A SEAFRONT road welcomed back its first motoring event since 2019 this weekend.

Madeira Drive in Brighton plays host to some of the oldest car events in the world.

These include the Speed Trials and Veterans Car run – both dating back to the 1800s.

On Sunday, the London to Brighton car run became the first to return since the outbreak of coronavirus, to the delight of enthusiasts and organiser, Stephen Smith.

The Argus: Organiser Stephen SmithOrganiser Stephen Smith

"It's great to be back," he said.

"Obviously we had to cancel last year, a lot of people here originally booked in 2019 to join us.

"We weren't sure of whether it would go ahead this year, but we've worked very closely with the council.

"It's our 32nd classic car run, we've now got three runs.

"People say 'are you mad', the answer is, yes, I probably am."

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Due to the ongoing pandemic, the run's return did not feature a designated arena, nor a commenter.

Cars lined up along the tarmac in Madeira Drive, allowing interested passersby to snap photos, or grab a chat with their owners.

Jim Dowling, who had driven down an MG PA 1934, said: "I've had it about ten years now, I bought it off the Classic Car Trader near Portsmouth.

The Argus: Jim Dowling with Mark GriffinJim Dowling with Mark Griffin

"We've had to do a bit of restoration, as you have to with any old car.

"And every year, something goes wrong.

"We love it down here, it's a great little run, going over the Downs although it does get a bit hairy.

"We're OK going up, but we've got no brakes coming down."

Mr Dowling said he recognised faces from previous years and that it was "fantastic" to be back.

Last year, uncertainty surrounded motoring traditions, such as the classic car run and speed trials, after city leaders failed to give them “unequivocal support” amid road closures.

A new cycle lane has been built in the road, which was closed for Sunday's event.

Cyclists had to dismount at the Madeira Cafe and walk their bikes along the footpath.

Father and son, Jeff and Toby Mansfield, were hoping to win the "best dressed" competition again with their Peaky Blinders inspired outfits.

The Argus: Father and son, Jeff and Toby MansfieldFather and son, Jeff and Toby Mansfield

Standing by his 1931 MG M-type sportsman coupe, Jeff said: "I found this car in Manchester 15 years before buying it. It was a complete wreck, I lost out on the auction

"It ended up in Switzerland. A Swiss airline pilot spent an awful lot of money on it and then sold to me.

"This particular type of car, they only made 37 – and there's now only two left.

"It's not an easy car to drive by modern standards – not an easy car to stop either."

The council said that as long as the government’s coronavirus roadmap remains in place, there are plans for Madeira Drive to host another nine events this year.

"We look forward to them returning stronger than ever and supporting the city’s cultural and economic recovery," a council spokesman said.

Where possible, he said, the council will be working closely with events’ organisers to enable continued access to the cycle lane and disabled parking during events.

The next planned events are the Brighton Half Marathon on June 27 and the electric vehicle rally on July 18.

The spokesman added: "Outdoor events have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of participants and spectators. However, events will need to meet Covid-safe requirements before they can take place.

"All events are subject to change as they will depend on the government restrictions that may be in place at the time."