In the battle of man vs. car, who will be this year’s victor?

Carriages such as this 1899 Delahaye are exactly what drivers can expect to see at this years race.

The world’s longest-running automotive tradition is set to return November 4, as man battles the automobile in a race to the coast during the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Sponsored by the Royal Automotive Club (RAC), a British collector car organization, the race pits cars built before 1905 that can achieve less than 20 mph against experienced marathon runners. Founded in 1897, the RAC usually chooses a different nation to honor at every year’s race. With the successful London Olympics, along with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it’s clearly England’s year to shine, so the group has chosen to honor it’s home nation for 2012.

Enthusiasts the world over come to the event, whether to root on the athletes or gawk at some of the antique cars. Among those being driven in the Veteran Car Run are a 1902 Delahaye, which has an engine of just six horsepower, driven by American classic car fan Dan Suskin.

“My plan had always been to do just the one run in 2010, as I had already flown the oldest air race in world – the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett – and now I had driven the oldest car event in the world. But we so thoroughly enjoyed the event that we decided we would go back every year,” Suskin said in a press release for the race.

The event has been held for more than 116 years and is a part of an entire weekend of classic car love organized by the RAC deemed the Celebration of Motoring. A maximum number of 550 cars are allowed to compete in the Run, though many more cars will be driven as part of the.

This year, the RAC hopes to showcase energy-efficient cars as well throughout the weekend by sponsoring the Future Car Challenge. This will feature custom-built rides that not only have smaller engines, but consume little, or no, gasoline.

Whether running the almost 40 miles to the coast or sitting pretty in a slow moving antique, taking part in this quirky event is surely an experience like no other. Would you take part in this slow-moving spectacle, or does it go against your need for speed? Respond below