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Antique Car Run events underway; new route for Friday parade

Tribune file photo A.B. Bonds of Kingston Springs, Tenn., drives a 1908 Buick, as he zips down New London's Main Street as part of the 2015 Antique Car Run festivities. Pre-tour events are underway in New London this week, leading up to Saturday's 120-mile Grand Run from New London to New Brighton. 1 / 2
Submitted The adjusted parade route for Friday's event in New London will go down Birch Street this year, instead of Main Street, due to increased traffic on Main Street.2 / 2

NEW LONDON — This Saturday more than 60 veteran cars over 100 years old will be touring 120 miles of Minnesota roadway, driving from New London to New Brighton as tradition dictates.

Based on the annual London to Brighton Commemorative Run in England, the 32nd annual Minnesota car run pre-tours are underway in the New London area, all leading up to the official run on Saturday.

Today, drivers will participate in a 45-mile round trip drive to Willmar and a visit to the Schwanke Car, Truck and Tractor Museum. On Friday, the 36-mile, Green and Nest lake tour features the annual root beer float stop in Spicer. At 4 p.m., the cars and drivers will gather at Glen Oaks in New London, before embarking on a short parade through town to the American Legion. This year's parade route will travel down Birch Street, due to increased traffic on Main Street because of detoured traffic and construction.

The original car run in the United Kingdom began in 1896 as a celebration of the "red flag" law's repeal. The red flag law banned the first motorized vehicles 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, implemented at the start of the motorized vehicle era when automobiles and horse drawn carriages clashed on the U.K. streets.

The Minnesota event is open to all vehicles made through 1908 and one- or two-cylinder vehicles manufactured through 1915, including bikes, motorcycles, and steam and electric cars. Participation is based on a first-come-first-serve basis, limited to 100 vehicle entries.

This year's event should pique the interest of early, Brass Era, car enthusiasts. A 1908 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and a dozen 1903-08 Fords, including rare Model K 6-cyl cars, are expected to make an appearance.

The main tour will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday. Vehicles will take off in New London and visit six rest stops before ending in New Brighton at Long Lake Regional Park as a part of New Brighton's Stockyard Days; the finish line will be open from 3 to 6:30 p.m.

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 a.m., Buffalo High School in Buffalo - stay until 1 p.m., 1010 River Rd NE, Hanover - 1:30 p.m., Crystal Community Center, Crystal - 2:30 p.m, ending at Long Lake Regional Park.

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