The JBS Collection will take its 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau to England, Nov. 5, for the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
The JBS Collection, located in Elkhart, Indiana, is pleased to announce on behalf of owners Laura and Jack Boyd Smith Jr. that its 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau will participate in the historic RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, Nov. 5, in England.
The world’s longest-running motoring event, and the world’s largest gathering of veteran cars, the legendary RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run will be held, as always, on a 54-mile course between London and Brighton, England. The event will begin at sunrise in Hyde Park, London, and participants will drive along the old A23 road and eventually to the finish at Preston Park, a suburb of Brighton.
The Veteran Car Run, acknowledged by many as the premier celebration of Edwardian-era vehicles, is not a traditional racing event. Participants will not be allowed to exceed an average of 20 mph, and any and all vehicles that finish the run before 4:30 p.m. will be awarded a medal for successful completion of the course. The Veteran Car Run was established in 1897 to commemorate the Emancipation Run of 1896, which celebrated the Locomotives on Highways Act that eased early motor vehicle laws in the United Kingdom.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to attend the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run for our first time and to bring The JBS Collection’s historic 1903 Clément—which has a direct connection to the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain,” said Jack Boyd Smith Jr. “The Veteran Car Run isn’t a race, it’s more of a moving tribute to pre-1905 vehicles—no fastest times or finishing orders will be posted. Friends and fans of our collection can stay updated throughout the event by following The JBS Collection on Facebook and Instagram. Race or no race, the Veteran Car Run is a world-renowned event—one of the oldest motoring events in history—and Laura and I are very excited, and thankful, to be a part of it this year.”
Prior to being purchased by The JBS Collection, the 1903 Clément—after being discovered in Australia—was acquired by a member of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain and underwent an exhaustive and intensive restoration, completed in 2006. The four-speed Clément previously participated in, and completed, the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run—which only allows vehicles built before 1905—in 2017 and 2018.
The 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau was produced one year before Adolphe Clément’s Clément-Bayard company moved into the manufacture of racing cars. As such, the 1903 Clément, a prototype of early, four-cylinder engineering, was the pinnacle of power and performance at the time of its release.
The Clément’s advanced transmission offered drivers three forward gears and reverse, and an inventive lubrication system shared oil from the engine’s cooling system to aid movement of critical big-end bearings. The vehicle’s tubular steel chassis was also innovative; most others of the era continued to incorporate frames of reinforced wood.
“It feels like it was just a few weeks ago we were in France at Le Mans, watching our 1929 Bentley Blower push 130 miles per hour and come close to breaking the Le Mans record lap time for a Blower,” said Jack Boyd Smith Jr. “And then we were at Pebble Beach watching our 1923 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Pall Mall bring home two great awards. It was a thrilling and fast summer, so we look forward to slowing things down a bit, literally, at the Veteran Car Run. It’s such a pure demonstration of historic vehicles. I think it will be a unique experience for us, and another great first for The JBS Collection.”
In conclusion to a magnificent 2023 which saw The JBS Collection break into The Classic Car Trust’s Top 100 Car Collections in the world—listed in the book, The Key—and bring home a host of Concours awards, Laura and Jack Boyd Smith Jr. will take this historic 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau to participate, Nov. 5, in the 2023 RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.