Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th July 2024
Participant and their veteran car
The Ellis Journey - a celebration of the first recorded motorised carriage journey in the UK

The British Motor Show is proud to bring you The Ellis Journey, a re-enactment of the very first documented car journey made in the UK, in 1895, by the Hon Evelyn Ellis and his passenger Fredrick Simms, starting near Winchester and finishing at Ellis’s home in Datchet close to Windsor Castle.

The annual re-enactment follows as near as possible the original route and is an open to Cars, Motor Cycles, Commercial Vehicles and Bicycles manufactured before 1905.

To Enter a vehicle in the Ellis Journey, complete the entry form HERE
Veteran cars at the Ellis Journey finish
A veteran car and passengers on the Ellis Journey
A selection of veteran cars at the Ellis Journey
The History

On the 5th July 1895 The Hon. Evelyn Ellis set off on his newly acquired French built, 4 horse power Panhard et Levassor, from Micheldever Railway Station, accompanied by another motoring pioneer, Frederick Simms. They left the station at precisely 9.26am and Simms recorded the details of the journey on the old London coaching road, travelling via Basingstoke, Hatch, Blackwater, Bagshot, Virginia Water and Englefield Green. Arriving at Ellis’s riverside home in Datchet at 5.40pm. His journey took 8 hours and 14 minutes!!!

The Journey was deliberately made in contravention of the legal speed limit as they averaged almost 10mph and without the required attendant walking in front of the car with a red flag. They should not have exceeded 4 mph on any part of the journey. Ellis had hoped to be arrested so that he could make a test case and repeal the law. But the police stayed away.

A veteran car driving on the road
A veteran car completing the Ellis Journey
A veteran car arriving at Datchet
The Event

The Ellis Journey is a fantastic opportunity for drivers and spectators some dressed in period costume to drive their veteran vehicles on a summers day through the English countryside. The spectators with cameras at the ready can witness a moving museum of pre 1905 vehicles, with the noises of very primitive engines as they pass through some of the most outstanding English villages and country side. In the final stages of the route the veteran vehicles will be driving alongside the famous River Thames and passing the site of The Hon Evelyn Ellis’s 1895 home “Rosenau”, finishing with a party atmosphere with Jazz on Datchet Village Green.

The Ellis Journey follows the tracks of The Hon Evelyn Ellis who, on 5th July 1895, with his passenger Fredrick Simms drove a 4hp Panhard et Levassor at a speed of 9.84 mph from Micheldever Station to his home in Datchet.

Saturday 6th July 2024
The Veteran Cars will be on display at the Norton Park Hotel, SO21 3NB from 12 noon to 4.00pm. It’s free to come along and see the cars, meet the owners and enjoy the atmosphere at the hotel.

Sunday 7th July 2024
Join us along the route on Sunday to encourage the cars along, wave to the drivers and get your cameras ready as this is an opportunity for the whole family – to watch and record this spectacular moving museum of historic motor carriages built between 1895 & 1904.

The Journey will start at 08:26am and you can see the cars along the route at approximately the times below.

The route of the Ellis JourneyTo Enter a vehicle in the Ellis Journey, complete the entry form HERE