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A 1903 Mercedes 60, contemporary to cars that ran in the original Paris-Madrid race in the same year, is to be the first car flagged off on the re-run of this great event on 24 May.

Starting at the Trianon Hotel, Versailles, Paris, the Mercedes belonging to Tim Scott will head a field of 50 cars on their 800-mile journey from Paris to Madrid.

Flag-off will be at 6.30am on the 24th, when spectators will be welcome. The route will be published on the H&H Classic Rallies website, for spectators wishing to see the cars in action.

Other vehicles of a similar age taking part are a 1904 Gladiator entered by Paul-Emile Bessade, and a 1905 Gordon Bennett Star entered by Jonathan Turner.

The rally will mark the 110th anniversary to the day of the original event, which was stopped in Bordeaux by the French Government. The re-run, organised by H&H Classic Rallies from the UK, has attracted an international entry from as far away as Australia and Uruguay.

Running for three days – the same as the 1903 event  – the night stops will be at Angouleme, Pamplona and Madrid; the original event had scheduled stops at Bordeaux, Vitoria and, of course, Madrid.

The 1903 event was won at an average speed of 98km/h by Gabriel Fernand in a Mors, but the rally will not aim to match those speeds, as it complies with the current 50km/h average laid down by the sporting authorities.

The event will be a mixture of regularity, jogularity and tests which, combined with the average distance of around 266 miles a day, will be a test of both man and machine.

Other vehicles entering are five Bugattis, nine Bentleys, as well as a sprinkling of other major marques such as Rolls-Royce, Alvis, Alfa Romeo, Delahaye, Aston Martin, Stutz, Invicta, Riley, Talbot, Ford La France, Chrysler, Humber, Buick and Chrysler.

More than 50 percent of the entrants are from the UK, with the next largest block being from the Netherlands, followed by Germany and Australia.

Following the original route wherever practicable, the event aims to reflect the society of the period, with drivers and passengers dressing in appropriate clothing for the pre-war period. A sort of ‘Revival’ on the move, with awards for originality, sartorial elegance and style, as well as vehicle performance.

As with the original schedule, the event is run in three legs, with the first stop at Angouleme (instead of Bordeaux), which delights in welcoming classic motoring events, having its own events around the Ramparts.

From Angouleme, the rally heads south via Saint Emilion and the Pyrenees Mountains, to an overnight stop at Pamplona – famous for its bull run.

The third leg will take the roads less travelled through Navarra and Rioja, to a hero’s welcome and the finishing flag in Madrid – and finally the great Paris-Madrid opus will be complete.

The efforts and style of the crews will be rewarded with a Gala dinner and prize giving, where family and friends will also be welcome.

The classes are as follow:

:: Veteran in two categories: VN1 (up to 1905) and VN2 (1906 to 1919).
:: Vintage (from 1920 to 1929).
:: Pre-war (from 1930 to 1940).

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