Calling Sussex Petrolheads

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
Credit for photos to RM Sotheby’s Veteran Car Run

Sussex hosts numerous events focused on the needs of Sussex petrolheads. Whether you love cars, planes or motorbikes there will be things happening throughout the year that will catch your interest.

The two tribes of Sussex petrolheads

There are two main types of Sussex petrolheads; the ‘I turn up with my own specialist wheels’ tribe and the ‘I go to look’ tribe, usually easily distinguishable by their attire and the number of other family members that are in tow. These recommendations for events are primarily aimed at the latter group and is therefore not a fully comprehensive list of all motoring events happening across Sussex in 2023.

Sussex petrolheads
Photo credit to Paul Hitchcock

Events for the Sussex petrolheads lookers’ tribe


Goodwood, West Sussex

Goodwood is a well-known, must-go venue for multiple events throughout the year. Most Sussex petrolheads and petrolheads across the known universe are aware of and have probably attended at least once the Goodwood Revival and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but less well-known gems are the Sunday morning breakfast clubs. These are free to attend but require a ticket to enable Goodwood to manage attendance. Themed events are once a month throughout the summer. The first for 2023 is Supercar Sunday on 7th May.

Sussex petrolheads
Photo credit to Paul Hitchcock

Eastbourne, East Sussex

Eastbourne has two major events for Sussex petrolheads. Magnificent Motors takes place on the Western Lawns at the end of April and then the Eastbourne International Airshow takes place above the seafront every day between 17th and 20th August. What is there not to like about seeing a Spitfire doing acrobatics over the Pier?

Sussex petrolheads

Brighton and Hove, the city between East and West

Brighton seems to have fewer petrol related events now that Madeira Drive has been traffic calmed and made more bicycle friendly. The Brighton Speed Trials, this year to be held on Saturday 2nd September are worth a visit and well worth paying the fee to wander around the ‘paddock’ on Madeira Drive. Sadly, the new road surface was deemed unfit for motorcycle racing although it is hoped that bikes will return to this iconic event at some point in the future.

The Concours and Classic Car Show on Sunday 11th June in Hove Park is a far more sedate affair but still a worthy destination for Sussex petrolheads. Then if, like many Sussex petrolheads, your predilection is for the really old beauties the London to Brighton Veteran Car run is a must. This year it is on 5th November.

London to Brighton Run
Photo credit to Paul Hitchcock

However, the London to Brighton Car run is not the only treat for veteran Sussex petrolheads. The Pioneer Run is for pre-1915 motorcycles and after leaving Surrey in the early hours of Sunday 1st October they wheeze their way into Brighton City Airport (formerly known as Shoreham Airport) from about 10am onwards. Always an event full of smiles, laughter and strong tea.

Brighton Pioneer run
Photo credit to Paul Hitchcock

Come out to play in the sunshine

Remember this small number of featured events is merely a taster. Although some long-established events have fallen by the wayside since the Covid restrictions, Bexhill Motofest and Seaford Motor Festival both seem to be casualties, there is plenty going on as the summer takes hold.

And this is Sussex. A place where the two tribes of Sussex Petrolheads mingle freely and even welcome normal citizens to their events. If this article has piqued your interest go along, you never know, you might find yourself to be one of the true Sussex Petrolheads and an aficionado of a Morini 3 ½ after all…

This article was contributed by Paul Hitchcock

If you like this article about Sussex petrolheads, you may also like:

An Incredible Festival of Speed (Goodwood, Sussex)

The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run!

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