One of the oldest and most significant partnerships in motoring history is being recharged and celebrated on this year’s RM Sotheby’s London to Brighton Veteran Car Run which, as tradition dictates, takes place on the first Sunday in November – 5 November in 2023.
It was in 1898 that automotive pioneer Frederick R. Simms contacted Robert Bosch (photos below row 2 and row 3 left), a fellow young entrepreneur, with the plan of applying the high-tech Bosch magneto to an automobile.
The innovative Simms-Bosch ignition magneto that resulted quickly became a game-changing breakthrough, enabling engine designers finally to precisely time the ignition of fuel and thus permitting emergent motorised vehicles to become everyday transport.
The revolutionary new product paved the way for Bosch to become one of the world’s premier engineering and technology companies. Simms, too, became a major force in the early days of motoring. As well as manufacturing his own vehicles, he founded both the Automobile Club of Great Britain – later to become the Royal Automobile Club – and the influential Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Now, in 2023, Bosch UK and the Royal Automobile Club are teaming up to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the ground-breaking Simms-Bosch magneto.