I would like to raise £20,000 for Cancer Research.”
And it is not as if this trip is an easy one. On this version of Road Trip, Joy and her 109 year-old companion will find themselves faced with many different problems, including 6,500-foot high mountains and blisteringly hot deserts.
So, if you see Joy on the way to Brighton, give her an extra cheer, and bit extra money, because this is one brave lady.
The London To Brighton event is part of a weekend Celebration of Motoring that includes the Future Car Challenge (for low energy use vehicles) and the Regent Street Motor Show (celebrating the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring).
Saturday 3 November sees the third annual RAC Future Car Challenge, which runs from Brighton to London and showcases the performance of low energy use vehicles. In excess of 80 electric, hybrid and low fuel consumption conventional vehicles are expected to be entered – some of which will make their debut on UK roads. The RAC Future Car Challenge will support Help for Heroes.
The weekend of free motoring action continues with the Regent Street Motor Show, also on Saturday 3 November. Here the world’s premier concours event for veteran cars will be joined by future cars and iconic vehicles to celebrate the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring. Regent Street will be closed to traffic with a relaxed and spacious shopping experience featuring displays, stage shows, award presentations and, making the Regent Street Motor Show an excellent free family day out.