The Gordon Bennett Rally 2016

British Racing Green is a hue we’re all familiar with. However you might not know it was born on the Emerald Isle itself.

Not long after the advent of the motorcar, people began racing them. Racing was quickly made illegal in Britain, so the playboy aristocrats had to take their belching-Bentleys elsewhere. They decamped to Ireland to race, which was under British colonial rule at the time but lax laws allowed these daredevils to race their mechanical steeds. This race was part of the Gordon Bennett Cup, which is widely considered to be the forefather of Formula 1 and organised motor racing in general. The British competitors painted their cars green in homage to the island paying host to the race, and thus British Racing Green was born.

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Every year motoring enthusiasts from Ireland and across the world come to together on the June Bank Holiday weekend for a vintage rally that celebrates this great contest.

Here is some of the precious metal we saw when caught the rally as it passed through Athy, Co Kildare.

Skoda 1000MB de Luxe

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These quirky Czech machines represent the true Skoda ethos, before Volkswagen got their sticky (albeit efficient) hands on them. We’d love to see a return to rear engined, rear wheel drive family cars. We wont hold our breath.

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Porsche 914

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If you read our recent piece on Herbert Linge, you’ll know we’re fascinated by this often forgotten Stuttgart offering.

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Incredible how low your derriere is to the ground in this car. True Go-Kart experience.

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Volkswagen Golf Mark I

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Styled by Guigario, these are now timeless, a real “People’s Car”.

DeLorean DMC-12

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Stainless steel bodies, why did these not catch on? No doubt it had something to do with John DeLorean’s cocaine habit.

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Cheeky Stag in the background. We’ll come to that in a second.

Triumph Stag

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There is no mistaking this car, it has the Stag emblem on every flat surface.

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Alvis TJ 12/50

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This Alvis proudly displayed its plate marking it as car number 7912. We love the ducktail/boattail, like a precursor to the Kammtail!

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Alfa Romeo Spider

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Heres to you Mrs. Robinson. These cars have a profile like no other.

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BMW R69S

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Pembleton Grasshopper

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Hiding in amongst the Morgans was a 3 wheeler we struggled to identify. Some quick googling suggested it was the Citroen 2CV based Pembleton. We really like the aircraft fuselage style bodywork.

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Misc.

Daimler V8 or Jaguar MkII
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Volvo Amazon
Triumph Herald
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Porsche 944
Humber Super Snipe
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Triumph TR7
Bristol 2 Litre
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Volvo 144
Fiat 124
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Some Morgans

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