Brandon company's big ride plans

A BRANDON-based moving company has signed up for one of the world's most prestigious motoring events between London and Brighton.

A BRANDON-based moving company has signed up for one of the world's most prestigious motoring events between London and Brighton.

Participants will endure a bone-rattling 60-mile journey in cars whose rudimentary suspension hails from the horse-and-cart era of transport.

But they will have the comfort of knowing their personal belongings will get a smoother ride thanks to Abels Moving Services.

The firm, based on Wimbledon Avenue, which still owns an 1896 horse-drawn pantechnicon, has been appointed the Official Luggage Transfer and Logistics Partner for the Royal Automobile Club-owned blue ribbon event which will take place on November 7.

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Abels Group managing director, Philip Pertoldi, said: “We are delighted to be part of such a famous and historic event. It is a prestigious occasion and is a perfect fit with Abel's own traditional and cultural values.”

Most of the 550 pre-1905 cars registered to take part in this year's tribute to the infancy of the motor car are not equipped to carry luggage.

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So a fleet of Abels' modern pantechnicons have been assigned to collect participants' luggage from their London hotels - or the Hyde Park start line - sort, store and deliver the belongings safely to the finishing line and hotels in Brighton.

Drivers and passengers in the precious museum-piece cars which take part in the London to Brighton Vintage Car Run will rely on extravagantly padded upholstery and multi-layered period costume to absorb some of their cars' suspension shortcomings.

Mr Pertoldi added: “Whatever the bumps and bruises they may have to endure, we can promise everyone that their luggage, at least, will get the best possible ride.

“When Middle Eastern royal families spend a holiday in London, Abels regularly gets asked to import their fleet of cars for their stay - and then promptly return them overseas when it's time to go home.”

Having famously moved the wedding gifts of Prince Charles and Princess Diana following their marriage in 1981, and following continual service, the firm was awarded a Royal Warrant to HM The Queen in 1989 which it still retains today.

The annual London to Brighton spectacular, and the world's oldest motoring event, is a re-run of the Emancipation Run, undertaken by 33 cars on 14 November 1896, to celebrate a change in the law which meant drivers of motor vehicles no longer had to have a man walking in front waving a red flag - and the raising of the speed limit from 4mph to 14mph.

The run will be the culmination of a three-day event which will begin in London with a Friday evening auction of veteran cars and early automobilia by sponsors Bonhams.

The Saturday will see half of Regent Street closed for an International Concours of 120 pristine cars. The first cars will leave Hyde Park at dawn on the Sunday and the first cars cross are due to cross finish line along Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront just over three hours later.

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