From the Commons to the Festival: Minister delivers veteran car to Imperial


1900 De Dion Bouton

A 1900 De Dion Bouton is just one of the cars making its way to Imperial today in time for this weekend's Imperial Festival

Imperial Festival is a free celebration of science and research at the College, with exhibits, hands-on demonstrations and workshops running alongside a vibrant talks programme and a series of music and dance performances.

A range of veteran vehicles are on display at this year's Imperial Festival

A range of veteran vehicles are on display at this year's Imperial Festival

The car, owned by Scarborough and Whitby MP and Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill, is a 1900 De Dion Bouton and will form part of the new Transport Zone at this year’s Festival.

This afternoon, Robert drove the car from the Palace of Westminster to Imperial for the festival attracting much attention and passing many London sites along the way.

Robert said: “It was built in France. Back then you got better cars from France due to the Red Flag Act here in UK [the law that required anyone driving a car to be preceded on foot by a red flag]. They didn’t have the act there so they produced a lot more vehicles for the consumer market.”

Robert, whose son Bob graduated from Imperial in 2012, has a long-held interest in traction engines but it was his experience of driving Bo, one of the College's mascots, during Bob’s time as a mechanical engineering undergraduate that sparked his interest in heritage cars.

Robert said: “We’ve done the London to Brighton rally in her a couple of times now. We park her in Bo’s garage at Imperial the night before. Because of her age we always get to leave first and can do it in about five hours.”


Jon Narcross

Jon Narcross
Communications and Public Affairs

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