Bridnorth apprentices and mechanics back veteran cars en route from London to Brighton

Apprentices and mechanics from world-class restorers Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth (CMC) teamed up with Total, the global energy company, to provide oil for the century-old engines and a full mobile welding service to support the veteran cars in their annual pilgrimage from London to Brighton.

This year’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, organised by the Royal Automobile Club, marked the 120th anniversary of the first ‘Emancipation Run’ and the mobile welding unit manned by CMC’s engine builder apprentice Ben Taylor and lead panel beater Luke Martin was a first in the history of the Run.

The unit was in high demand already at the start in Hyde Park providing welding for a 1904 Oldsmobile with a broken steering arm at 6:45hs – just minutes before the start of the Run.

The Oldsmobile was driven by Jon Leimkuehler and his wife, who flew in from the United States to take part in the Run and said: “We would have had to retire from the Run only minutes away from the start time if it hadn't been for the help provided by Total and Classic Motor Cars. We actually made it across the finish line!”

En route to Brighton the welding unit was called in a further five times to assist veterans in need of welding on the exhaust pipe and propshaft as well as with electrical problems.

Total offered oil stops for the first time at Redhill and for the second year running at Crawley, and further assistance at Madeira Drive in Brighton where they had experts on hand to talk about how modern oil technology is vital to the longevity of veteran engines and also provided a Media Centre for journalists to transmit their copy and pictures to a worldwide audience.

CMC’s mechanical apprentice Marcus Nemeth and technicians Dave Bennet and Martin Williams were on hand to assist participants at each oil stop.

David Barzilay, Chairman of Classic Motor Cars, said: “I’m immensely proud of the CMC team. They gave up the weekend to represent the company and to work with Total and the Royal Automobile Club to ensure that veteran car owners from around the world were looked after.

“At the oil stations they replenished cars and helped drivers with a variety of problems while the mobile welding unit got thanks from several drivers who otherwise would not have made it to the finish.”

Marc Smith, General Manager at Total UK, Lubricants Division, said: “Total has been catering to the needs and specifications of generations of engines from the 1920s. We were delighted that our expertise and technology applied to oils and lubricants, coupled with the support from our partners Classic Motor Cars, allowed us to help participants which otherwise wouldn’t have made it across the finish line."

Apprentice Ben Taylor said: “I’ve helped in 2015 at one of the oil stops and working on the mobile welding unit this year was a new challenge and a real experience… these cars make the vehicles we have in our workshops look like modern day cars!”