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First car to get a speeding ticket to star at London Concours of Elegance

Published 11 May 2017

The first car to get a speeding ticket will be on show at this year’s Concours of Elegance in London in September. The 1896 Arnold Benz Motor Carriage was caught travelling at 8mph - four times the speed limit and was pulled over by a policeman on a bicycle.

The law at the time required all cars stick to a limit of 2mph, and that they be led by a man on foot waving a red flag at all times. But Walter Arnold, driving through Paddock Green in Kent, was doing neither. As a result, Walter was convicted of speeding and forced to pay a shilling fine plus costs.

It was in late 1896, with the advent of the Locomotives Act, that the need for a red flag bearer and 2mph speed limit were abolished and the limit raised to 14mph. In celebration, cars travelled from London to Brighton in a so-called Emancipation Run, during which Walter Arnold actually competed.

The run still exists to this day, 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. A parade of these cars will also be arriving at the Concours of Elegance in September, allowing visitors to experience the sights and sounds of the earliest motoring pioneers.

Hampton Court Palace

This year’s Concours of Elegance takes place at Hampton Court Palace on 1-3 September. Ticket prices start from £25 and can be bought from: www.concoursofelegance.co.uk

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