The Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau earned the medal at the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run—the longest-running motoring event in the world
The JBS Collection is proud to announce that its 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau earned a medal of completion at 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 exclusive gathering of veteran (pre-1905), Edwardian-era vehicles, the RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run—held along a 54-mile course between London and Brighton, England—began at sunrise in Hyde Park, London. Participants, not allowed to exceed an average of 20 mph during the run, drove along the old A23 road and to the eventual finish at Preston Park, a suburb of Brighton.
Vehicles that reached the finish before 4:30 p.m. were awarded a medal for successful completion of the course.
“It was an honor for my wife Laura and I to attend this event for our very first time, and to do so in our 1903 Clément,” said Jack Boyd Smith Jr., owner of The JBS Collection. “The restoration and history of the Clément is directly tied to to the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain, so this was a homecoming of sorts. The Veteran Car Run isn’t a race, it’s more like a moving tribute to pre-1905 vehicles. But it was no small feat for our 120-year-old Clément to finish this course and earn a medal. We’re proud to add this achievement to our list of 2023 highlights.”
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 in 2017 and 2018.
Produced just one year before Adolphe Clément’s Clément-Bayard company moved into the manufacture of racing cars, the 1903 Clément—a prototype of early, four-cylinder engineering—was the pinnacle of power and performance at the time of its release. The vehicle’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 1903 Clément also was ahead of its time in featuring an innovative tubular steel chassis, while most others of the era continued to incorporate frames of reinforced wood.
“I loved this automobile from the first time I set eyes on it,” said Smith Jr. “Since that very first glance I knew I wanted this Clément to be a part of The JBS Collection. For me, automobiles are inspiring, and that’s one of the reasons I started building my collection back in 2012. I want the vehicles in my collection to inspire and move people; to remind them that there’s excellence in this world, and that innovation and quality matter. It was a thrill to earn a medal in England—it was a beautiful and fairly gentle ride, and a great way to end what’s been a whirlwind 2023 season.”
The 2023 season was one of significant rising for The JBS Collection. In February, Smith Jr. won the Automobile Collector of the Year award at the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, and in May The JBS Collection’s 1933 Chrysler Custom LeBaron won a Best in Class award at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy.
The JBS Collection also broke into the top 100 of The Classic Car Trust’s 2023 rankings, in the renowned annual publication The Key, of the greatest classic car collections in the world—surging 50 spots a #85 worldwide ranking—and the collection’s 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton Convertible, originally owned by famed American aviator Amelia Earhart, was inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register.
The Cord was presented under glass, in conjunction with the Hagerty Drivers Foundation, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of the Cars at the Capital event, Aug. 31.
In conclusion to a strong 2023 season, Jack Boyd Smith Jr. took this historic 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau to participate, Nov. 5, in the longest-running motoring event in the world; England’s RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The Clément finished the 54-mile course to earn a medal of completion.