A man has died during a vintage car rally after his vehicle, which was more than 100 years old, collided with a lorry on the motorway in Sussex.
The 80-year-old and his female passenger, believed to be a married couple, were taking part in Bonham’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run on Sunday when they took a wrong turn, deviating from the rally’s official route before winding up on the motorway.
Their 1903 Knox Runabout Old Porcupine – a tiny, open-cabin vehicle with a single-cylinder engine and max speed of 35mph – collided with an HGV near Junction 7 on the southbound M23, outside Hooley, Surrey.
Emergency services arrived shortly after 10am. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to hospital.
Surrey police confirmed the man’s death in a statement, adding that the next of kin had been notified and asking anyone who witnessed the collision to come forward.
More than 400 vehicles dating from before 1905 were due to take part in the run, the oldest motoring event in the world according to its organisers, the Royal Automobile Club.
The rally is held every year to commemorate the 1896 “Emancipation Run”, a celebration of the Locomotives on Highways Act, which bumped the speed limit up to 14mph and allowed motorists to drive without being escorted by an attendant on foot.
The crash comes two years after another fatal accident, in which six people participating in the run were injured when a 1902 Benz collided with four other cars outside Reigate Hill, Surrey.
David Corry, the 68-year-old driver of the vehicle, died from his injuries two days later.
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