New London to New Brighton: Annual Antique Car Run set for Aug. 13

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Aug. 6—The 36th annual New London to New Brighton (NLNB) Antique Car Run will take place Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, with pre-tours in the New London area Aug. 10-12.

The starting gun for the Antique Car Run sounds at 7 a.m. Saturday, with the oldest and slowest antique cars departing first from Peace Lutheran Church in New London. The cars will travel more than 120 miles through Minnesota to New Brighton.

Considered one of the premiere brass-era car tours in the US, and attracting people from all over the US, Canada, England, and Australia, completing the run is a bucket list item for many, according to Bruce Van Sloun, president of the Antique Car Run 2022 Board of Directors.

Participation for the run is limited to pre-1908 vehicles and any one- or two-cylinder vehicles through 1915, including bikes, motorcycles, steam, and even electric-power cars. Cars that participate have eight to 60 horsepower, and top speeds from 12 to 70 mph, according to Van Sloun.

"This is a rolling museum of automotive history, which is brought right to the viewers at no charge," Van Sloun said.

Completing the run is quite an accomplishment, with some cars requiring oiling and maintenance every 25 miles. Despite their preparations, not all cars complete the run successfully.

A fierce rivalry has been cultivated over the years between Maxwell and Ford owners, with one or the other having the most entrants, but not always the most to cross the finish line, Van Sloun remarked.

Two Maxwell drivers have completed each of the previous 35 Antique Car Runs. Unfortunately, one of those drivers, Bob Long, passed away within the last year.

"Bob and his very original 1908 Maxwell were a fixture of the run," Van Sloun said. "He was well-known and a key source of information for those who owned Maxwells."

Long will be commemorated at the drivers' meeting.

Some rare cars that have participated through the years include a Rolls Royce or Model K Ford, Sears and International Harvester high-wheelers, and Stanley and White steam cars. Some cars have familiar names, and others more unfamiliar names, like Kenmore and Maytag.

The Minnesota run commemorates the prestigious London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which takes place annually in England and is considered the granddaddy of runs. It began in 1896 to celebrate the repeal of the "red flag" law.

When the motorized vehicle era began in the late 1800s, automobiles, or horseless carriages, created havoc on city streets trying to mix with horse-drawn carriages.

The first motorized vehicles were banned from using the road unless a man carrying a red flag walked in front of the car warning carriage drivers to hold the reins of their animals. When the law was repealed, drivers celebrated the freedom it provided by jumping into their automobiles and driving "flagless" to Brighton.

Beginning in 1987, the inaugural NLNB Antique Car Run was scheduled during New Brighton's Centennial Celebration as a way to strengthen its namesake ties to Brighton, England. There were 17 participants, and a visit by the mayor of Brighton and other English guests.

After departing New London Aug. 13, the Antique Car Run will travel through six rest stops before ending in New Brighton at Long Lake Regional Park, 1500 Old Hwy 8 N.W. The finish line is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. The Antique Car Run is one of the key attractions of New Brighton's Stockyard Days festival.

Approximate times for arrival at rest stops: Trinity Lutheran Church in Grove City, 8:15 a.m.; Central Park in Litchfield, 9:15 a.m.; Main Street in Kingston, 10:30 a.m.; American Legion in Buffalo, 11:45 a.m. and stay until 1 p.m.; Crystal Community Center in Crystal, 2:30 p.m, ending at Long Lake Regional Park.

There are plenty of opportunities to participate in activities in the days preceding the big run, as well. Plans include:

* Wednesday, Aug. 10: ride to Chappell Central in Willmar from Peace Lutheran Church in New London. Participants will tour Chappell Central's fabrication and manufacturing plant. The evening get together will be at Neer Park in New London, serving up the renowned shore lunch with walleye and all the fixings.

* Thursday, Aug. 11: ride to Bug-Bee Hive Resort on Lake Koronis in Paynesville. The resort is a year-round resort/lodge and event center owned and operated by the same family since its beginning in the 1920s. That evening, the drivers' meeting will take place back at Peace Lutheran Church, where participants will have a chance to meet with volunteer tow drivers and exchange information.

* Friday, Aug. 12: a 36-mile warmup scenic tour around Nest and Green Lakes in the New London area will take place after the morning brunch and drivers' meeting. Cars will be parked at the American Legion after the tour for public viewing.

For more information or to register for the run, visit

, where there is also a list of people to contact.