PRESS RELEASE 10/10/2013


London to Brighton should be easier than California to Florida hopes Oldsmobile driver 

When Joy Rainey tackles the Veteran Car Run in her 1904 Oldsmobile in November, it ought to be a breeze.

Her faithful Curved Dash Runabout might only have a comfortable top speed of 25mph, but the 60-mile trip from London’s Hyde Park to Madeira Drive in Brighton should be a great deal easier than the car’s last outing… more than 2,650 miles from coast to coast across America.

Joy took 31 days in April and May this year to complete the mammoth trip from California to Florida, undertaken to raise money for charity.

And the Olds, a 7hp single cylinder model, never missed a beat throughout the epic journey despite some treacherous weather, poor roads and modern traffic – including some seriously ‘big rigs’ ­– whistling past at three times the speed of the American-built veteran.

In fact the only problem of note concerned the mudguard brackets which needed a spot of welding after vibrating loose over some washboard road surfaces, while Joy found the tiller steering hard work, especially when battling through side winds.

Highlights were many, however. They included the reassuring chuff-chuff-chuff of the engine, the scenery – with speeds reduced to a walking pace going up hills, there was plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings – and the people the team met en route.

“Everyone was so supportive. We even ‘gate-crashed’ a drag racing meeting along the way and were allowed to drive up and down the strip to huge cheers from the crowd,” said Joy.

“After surviving that trip, getting to Brighton ought to be easy,” she admitted, “but it never pays to be complacent. I failed to make it all the way in 2001, the first time I did the Veteran Car Run. But that was in a car I borrowed from a museum and it hadn’t been used for a while.”

Despite a high octane motor racing and hillclimbing background, that first London to Brighton Run gave Joy a taste for this slightly slower branch of the sport. She bought the Oldsmobile in 2006, completing the Run successfully in 2006 and 2007.

“Then my partner, Trevor Hulks, and I decided to re-enact a coast-to-coast US crossing made in 1903 in a similar Oldsmobile by pioneering drivers Lester Whitman and Eugene Hammond,” said Joy.

Trevor set about rebuilding the car for the journey but tragically succumbed to cancer before the pair could undertake the trip. “It took me a while to summon up the courage to do it without him,” said Joy, “but I’m so glad I did. It was a fitting tribute to Trevor and helped raise much needed funds for Cancer Research UK.”

The trip has given her a taste for long distance driving in the Olds. After this year’s Veteran Car Run, she is planning a slightly longer expedition… from Adelaide to Darwin in her native Australia.

“Back in 2004, I did the London to Sydney Marathon in a ‘modern’ (a 1970 Morris Minor) and loved the Outback so much that I vowed I would return one day.”
Photo caption: Joy Rainey’s well travelled Oldsmobile in action on the 2012 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (below) prior to its coast-to-coast trip across the US (above). 



Media Contact: 

For Veteran Car Run Media: Jonathan Gill or Deborah Tee at the Veteran Car Run Media Office
Tel: 01372 414120 or 07860 563000

For Veteran Car Run Entries: Rebecca Lowman at Goose Communications
Tel: 01483 524 433

For more information: Visit the official event website 

Editor's Notes

Veteran Car Run

With its unique atmosphere and camaraderie, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (staged specifically as a non-profit making veneration) commemorates the Emancipation Run of 14 November 1896, which celebrated the Locomotives on the Highway Act. The Act raised the speed limit for ‘light locomotives’ from 4 to 14mph, and abolished the need for these vehicles to be preceded by a man on foot waving a red flag. The Emancipation Run was first re-enacted in 1927 and has taken place every November since, with the exception of the war years and 1947 when petrol was rationed. The Royal Automobile Club has managed the run with the support of the Veteran Car Club since 1930

The Royal Automobile Club

Founded in 1897, the Royal Automobile Club's continuous support and promotion of the development of motoring in Great Britain began with the famous 1000 Mile Trial in 1900. In recent years the Club has focused on running annual free-to-spectate motor shows in the country including the Regent Street Motor Show, and the world's oldest motoring event – the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run which will take place on Sunday 3 November 2013. For more information visit:
The Royal Automobile Club also awards a series of historic trophies and medals celebrating motoring achievements. These include the Segrave Trophy, the Tourist Trophy, the Simms Medal and the Dewar Trophy. 


Media requiring Accreditation for either the Veteran Car Run or the Regent Street Motor Show should email requests directly to Evidence of previous coverage would assist your application. A limited number of passenger seats are available for key media wishing to experience the full appeal of the unique Veteran Car Run.    

Copyright © 2013 Veteran Car Run Media Office, All rights reserved.
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