in Ireland for the Gordon Bennett Rally
Left to right -
David and Harry Groom, Len Barr and Steve Smeltzer, Dennis and Shelia
2007 Mercedes Benz
International Gordon Bennett Rally, 8th – 10th June
Every year since 1974 the
Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club have organised a commemoration Run for
pre 1931 cars, of the 1903 Gordon Bennett Race that was held in Ireland
Following my successful
trip to Ireland last year, I persuaded two other Vintage Standards to
accompany me on the 2007 event. So in brilliant sunshine, myself and Steve
Smeltzer in the 1913 Rhyl and David and Harry Groom in the 1928 Gordon
England sailed from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire. Meanwhile Dennis and Sheila
Brown in the 1930 Selby were sailing from Fishguard to Rosslare.
The excellent weather was
to continue until our journey home, when shortly after leaving Holyhead
and set out along the A5, the heavens opened.
The Rally was to begin on
the Friday lunchtime with lunch, courtesy of the sponsors, held in Naas. A
most excellent lunch with plenty of good wine on offer – in some
respects a shame we had a drive in the afternoon! Anyway it gave the
opportunity to greet some old acquaintances and make some new ones. The
Rally programme gave details of the 170 cars and their drivers that had
been entered for the event from all over the world.
A 40-mile drive took us
south from Naas, to Tullow, Co Carlow, where the event was to be based for
the next two nights. An opportunity was taken to photograph the three cars
at the Gordon Bennet memorial, at The Moat of Ardscull, near to Athy.
Saturday is the main day
of the Rally. We were joined for the day by an Irish based car, the 1915
model S, 9.5 H.P. owned by Jim and Noreen O’Farrell. The two Edwardian
Standards decided to plot their own short route direct to lunch. Meanwhile
the two Vintage Standard Nine’s set out on the long route of 100 miles.
After all cars had safely
returned to base, a four-course banquet and the presentation of the awards
rounded off the day.
Sunday morning saw the
opportunity for a further short road run, prior to the Gordon England and
Rhyl setting a course in a Northeast direction towards Dun Laoghaire. The
Selby retraced its steps to Rosslare. The end of a very enjoyable event
and the three cars with a combined age of 250 years never missed a beat.
In spite of an oil leak on the Rhyl’s sump that required us to top up
with oil every 30 miles!
Perhaps some more owners
of pre 1931 Standards might be persuaded to bring their cars over next
year. If so, please contact Len Barr
You can click on any
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Contingent at the Gordon Bennett Memorial, Moat of Ardscull. Left
to right 1928 Gordon England, 1913 model s Rhyl, 1930 Selby
1913 and 1915
Standard Model S cars
1930 Selby -
Dennis and Shelia Brown arriving back at the Headquarters hotel
after their 100 mile Saturday run
England. David and Harry Groom arriving after their run
accommodation at Ballon, neat Tullow an 18th century formor
Report and Photos: Len Barr
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S.M.C. - 2007