TV presenter and motoring guru Fuzz Townshend will be behind the wheel of the National Motor Museum’s 1904 De Dion for the prestigious Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.
Known to millions of motoring fans as the car restoring expert in the hit TV series Car SOS, Fuzz is joining Beaulieu’s team of drivers for the prestigious event, with the National Motor Museum entering four pre-1905 cars including Fiat’s 1899 Fiat 3.5hp which is celebrating its 120th birthday, the 1903 De Dietrich 24hp and 1903 Daimler 22hp.
In preparation for his gruelling drive in the 115 year-old De Dion Bouton Model Q, Fuzz was put through his paces in a driving lesson at Beaulieu this week. Mastering the car’s controls and discovering some of its foibles, under the expert guidance of National Motor Museum Senior Engineer Ian Stanfield, he took to the open road for a 10-mile run practice run across the New Forest. With a top speed of less than 30mph, Fuzz is ready for a long day of driving.
Fuzz said: “It’s a brilliant opportunity and I’m really looking forward to taking part in the run, so thank you to everyone at Beaulieu for inviting me. The De Dion is quite scary to drive but it’s going to be an amazing experience. I reckon it’s going to take me about six hours or so to get down to Madeira Drive, by which point I’ll probably be wet, cold and in need of a cup of tea!”
The 60-mile run from London’s Hyde Park to Brighton’s Madeira Drive will see more than 400 horseless carriages taking to the roads for the world’s longest-running motoring event on Sunday November 3rd.
Presenter, mechanic and professional drummer Fuzz is no stranger to unusual historic vehicles, having restored over 70 classic cars for the National Geographic Channel and originally training as a bus mechanic. A former technical editor of Beaulieu Autojumble media sponsor Practical Classics magazine, Fuzz currently runs his own car restoration workshop.
Beaulieu has a long tradition of famous faces behind the wheel of its veteran cars for the event. Even before he created his first museum, National Motor Museum founder Edward, Lord Montagu took part in the 1950 run in his family’s 1903 De Dion Bouton, accompanied by famous model Barbara Goalen. Since then, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and more recently Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood and BBC Transport Correspondent Paul Clifton have perched on the antique upholstery of Beaulieu’s veteran cars for the drive.
Follow this year’s adventure on Beaulieu’s Facebook at /nationalmotormuseum, Twitter @Beaulieu_Hants, and Instagram @national_motor_museum, as well as Fuzz’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/fuzztownshend.