The annual event takes place on the first Sunday of every November and commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896 which celebrated the passing into law of the Locomotives on the Highway Act, which raised the speed limit for `light locomotives' from 4 mph to 14 mph and abolished the requirement for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot.

The law required the man on foot to carry a red flag but the requirement was actually abolished in 1878. However, the Locomotive Act was still widely known as the �Red Flag Act� and a red flag was symbolically destroyed at the start of the Emancipation Run, by Lord Winchilsea.

Over 30 pioneer motorists set off from London on the 1896 Run to endure the rough roads to the Sussex seaside resort but only 14 of the starters actually made the journey, and some evidence exists that one car was taken by rail and covered with mud before crossing the finishing line!

The next run was staged in 1927 as a re-enactment of the 1896 Run and organised by the motoring editor of the Daily Sketch. The Run has taken place every November thereafter, with the exception of the war years and 1947 when petrol rationing was in force. From 1930 to the present day the event has been owned and professionally organised by The Royal Automobile Club.

Not a race but an endurance of man and machine the annual event today attracts some 500 automobiles with an eligibility criteria that requires the cars to be of four or three wheel design and certified that their build took place prior to the 1 January 1905. Occasionally however the organisers invite a small number of vehicles just out of period to join the celebration.

Many famous celebrities including members of the Royal Family have been seen on the Run and for many years the 60 mile route has been lined with over one million spectators standing in the early winter Sunday mornings to cheer the drivers of this wonderful spectacle of early motoring.

The world's longest running motoring event attracts entrants from all over the world. In the 1996 Centenary Run some 680 cars and drivers took part with over 100 of the participants having shipped their cars from all over Europe and across the globe from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc

To owners of Veteran cars worldwide it represents the high point of the year's Veteran car events and a rare opportunity to take their extraordinary cars to a wider audience.

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