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Shamrock car

  • 11-02-2007 1:53pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭ airnwater


    I have some info on these, have seen bit on wikipedia...
    Have seen one at mosney show..

    Anyone know of any more ?......or anyone have any more info.
    or good stories about them ??


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,461 Max_Damage


    Weren't they built in Kerry, or somewhere back in the 50's?

    I remember watching something about them years back on that rubbish Irish version of Top Gear, Drive.

    They had the engine from an Austin in them, the Americans didn't like them because they were too small, and the Brits didn't like them becasue they looked too American, and thus the company failed.

    There isn't many around at all now, about 2 or 3 left in the world?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Silvera


    Didn't Top Gear also do a piece on the Shamrock?

    There is a page about the Shamrock in Richard Hammond's book 'Car Confidential' (which I bought recently).

    I also recall seeing a green(!) Shamrock taking pride of place in a photo (or film?) of the annual St Pats parade in a small US town:)

    The biggest problem with the car was/is the weedy Austin engine .....and the lack of support by the govt for any local car makers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,176 ✭✭✭ TigerTim


    There is a guy who lives near Killarney who has one in his collection. I've never seen it but believe its a minter. He also rallies a beautiful historic Mini Cooper.

    T.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 7,050 ✭✭✭ Mahatma coat


    Ah yes Classic Irish car design, take the worst features of both American and british cars and couple them together badly.

    Seriously tho wouldnt you have loved to have seen that design meeting

    "ah shur we can get an aul deal on some bodies from detroit and miley there swears he's got a mate in Austin can send us engines"

    "that is austin Texas right Miley?"


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  • Registered Users Posts: 612 green-blood


    only 3 left on the planet as fara as I know

    It was built in Dundalk and then production moved to Monaghan. Its a giant 50s american wings and all apeng glassfibre body mounted on (I think) Ford Pop running gear,silly narrow track and all...

    awful


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,269 ✭✭✭ MercMad


    Didn't they toss the remaining unbuilt glass fibre bodies into a local lake ! I remember hearing that, maybe its an urban myth !


  • Registered Users Posts: 487 ✭✭ Hifive


    Came across one of those Shamrocks in a shed in Kilkenny about 10 years ago, A ridiculous looking thing, looked like someone had put a 50's Chevy body on a milk float chassis!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,461 Max_Damage


    I wonder how much they would go for?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,496 Mr. Presentable


    http://www.answers.com/topic/shamrock-car

    Lough Muckno. Fibreglass wouldn't have perished, would it?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Silvera


    Photo I took of ZV-reg Shamrock at Mosney Show in 2000 ........


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,461 Max_Damage


    nipplenuts wrote:
    http://www.answers.com/topic/shamrock-car

    Lough Muckno. Fibreglass wouldn't have perished, would it?

    I'm going fishing! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,525 ✭✭✭✭ carchaeologist


    1960 Shamrock 2-Door Convertible Coupe

    Shamrock-car.jpg

    The Shamrock Automobile Company was established by an American businessman, William K Curtis. The aim was to produce these large luxury cars in Tralee, Kerry Ireland, for export to the US market. This 1960 Shamrock, is one of only four known to exist.

    Shortly after production began, design flaws became apparent. Although the fiberglass-bodies car was big and heavy, it used a relatively small Austin A55 1.5 liter engine, which limited performance. The A55 also provided the transmission and suspension. Also the rear wheels were shrouded by body panels and could not be removed (for flat tire repair for example) without dropping its axle. The car used fiberglass body panels and was styled as a four seat, two door, coupe with removable hardtop. The wheelbase was 98 inches.

    Production of up to 10,000 cars a year was talked about but eventually, only ten complete cars were produced during the six months before production ceased. After the factory closed, the unused parts were apparently dumped into the local landfill.

    The car is now very rare, and only four are believed to be still in existence: three in Ireland — one each in Castleblayney, Killarney, and Drogheda — and one in Reno,Nevada.

    Anyone know anything about the supposed cars in Ireland?


  • Registered Users Posts: 353 ✭✭ DaveCol


    There was also one that used to appear at shows around Wexford a few years ago. I think someone posted a photo of it on here a few months ago


  • Registered Users Posts: 289 ✭✭ gfwd


    Shortly after production began, design flaws became apparent.

    Yup, it was ugly. :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Silvera


    I photographed a Shamorck at Mosney Car Show a few years ago.....complete with 'ZV' plates.

    Top Gear also featured the one in Drogheda about then years ago. I recall them opening the garage and revealing it, and one of the presenters driving it around local roads...and complaining about it.

    Richard Hammonds book 'Car Confidential' has a pic and a few details of the 'ZV' reg Shamrock I photographed at Mosney.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,525 ✭✭✭✭ carchaeologist


    Silvera wrote: »
    I photographed a Shamorck at Mosney Car Show a few years ago.....complete with 'ZV' plates.

    Top Gear also featured the one in Drogheda about then years ago. I recall them opening the garage and revealing it, and one of the presenters driving it around local roads...and complaining about it.

    Richard Hammonds book 'Car Confidential' has a pic and a few details of the 'ZV' reg Shamrock I photographed at Mosney.

    I wonder where it came from,as its on ZVs.Thanks for that silvera.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12 ✭✭✭ Satrastar


    I remember that episode of Top Gear (the old format).

    The whole tone of the segment quite offputting. They were presenting the Shamrock as the pinnacle of Irish engineering, and completely mocking it.

    But then the Shamrock was not very well engineered. It was a huge car whose wheels were lost underneath the car with a gutless engine. It didn't handle well, and apparently wasn't built very well. It doesn't seem surprising that it didn't last...

    It was the Shamrock Louth if I remember correctly.

    The car wouldn't start and the owner had to hit something in the bonnet with a hammer to get the car to start. The bonnet didn't close very well due to poor panel fit too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,778 ✭✭✭ rugbyman


    Not often you are wrong carcheologist, but I believe the shamrock was built in Castleblaney

    regards,
    rugbyman


  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭ PanhardPL


    rugbyman wrote: »
    Not often you are wrong carcheologist, but I believe the shamrock was built in Castleblaney

    regards,
    rugbyman

    Carcheologist is not wrong. The firm was started in Tralee.

    The Shamrock was a car produced in Ireland for a brief period during the 1950s.

    The business was established by an American businessman, William K Curtis in Tralee, Co. Kerry, but was moved to Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, before production began. The aim was to produce a large luxury car model for export to the US market.

    Shortly after production began, however, design flaws became apparent. Although the car was big and heavy, it used a relatively small Austin A55 1.5 litre engine, which limited performance. The A55 also provided the transmission and suspension. Another problem was that the rear wheels were shrouded by body panels and a rear wheel could not be removed (for puncture repair for example) without dropping its axle. The car used fibreglass body panels and was styled as a four seat, two door, coupé with removable hardtop. The wheelbase was 98 inches (2487 mm).

    Production of up to 10,000 cars a year was talked about but eventually, only ten complete cars were produced during the six months before production ceased. After the factory closed, the unused parts were dumped into the local Lough Muckno.

    The car is now very rare, and only four are believed to be still in existence: three in Ireland — one each in Castleblayney, Killarney, and Drogheda — and one in Reno, Nevada.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,407 ✭✭✭ G Luxel


    Is it the only Irish car ever?
    Will there be any 50th anniversary celebrations?
    Is there anyone out there who worked in the Shamrock factory?
    And why would all the unused parts be dumped in the local lake? The Irish Motor Industry goes from bad to worse...


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,525 ✭✭✭✭ carchaeologist


    Thank you Mr Panhard.
    Is it the only Irish car ever?
    Will there be any 50th anniversary celebrations?
    Is there anyone out there who worked in the Shamrock factory?
    And why would all the unused parts be dumped in the local lake? The Irish Motor Industry goes from bad to worse...
    I doubt it the only irish car ever,and there isnt really much to celebrate really is there?

    I havnt heard of anyone that worked in the factory,though i posted the same post on the tralee thread to see what happens.

    Iv never heard of lough Muckno,is it near castleblaney?


  • Registered Users Posts: 67 ✭✭✭ Pagoda113


    Chambers manufactured car's in Belfast back in the 20's. I don't know a lot about their history though.

    The photo attached was taken in 2002 in the Museum in Killarney.


  • Registered Users Posts: 551 trevorbrady


    there was an unfinished one (the story went that it was pulled from the lake) in "Barry's Tyres/Bargaintyres" in Kilmaganny, Co. Kilkenny about 7-8 years ago. At the time I had heard of them but never seen one and had a great chat with the shop owner about it. He has since moved it on but anyone looking to find out more info he might be a good place to start.

    It might be car no. 5. Who knows?


  • Registered Users Posts: 72,649 ✭✭✭✭ colm_mcm


    wasn't this car featured on that (awful Irish) Drive programme?


  • Registered Users Posts: 487 ✭✭ Hifive


    I saw the one in the shed in Kilmoganny (Kilkenny) a few years ago.
    Heres a previous thread about them from 07.

    http://boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=52789131#post52789131


  • Registered Users Posts: 176 ✭✭ MorrisCooper


    There is a Shamrock project owned by a well-known old car enthusiast just outside Killarney in white but it's unlikely to see the light of day for a long time.

    Other Irish manufacturer: TMC in Wexford


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,407 ✭✭✭ G Luxel


    The car is so ugly that it looks more appropriate on the set of The Flintstones. It looks more at home on a cartoon strip, something like Batman or one of those syndicates black and white heavy prints you would see in a newspaper.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,043 2 Espressi


    Shamrock Trivia: No two cars were identical, the fibreglass bodies all used slightly different grilles, headlight positions, etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭ w123



    Other Irish manufacturer: TMC in Wexford

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TMC_Costin

    I remember seeing one of these in the States in the mid eighties, it was green and looked like a real race car from the 50's, nice I thought.

    Here's a pic

    http://www.tmc-costin.de/9254.html?*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*

    On mature reflection nice front, shame about the rear. Not unique in that regard...


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