Category:London to Brighton Rally (display)

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84 - London to Brighton Rally (display)
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A collection of German Victorian and Edwardian-era clockwork tinplate toy cars (some quite large), set against a backdrop of Brighton Promenade.

The collection is provided courtesy of J. Bailey.

2003: Argus article on the display

The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

The Royal Automobile Club still hold a famous yearly veteran car-running event from London to Brighton called the RAC Veteran Car Run, but popularly known as the London to Brighton Rally. Technically, the rally ends at Preston Park, but the cars traditionally continue on to Madeira Drive on the Brighton seafront, alongside Brighton Promenade and the Volks Electric Railway.

This is one of the few occasions that one can see these cars on the road.

2016: London-Brighton rally, Maderia Drive

Genevieve (film, 1953)

The subject of vintage cars and the London-Brighton rally was catapaulted into the public's imagination by the 1953 release of Henry Cornelius' film Genevieve (1953), which starred Kenneth More, Kay Kendall, John Gregson and Dinah Sheridan. Cornelius had worked extensively for Ealing Studios before striking out on his own, and had approached Ealing about possibly coming back to work for them for Genevieve, which ended up being distributed by Rank, instead. Ealing Studios made and released their own nostalgic tribute to British transport engineering The Titfield Thunderbolt at around the same time apparently inspired by a 1952 book and again with a 1953 release, so it's possible that Cornelius's conversation with them might have encouraged Ealing to produce their own competing film.

The basis of Genevieve was a story about a race between two owners of vintage cars, and included footage of the real 1952 London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Rally, the shooting of which finalised the project's filming schedule in November 1952. Genevieve was the name of the main character's car, making it, by default, the star of the film.

Cornelius had originally wanted the film's two main cars to be British (in keeping with the Ealing Studios' "Anglophile" theme, but found it difficult to borrow the cars that he actually wanted, and as a result, "Genevieve" ended up being a French 1904 Darracq called "Annie", which had originally been rescued from a yard as a wreck, and then rebuilt by enthusiasts "pragmatically" rather than treated as a purist historical recreation. As a result, the renamed Genevieve car was possibly not quite as original as some of the more serious London-Brighton ralliers might have preferred to see, for a "poster child" for their interest.

External links

Genevieve (1953):
Airfix model