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"Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963"

Dedicated to the preservation of Standard Cars 1903-1963

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The Gordon Bennett Rally

The 2006 Gordon Bennett Rally

Organised by The Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club

1913 and 1915 Standard Model S's parked to gether

Each year since 1975, the Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club have organised a commemoration of the 1903 Gordon Bennett Race that was held in Ireland. This year’s entry attracted an entry of 140 cars from as far a field as Australia. A fair number of cars taking part, like myself, entered from the UK.

The only stipulation as to the age of the cars is that all entries must have been manufactured before December 31st 1930. This year, among the 140 entries there were 3 Standards. My 1913 Rhyl was making its second trip to Ireland in my ownership and was joined by two Irish based cars.

1913 model S, 9.5 H.P. Rhyl two seater – Len Barr

1915 model S, 9.5 H.P. Coupe – Jim O’Farrell

1921 model SLO, 11.6 H.P. two seater – Michael Murphy

The Rally started on the Friday lunchtime, with a very nice lunch at the Mercedes Benz HQ in Dublin. Mercedes Benz have been the main sponsors of the event ever since the start. I most excellent lunch, plenty of good wine (a shame I had to drive in the afternoon!) and a welcome speech. We then had a 30-mile scenic drive to the Rally base in The Curragh, near to the famous Irish Racecourse.

Saturday equally dawned bright and dry, although it was slightly cooler than the heat wave of the Friday. The two oldest Standards opted for the short 45-mile road run (well both me and the Rhyl had got to hot on the Friday). However, the 1921 SLO decided to drive the full 85-mile route. We were joined for the day by another Irish Standard owner, Steve Gallichan, who is restoring a 1930/31 16 H.P. Ensign Saloon. He joined Jim O’Farrell in his 1915 Standard for the drive.

A lovely drive, stopping at the Gordon Bennett Memorial near Athy, and The Japanese Gardens and Irish National Stud near Kildare.

Sunday morning provided a further 20 mile drive to Athy, where we were treated to a Civic Reception (yet more wine!) by the local Council, whilst our cars were on show in the town centre for a couple of hours. All to soon it was time for me to drive back toward Dun Laoghaire, for one final night in Ireland, before catching the ferry home on the Monday morning.

Perhaps next year some more owners of Edwardian and Vintage Standards might be tempted to join me with their cars?

As usual, you can click on these thumbnails to see an enlarged version

1921 Standard SLO 11.6 H.P. owned by Michael Murphy

1913 and 1915 model S cars at the Gordon Bennett Memorial near Athy.  Situated on the original course of the 1903 Race.

Report and Photographs by Leonard Barr