Veteran Car : Benz Ideal 4.5 hp reg P3518

Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th November 1959.

The car is shown on the forecourt of Allen Bros garage, of which Mr Manning was a director.

This car was bought by Mr F.E. Manning, Mitcham Park, in the mid 1950s. It had a fairly good engine, which he stripped down and rebuilt. He and his son worked on rebuilding the rest of the car. They took drawings from another Benz and made components as near as possible to the original. This photo from 1957 on Merton Memories shows them working on the car.

They entered the London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally in 1957, as shown in this Merton Memories photo.

In this article from 1959, his son didn’t go with him on the rally.

Veteran run

For the third year running Mr F.E. Manning has driven his 1900 Benz over the finishing line in the annual veteran car run to Brighton. And this year he got back to his home in Mitcham Park in time to see himself on the television newsreel.

Although breaking no records for the run, Mr Manning bowled along merrily in his black and primrose car (with solid tyres), crossing the finishing line at 2.30 p.m. with plenty of time to spare.

“Traffic was very heavy,” Mr Manning told me, “so we could not record any spectacular time. But we only stopped once en route and that was for lunch, The car behave perfectly all the way.”

Mr Manning’s 17-year-old son Butch did not go with him this year. “I think he got fed up with getting soaked through on the two previous runs. But we were very lucky as the weather was good this year,” Mr Manning added.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury 6th November, 1959

Restored again in 2006/7 the car was sold at Bonhams auction in February 2017 for around £105,000.

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