Our Car's History

Our Clément Panhard was imported into the United Kingdom by a Col. Baxter in 1900 when it was new (although some records suggest the car could be as old as 1886). In 1904 the car was first registered with the number plate BF 149. After a number of years Col. Baxter exchanged the car for "something more modern" a two-cylinder model produced by the Star Motor Company of Coventry at Childs & Sons, motor engineers in Sherborne. Childs & Sons kept the car running for some time until the tires (which were then solid) became too deteriorated to use.

The car was last seen as a float in the Sherborne carnival when it was towed around the town shortly before the start of the First World War. From then on the car was laid-up at Childs & Sons which is where it stayed through two World War.

During the Second World War the area around Sherborne was often bombed, and on one occasion the town was hit by several dozen bombs some of which fell either side of Childs & Son's premises.

The start of the 1959 London to Brighton Run driven by Mr. Vaux

1952 to 1965

In 1952 the Clément Panhard emerged from its 35 years hibernation at Childs & Sons and was taken on the back of a truck to Dorchester for use in an exhibition put on by Tilleys motor engineers 

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In 1959 William Vaux, a car enthusiast and member of the VCC brought the car. Mr. Vaux had the car restored (picture on the right shows the car before its restoration) and it took part in the 1959 London to Brighton Run as entrant number 42. A 1901 Clément Panhard owned by Major J. C. France also took part that year.

Later on, Mr. Vaux loaned the car to the Cheddar Motor and Transport Museum and was on public display. The picture (on the right) is a postcard from the museum with the shows the Clément Panhard with a 1904 Oldsmobile Runabout.

1965 to 1970

Col. Baxter in the car circa. 1900

1970 to Today

Finally, in 1970 the car came into the Norwood family - its current owners. Since 1971 the car has taken part in, and completed, almost every London to Brighton Run (we missed a couple due to 'engineering difficulties') right up to the last one in November 2017.

Over the last 118 year history of the car, its image has been used many times. We know it has appeared in books, postcards, Christmas cards, book covers, and advertisements. It was even featured in a BBC radio programme. Now the car also has a web site......

 

Finally, in 1970 the car came into the Norwood family - its current owners. Since 1971 the car has taken part in, and completed, almost every London to Brighton Run (we missed a couple due to 'engineering difficulties') right up to the last one in November 2017.

Over the last 118 year history of the car, its image has been used many times. We know it has appeared in books, postcards, Christmas cards, book covers, and advertisements. It was even featured in a BBC radio programme. Now the car also has a web site......

 

Outside Mr Vaux Garage after the restoration with his other cars

Above: my first London to Brighton Run in 1972 aged 4 and on the left a typical wet London to Brighton Run with myself at the wheel

Short TV interview about the 2006 London to Brighton on Meridian Tonight broadcast on 4 November 2006.