This film is part of Free

Veteran Car Rally, Brighton c1962

Vintage vehicles on parade in this amateur film record of the longest-running motor event in the world.

Amateur film 1964 3 mins Silent


Vintage motor enthusiasts flock to Brighton to catch the final leg of the Veteran Car Rally, the longest-running motor event in the world. This lovely colour footage was shot by visiting Canadian Eileen D. Smith in 1962, and captures the parade of antique automobiles as they chug along the seafront to the finish line, with snatches of a blustery Brighton beach and pier in the background.

The event was first held in 1896 when new motoring laws increased speed limit restrictions from 4 to 14mph. The 60-mile run from London's Hyde Park to Brighton is today as popular as ever; participating cars must have been built before 1905 and drivers are not permitted to exceed an average speed limit of 20mph. Amateur filmmaker Eileen D. Smith made regular visits to England, recording her holidays and experiences of British social life on colour 8mm film. Her films of London's Petticoat Lane and Portobello Road markets, both shot in the 1950s, are also available to view on BFI Player.