London-Brighton 1896: The Emancipation Race

With this race began the history of motorsport in Great Britain.

In the early years of the auto industry, the few cars that were in Britain they were chaired by a man with a red flag announcing his passing to the astonished passers-by who are amazed at those noisy carriages that were not drawn by horses.

London-BrightonAfter many complaints, in 1896 the owners of those first vehicles managed to reverse the situationny to celebrate it held a competition between London y Brighton, distant to 87 kilometers. With that competition the history of english motorsport began and it was given a great boost to the manufacture of cars.

"Owners and drivers must remember that cars are on trial in England and that any recklessness or carelessness could damage the industry in this country.", warned the organization of the race, which took place on Saturday, November 14 between the Metropole Hotel in London and the Metropole Hotel in Brighton.

The exhibit, which later became known as The Emancipation Race, had a total of 58 scored, although 25 of them withdrew the day before. According to some reports of the time they were finally from the game between 13 and 14 cars.

London-BrightonThe victory was for the French Léon Bollée on a self-built tricycle equipped with a single cylinder petrol engine of 3 hp power. The winner spent 3h44m35 seconds at an average of 22,381 km/h. About fourteen minutes later he arrived Camille Bollée, Winner's brother, with a similar car.

The London-Brighton had a second edition in 1927 and since then it has been carried out periodically, always with cars from the IXX century, with the aim of honoring those pioneers who celebrated in their own way not having to walk with a person waving a flag in front of their cars.



Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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