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1000 Mile Trial
A exciting new event exclusively for pre-war cars
12th to 19th July 2014
Its 1899 and a large number of the people in Britain had not seen a motor car. In fact people are laughing at the idea that the motor car could become a commercial or practical success.
To show off the motor car an adventure was planned – tour Britain visiting major towns and cities, allowing the public to see and touch the motor car and watch them drive by. The event was planned for spring 1900; One thousand miles as an extensive demonstration trial organised by the Automobile Club. The intent was simple, test human endurance as well as the machinery for reliability and safety.
The idea was a lot simpler than the application.
- At this point in time very few enthusiastic motorists (as they were now called) had driven 100 miles in a single day
- No one knew how to draw up a time schedule that could be maintained – how long would it take to drive the required distance each day?
- Speed limits at the time were 8mph in towns and 12 mph outside
- Some drivers wanted a 2 hour lunch stop for lunch and liqueurs; others did not want to stop
- To allow the public the opportunity to see the cars up close and personal motor shows were organised in each town and city visited, some just for a couple of hours others all day
- Rest days were built in – driving an open motor car in all weathers was hard work
- Maps were not very accurate
- Sign posts along the way were non existent
- There were no mobile phones and very few static phones for that matter
- Mechanical assistance consisted of what you could carry and repairs you could undertake
- There were few hotels, en route, that were comfortable enough to house the participants
Due to all this and many other considerations the event actually took 20 days to complete. There were 53 trade entries (manufacturers) and 31 private entries of which 23 trade entries and 24 private entries made the finish. An incredible feat and an event, with hindsight, that was the foundation stone of British Motor Industry.
The Veteran Car Club organised a historic enactment of the Thousand Mile Trial in 2000 to mark its 100 year birthday,. The Thousand Mile Trial was an endurance event. The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation will re-run the event for pre-war cars and follow the original trial route, where possible, but complete the thousand miles in six days.