In order to appreciate the true challenge of the run - as well as to appreciate the style of driving it requires - you must understand something that I initially did not.

The cars… all built before 1905… were not designed for modern stop and go traffic. By and large, there was no traffic when they were built.

The authorities do not close the streets used for the Run. Right from the get-go, you are in amongst modern cars and modern traffic in a vehicle particularly ill-equipped for these challenges.
Brakes on these cars are accessories at best, afterthoughts at worst. The cars were designed to accelerate to optimal speed… then maintain that speed. The designers and builders imagined journeys where brakes were applied rarely, maybe even just once, as the journey neared its conclusion.

"Shock absorbers? We'll build them into the spokes of the wheel!" A short-lived innovation seen on the 1903 Renault.

The brakes were certainly not designed to be applied in alternation with short bursts of acceleration, followed by braking again, followed by idling. Running a veteran car in this way is simply asking for trouble. And this type of operation is what's demanded nearly continuously for the first few miles of the London-to-Brighton Run.
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