Sunday is Drive It Day that commemorates The Royal Automobile Club’s Thousand Mile Trial that started on April 23, 1900.
In those early days of motoring, 64 cars left London and set off to drive into Scotland and back.
It took them until May 12 and 18 vehicles didn’t make it.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs sponsors the day and their website explains: “Drive It Day encourages our 500-plus club members and their supporters, plus other historic vehicle enthusiasts, to use yesterday’s two, three, four or more wheeled vehicles, for a day to celebrate the UK’s transport heritage at its finest.”
Veteran cars are those made before 1918, vintage from between 1919 and 1930, and classic is any car no longer in production that is still popular, with an eligibility of being 20 years old.
I’ve invested a fair bit of money in the UK’s transport heritage over the years. But then I would, being almost vintage myself, give or take a decade or two.
Among my fleet of bygone motors is a Mini Cooper S, a Triumph Spitfire Mark III, a Lotus Cortina and a Ford Capri GT. Ah yes, those carefree days of pre-marital cash flow. I drove the Spitfire beneath a lorry and blew up the Lotus Cortina on the M6. Happy days.
If only I had kept them: a Lotus Cortina is now “an automotive icon” and one sold last year at Goodwood for £183,500. Mine cost £800.
I shall celebrate Drive It Day in my Vauxhall Astra which is, as far as I’m concerned, a comfortable classic and a great vintage.
But I shall not be spending 19 days driving to Scotland and back. I shall be thinking of cars past, and doing my normal Sunday run to Sainsbury’s.