DRIVERS are revving up for the annual London to Brighton veteran car race.

The Bonhams Veteran Car Run sees hundreds of antique motors head to the coast each year.

Tomorrow, more than 400 pre-1905 cars will leave Hyde Park at the break of dawn and roar through the countryside towards a welcome finish on Brighton’s Madeira Drive.

The run traces its history back to the Emancipation Run of 1896, when drivers celebrated the new-found freedom granted to motorists by the “repeal of the Red Flag Act”.

The act raised the speed limit to 14mph and abolished the need for a man carrying a red flag to walk ahead of automobiles when they were being driven. Now, drivers – many of them dressed in period costume – celebrate with a traditional pre-dawn tearing of a red flag.

Among this year’s notable machines is Britain’s oldest Fiat, which will be helping the Italian company mark its 120th anniversary.

There will also be eight steam-powered automobiles and four pioneering electric vehicles, including a

1901 Waverley owned by Harrods.

The annual November event attracts entrants from all over the globe. For the owners of valuable veteran cars, the historic 60-mile run is a chance to show off their marvellous motors.

Organisers suggest viewing the run from 9.56 am to 4.30pm in Madeira Drive.