A very special chunk from the pages of history will be appearing at the Hampton Court Palace this September. The Concours of Elegance 2017 will showcase the first car ever to receive a speeding ticket. It was a 1896 Arnold Benz Motor Carriage, and it was travelling at four times the speed limit! The Motor Carriage had been blazing on the streets at 13 kmph, before it was pulled over by a policeman on a bicycle.
Back then, the law required the cars to remain under the then speed limit of about 3.2 kmph. It doesn't stop there, the cars were also to be led by a man on foot waving a red flag at all times. Unfortunately, a Mr Walter Arnold was not doing either of these two things, and hence had to pay a fine for speeding.
With the introduction of the Locomotives Act in 1896, the red flag bearer and the 2 mph (3.2 kmph) speed limit was abolished. The limit was increased to 22.5 kmph. T mark this development, cars raced from London to Brighton in a so-called Emancipation Run, during which Walter Arnold actually competed. This run still exists in the form of the Royal Automobile Club’s annual Veteran Car Run, in which pre-1905 cars recreate the journey from London to Brighton.
While we've mentioned speed limits in double and even single digits, the end of the scale at the Concours of Elegance will be some the fastest cars in the world. The event will display the Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJR-9 and the Harrods-livered McLaren F1 GTR – both of which are capable of more than 386 kmph.
For the first time at the Concours of Elegance, many of the cars on display will be taking part in moving parades over the weekend, including a trip to the event’s new central stage. Featuring commentary and interviews with some of the world’s foremost motoring experts, the stage will provide a focal point for all visitors to the Concours of Elegance.