In the days leading up to the 28th annual Canadian version of the “London to Brighton commemorative run,” organizer Malcolm Tait has been paying particular attention to the weather forecasts for Delta and Langley, the beginning and end points of the Old English Car Club (Vancouver Coast Branch) event.
The last time Tait checked, Environment Canada was calling for rain on Sunday, Nov. 5, the day of the 75-kilometre drive.
“I’m hoping it improves but it’s not looking very promising,” Tait said.
It is the same day and distance as the original UK “London to Brighton vintage car run” that remembers the celebration, on November 14, 1896, when a British law was ended that limited the speed of motorized vehicles to four miles an hour – and required a person waving a red flag to walk ahead of them.
About 40 classic British cars are expected at the Canadian tribute, with the oldest likely to be a 1926 Bentley.
Last year, drivers braved a mix of rain, wind and even snow.
“The weather was horrible,” Tait said, but just about everyone who registered showed up.
There were only three no-shows among the 40 registered vehicles, but there were also five last-minute registrants.
“It was quite remarkable.”
Only one car, an open-cab 1924 Vauxhall, had to turn back.
If conditions aren’t too severe, Tait, who will be too busy setting things up to take part in the run, will drive his bright red 1970 Rover 2000 TC four-door to the end-of-run meetup at the Langley airport.
“If the weather is really nasty, we’ll probably just bring the daily driver (his 1997 Volvo),” he told the Langley Advance Times.
Their trip will start at the Delta Heritage Air Park and finish at the Langley airport.
“Hopefully, the run is about an hour-and-a-half,” Tait said.
“We did a test run the other day, and cars should be arriving at the airport at about 12.”
Getting out and about in their classic cars, even when the weather is not so good, is important to OECC members, who are politely disdainful of those who don’t.
“Some people never get their hands dirty, put it that way,” Tait commented.
“Strictly show people, who have their cars professionally restored,” is how he put it.
“But there are others, like ourselves, who are more interested in driving the cars and doing our own mechanical work, our own restoration stuff. I think most of us are in it for the fun, and the social [aspect], the challenge of solving mechanical problems.”
They are also community-minded, donating their registration fees to charity; this year, it’s to Meals On Wheel in Surrey and North Delta.
More information about the Old English Car Club for enthusiasts who preserve, restore, and drive British cars can be found online at https://oecc.ca.