Top 5 Irish Car Shows to visit this summer
Crikey, 2017’s almost half over already and there are only 150 shopping days to Christmas, or something like that. Don’t worry though — the year may be flying past as they always do, but there are still plenty of great motoring events coming up through the summer and early autumn that should get you out and about and meeting plenty of other like-minded petrol-heads.
1. Mondello Park Auto Heroes Track Day. Monday June 5th
Mondello is, of course, Ireland’s only proper race track, so it’s just as well that it’s a good one with a slick pit and paddock area, a fascinating museum to visit between laps and plenty of tricky-to-master corners. June 5th, a Monday, sees the latest of Mondello’s Auto Heroes track days, a run-what-you-brung day out in Kildare for drivers of all skill levels, and cars of all types. It’s not expensive (€130 buys you a full day on track), but just remember that it can drive up your tyre and fuel bills, and it’s well worth investing in one of Mondello’s driver training days to sharpen up your skillset beforehand. More details on mondellopark.ie.
2. Donegal International Rally. June 16th to 18th
If you’re going to visit one round of the Irish Tarmac Championship, then the Donegal event should be it. While it did develop a reputation for a time for attracting an unpleasant hooligan element, the wild roads and deep ditches of Donegal represent a challenge all but unique in modern rallying, and the speeds that the WRC-era cars can attain are truly breath-taking. Plus there’s the usual phalanx of ungodly-fast Ford Escorts still plying their sideways-to-victory trade, and a smattering of oddball clubman machinery to keep up the interest. Sam Moffett currently heads the drivers’ standings in the championship, with the likes of Alastair Fisher, Joseph McGonigle and Robbie Barrable snapping at his heels. It’s always an epic event, with great spectating opportunities, but just remember to bring waterproofs… More details on irishtarmac.com.
3. Irish Classic & Vintage Motor Show, Terenure. Sunday 2nd July
Without question this is the biggest classic car event of the year in Ireland, taking over the grounds of Terenure College in west Dublin for a day of admiring the best of Irish classic, vintage and veteran cars. There’s still time to enter your own car or club for display if you fancy, or you could just wander along and soak up the glare from all that chrome and all those wire wheels. Entry is €15 for adults, or just €5 for children under 12, and it’s open to the public from 11am to 6pm. All proceedings this year go to the Help Emma Beat It Fund, helping Emma Naughten-Heavey beat Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma, an extremely rare cancer that affects less than 200 people per year worldwide. There’ll be an autojumble, prizes for the best cars, entertainment for the kids and plenty of food and drink. Have a look at irishjagclub.ie for more details.
4. Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club Picnic, Powerscourt, Sunday 20th August
A little less crowded and a little more sedate than the Terenure show, the Irish Veteran & Vintage Car Club’s annual picnic is a lovely event, doing exactly what one should do with a classic car — drive it somewhere pretty and have an alfresco lunch. The event takes place from 12pm to 5pm on Sunday the 20th of August at Powerscourt House, near Enniskerry in Co. Wicklow, and you don’t have to be a classic car owner to wander along and take in the sight of all those gorgeous cars against an equally gorgeous backdrop. You can always head over to the Powerscourt Hotel for a celebratory cream tea too… More details from ivvcc.ie.
5. Cannonball Ireland, 8th to 10th September
After the gentility of the classic car events, the Cannonball is the motoring equivalent of having a bucket of iced water tipped over you while someone plays AC/DC at max volume right into your ear. The annual event has become a cavalcade of supercars, sports car, rarities, luxury cars and much, much more and entrants try to recreate some of the anarchic spirit of motoring writer Brock Yate’s original Cannonball illicit races in the seventies. And of course the Burt Reynolds movies. While the event has its critics (some say it’s irresponsible) there’s no question that it’s great fun and raises a lot of money for charity every year. If you haven’t got a car worthy of the entry list (Porsche or better, really…) then you can still gather to check out the glamorous cars and gorgeous people at one of the many stops the event makes around the country. More details on cannonball.ie.