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Classic Fiat Ireland

A hangout for Fiat enthusiasts.

Event Roundup

Classic Wheels Youghal

The club attended Classic Wheels Youghal on the weekend of 26th to 28th May 2017.  Our base for the weekend was the Quality Hotel at Redbarn Strand just on the outskirts of Youghal.  Saturday saw a wet start but by lunch time the rain had moved northwards and we had a great run out around Co. Waterford and Co. Cork in lovely sunshine.  Those participants who had convertible cars were lucky to be bathed in sunshine for the run.  We had a refreshment break in the beautiful village of Villierstown where cars were judged.  The run took us out through the gorgeous Dromana Gate. Club member Frank O’Dwyer was the winner of the “Most Desirable Car of the Run” in his White Fiat 124 Sport CC.  Sunday saw a fine morning and members left the hotel mid morning to head to the field at Farrells Summerfield Bar for the Classic Wheels Show.  Classic Fiat Ireland put on a fine display in the field and we were very eye catching with our new Gazebo complete with Classic Fiat Ireland Logo.  This gazebo was kindly sponsored for the club by Tara Garage Doors.  So those of you looking for a new garage door please keep Tara Garage doors in mind and check their website

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IVVCC Punchestown Festival of Transport

A number of our members attended the IVVCC Punchestown Festival of Transport on Sunday 14th May 2017.  Members met in Naas and travelled to the event at Punchestown.  It was a well organised event and all our cars parked together.  There was a large selcetion of vehicles both indoor and outdoor with lots to interest any car enthusiast.  Stalls with autojumble and memorabilia were available in a seperate indoor area and also outside.

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Tipperary Vintage Show

Easter Sunday 16th April saw some members attend the Tipperary Vintage Show at The Tipperary Plaza.  The Tipperary Vintage Show wanted to celebrate the 60 years of Fiat 500.  Local Fiat garage Clareview Motors put some new Fiat 500’s on display on the day.  Unfortunately club members who are owners of classic Fiat 500’s were unable to make it on the day due to other committments but it is intended that the club will put on a good display of Classic Fiat 500’s to celebrate 60 years of Fiat 500 and it intended to also put a display of Fiat 125’s to celebrate 50 years of Fiat 125’s, for the show at Terenure on Sunday 2nd July.

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Fun Run 9th April 2017

On Sunday 9th April our members met at The Japanese Gardens and Irish National Stud at Tully, Co. Kildare.  Members travelled from South, West and East and all met for a nice tour of the Garden and Stud.  We took some time to check out the cars that were in the car park and we had some interest from other visitors to the Gardens and Stud.  We enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the cafe and it was nice to catch up with members we had not seen for a while.

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Classic Fiat Ireland AGM – 19th February 2017

The club held their annual general meeting in the central town of Tullamore on Sunday 19th February.  Following the usual business of the meeting the following officers were elected

  • Chairman – Mike O’Neill

  • Pro – Tony Chearnley

  • Assistant PRO – Dermot Guilfoyle

  • Secretary – Margaret Randle

  • Membership Officer – Michael O’Reilly

  • Treasurer – Dermot Guilfoyle

 

Italian 100 & Targa Sligo

Most of the visiting entrants assembled in the Yeats Country Hotel on the Friday evening. The car park was adorned with Italian cars for all makes and models. Spirits where high and the weather was set to hold for the following day and the Targa Sligo Run.

Saturday 29th August – Targa Sligo;
The run left the hotel car park at 10:30am, and was led out by a local Ferrari 599 Fiorano, followed by 29 cars. The first stop was Drumcliff church and cemetery, the final resting place of the poet W.B Yeats. From there the route traveled via Lissadell Estate, the family home of Countess Markievicz, onto the Gleniff Horseshoe loop. This provided spectacular views of Mullaghmore and the adjoining coast line, south to Sligo and north to Donegal. The cars then heading down into Mullaghmore for a quick stop off at the pier. The sun made an appearance, which sparked the consumption of many “99’s”.
The route followed the coast road around Mullaghmore head, which coincidentally was the last special stage of the 2007 WRC Rally Ireland event.
On to the lunch stop at Henry’s. (very enjoyable)
After lunch the group moved into Co. Leitrim, and visited Glencar waterfall. Apart for the wonderful natural scenery, we managed to pick up a bit more Italian beauty, as we were joined by the members of the Northern Ireland Italian Motor Club. The tour then travelled in the N16, which provided beautiful views of Benbulben Mountain sweeping down into Drumcliff & Sligo Bay. Next stop was Parkes Castle on the Sligo / Leitrim border. The Castle sits on the shore of Lough Gill. This lake is world renowned due to its association with WB Yeats famous poem, “The lake isle of Innisfree”. The group moved from road to water, taking a pleasure cruise abroad the “Rose of Innisfree” with George and Tina.
A very enjoyable end to a good day touring.
The group returned to Rosses Point for the evening meal. Cyril McMullen of the NIIMC, graciously gave an after dinner address, in which he thanked CFI for their hospitality and the hosting of this year’s Italian 100.

Sunday 30th August – Italian 100 Show
With most of the preparation work carried out on Friday (thank you to members who helped), our show venue, Sligo Airport, looked great. The club was sporting its new club banner and FIAT “blue and white” bunting. Show cars started to arrive from 10:30 onwards. Many, including event originator, Fintan Kemple, commented on the vast spectrum of cars of all different makes and models on display. There was 89 cars in total over the day, with more than one or two making their first public appearance since restoration. Even though the main show was held on the car park, one CFI member was so worried about his “pride and joy” he managed to “garage it” within the terminal building! This proved to be a great bit of marketing genius (credit the Chairman), as the Dante Giacosa’s little masterpiece drew more than a passing glance to our main sponsor’s, Henderson Garage Doors, operational display.

Everybody who attended was looked after with complementary gifts and meal vouchers. Our catering needs were kindly met by the great volunteers from our nominated charity for the day, Sligo Branch of the Irish Kidney Association (thanks to Michael, Eileen, Lorraine, Sinead, Marie and the other members of the IKA).
We’re delighted to inform all, that a total of €1230 was raised for the IKA on the day, through kind donations and the raffle proceeds.

The other big occasion on the day was the awarding of the various prizes. Our congratulations again to all the prize winners
Car of Show  – Gerry Campbell; Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider.
Best original Irish registered Car – Enda Carney; Fiat 132
Best Classic Car – Frank O’Dwyer; Fiat 124 CC Coupe
Most unique vehicle – Paul & Andy Perich; Fiat 900T Amigo
Furtherest Travelled – Phil & Lorraine Morris: Preston, UK; Fiat X 1/9

 Most unique vehicle - Paul & Andy Perich; Fiat 900T AmigoGroup at Glencar WaterfallFurtherest Travelled - Phil & Lorraine Morris Preston, UK; Fiat X 19Car of Show (Robert Randall Memorial Trophy) - Gerry Campbell; Alfa Romeo Giulietta SpiderBest original Irish registered Car - Enda Carney; Fiat 132Best Classic Car - Frank O'Dwyer; Fiat 124 CC Coupe

Terenure 2015

As with a lot of things in life, sometimes the days you don’t expect to be “up to much”, turn out to be great craic!
The ” not up to much” was probably to the forefront of most people’s minds as they arrived to a wet Terenure college, on Sunday morning 5th July…….
But once the gazebo was lifted into place and the kettles were put on the boil and the chat started to flow, members and visitors settled into a relax atmosphere….. and slowly as the rain cleared, the Terenure buzz began to build.
CFI was afforded a good club stand size and position, with plenty of space for the 13no. cars on the stand. Our stand featured a 131 sport, a Super Mirafiori, a  127 Sport and a 127 series 2, a 128 , an Irish registered 500, a 132, as well as a quintet of X1/9’s. Another welcome first time inclusion to our club stand was Anthony’s pristine low mileage Cinquecento Sporting in fabulous Giallo fly. These tiny terrors are a quickly appreciating modern classic, and justifiability so!
Other notable FIAT’s on the field included a very clean Irish registered 128 3P, as well as  cracking 850 coupe. The other Italian Marques where well represented with sizeable club stand for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo &  Lancia. The show also threw up two other rare Italian beauties, with a Lancia Aurelia B20 on the Axa stand, and a DeTomaso Pantera GTS in the non club section.
There was plenty of “food for the soul”, but the CFI members weren’t left with empty stomachs! Our ” in tent maître d” Margaret kept the mugs charged and plates full, and even had a “sweet trolley” which was added to by Laura. Thank you ladies for the lovely home cooked treats, much appreciated.
Good cars, good company, good food, All in all a very enjoyable day.

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NCBI Car Show St. Columba’s College, Dublin 28th June 2015

A number of Fiat cars turned up for the NCBI car show at St. Columba’s College in Dublin.  All makes and models of cars started arriving at 11 a.m. and the college grounds quickly filled up.  The weather was just right for those attending.

Classic Fiat Weekend in the West 19th to 21st September 2014

The weekend started off on the Friday as a wet and misty dark Friday but as the cars neared the city of the tribes the day started to brighten.  Friday evening saw the members and friends meeting for dinner in the hotel before retiring to the bar for chat, music and craic.  The base for the weekend was the fabulous Connemara Coast Hotel.  Saturday morning dawned and it was a bright sunny day.  After a hearty breakfast the intrepid fiat explorers headed off into the wilds of Connemara.  After some stops for photography breaks we arrived in the village of Leenane known as the gateway to Connemara.  After a browse in the local craft shops and some photo opportunities the group made their way to Nancy’s point to board the Connmara Lady for a cruise on Killary fjord.  The group enjoyed their cruise in the sunshine.  The cavalcade of cars then took in some spectacular scenery along parts of the Connemara Wild Atlantic Way with stops at some very interesting views.  The members are thankful to Kevin Doyle for arranging the route with such spectacular scenery and who knows maybe he even arranged the good weather to show off this spectacular scenery.  Saturday evening saw the group meet for dinner and camaraderie later in the hotel bar.  It was with a heavy heart that the group bid farewell to sunny Connemara on Sunday at noon.

 

CFI weekend 2014

On the boat at Killary Harbour

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The cars parked at the hotel

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RIAC National Classic Car Show – RDS Dublin – 1-2 March 2014

The start of March 2014, seemed so far away following the first meeting in the RIAC headquarters, October last, but as a wise men say “Tempus fugit” (time flees). And as we all know, there is nothing like a deadline to help it go supersonic!
There was an air of hushed excitement and anticipation in the Simmonscourt pavilion of the RDS, on Friday (set up day) as the various clubs (38 in total) went about constructing their respective stands and displays, with many themed to reflected the period or character of the vehicles on display.

On the CLASSIC FIAT IRELAND stand we repositioned our cars in several different arrangements and combinations before arriving at one to best use the space allocated, and ensure each car receive the best display area, they all deserved. Our stand was then completed with our newly acquired photo banners & 3m feather flags, the Video slideshow and “Dolly” (thanks Ed). After a late evening, the stage was set for the following morning, but not before we received a special visitor to the stand. Paddy Hopkirk, winner of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally, was only too happy to pose for photos and sign his book for one very happy Kerry man. It’s great to meet a living legend, but it’s even better when they turn out be a true gentleman as well.

Saturday morning, 9am – 1 hour to official start. We had another early visitor to the stand. Classic Car Weekly, a publication known to many of us had dispatched one of the reporters, to cover the event. Fortunately for us, his main interest was in covering original Irish registered and Irish assembled cars. CFI’s stand was probably unique in this regard. CCW’s reporter photographed all the CFI individually and a fine group shot, prior to the public crowding the stand. Fingers crossed CFI will be featured in the forthcoming show report in Classic Car Weekly. Needless to say we were very proud of our four Irish cars on stand.

Once the show opened its doors at 10am, there was a large influx, with the car park full by 11am. The foot fall on the CFI stand was very high with no real drop off in traffic till late in the afternoon. We were delighted to see that not only did the public want to see the cars on the stand, but many took the time to look at our freshly prepared banners & framed photos, which recorded the history of FIAT in Ireland, detailing the models and various dealers and senior personnel in FIAT Ireland throughout the year. We also had a banner show the vast majority of our members’ cars, which also attracted large attention, with many remarking on the diversity of models within our club. Another great source attention on our stand was our free Monster Draw. Young and old entered, with many musing over the last time they had seen the featured models on the road.

Sunday morning, 10am – With a good day behind us on Saturday, the exception on the stand, was that there would a slow start with the majority of the public attending after lunch. Nothing could have been further from the truth, with Sunday easily being the busiest day of the event. It was non stop all day on the stand, which threw up a couple of very interesting visitors. Not one, but two of the previous owners of our featured cars visited the stand, each with a fabulous story of their respective ownership, which was of great interest to their current keepers.

For the racing fans among us, names such as Alan Johnston, Marty Fagan & Paul Dalton would be familiar to anyone who travelled to the likes of Mondello, Phoenix Park, and indeed further a field, to watch FIAT’s in action. Indeed Alan held the lap record in Mondello. Marty showed us an old photo with a “Young Marty” standing in front of his Mother’s 850 saloon. He recounted how she had taken part in a rally in Galway, with his older sister doing navigation, and again the following year, with his aunt. – Great story!

The event’s main sponsors, AXA insurance & Irish Vintage Scene both had large stands at the show. Myles O’Reilly (AXA) & Andrew Pollock (Irish Vintage Scene) both made their way to our stand, to compliment us on our display and show their support – Thanks Lads.

Leo Nulty was mc for the event on behalf on the RIAC, with Jack Epstein recording the interviews. Leo is no stranger to all things FIAT, having worked for FIAT Ireland for twelve years in HQ, while also competing in various race classes in FIAT’s over the years. We were delighted to have the opportunity to be interviewed by Leo, and raise awareness of the club. Our thanks to Jack, for organising the interview.

Apart from the four cars on the CLASSIC FIAT IRELAND stand, other FIAT’s featured at the event included Kevin O’Reilly’s 1969 600, Andy Hennessy’s 1400 Saloon (both Irish Registered cars), Nino Forte’s 500 and a lovely dark blue Topolino on the Connacht Veteran & Vintage Car Club stand.

This event is only in its second year, but the organisation and hosting was of an extremely high standard, due in no small part to the show’s director, Mr. Bob Montgomery of the Royal Irish Automobile Club and the event organiser, Mr. Sean Lemass of SDL Exhibitions and their respective teams. The event was a remarkable success.

CLASSIC FIAT IRELAND would like to thanks everybody who assisted in the club stand for this stand. Our members who contributed funds to paid for the stand & displays, the members & friends of CFI who sent photos and old print material for the displays, the members who gave up their time to assemble the stand on Friday, “manned the stand” over the weekend, and help pack it all away Sunday evening, our printers, who will very tight timeframes provided our fantastic banners and flags, all the members who visited the stand, and showed their support by wearing the club colours, our new members who joined at the event, and those who renew membership for 2014.

Of course, our stand would have been nothing without the four fantastically presented cars on it. The committee and members of CLASSIC FIAT IRELAND would like to thank Bob Roe (127), Andy Hennessy (1100D), Anthony O’Halloran (128 3P) & Andy Mahon (850) for their time and expense in putting their respective cars on the stand for the weekend. Each car was of concours standard, and really stuck a chord with all who visited the stand. Four great ambassadors for our club! – Thanks Lads.

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Classic Car Show (Debra Ireland) – Sunday 18th August – Templeogue College, Dublin

SHOW REPORT:
After an initial breezy start to the day, the dark clouds receded, and the sun shone for the afternoon, to make the inaugural DEBRA Ireland Classic Car Show an enjoyable day for all.
Classic Fiat Ireland proved to have the largest club / single marque presence on the day, with a total of 11no. cars on our display. It included a number of first time displays of member’s cars, such as Marty’s pristine light green 128 special, Kevin’s fine original Irish 1969 600, and Andy’s fabulous 130 Coupe. We also had a number of guest cars on our display, with Katherine’s lovely 1965 500, which is in regular commuter use, and an Italian registered 124 spider. It was interesting to note that our display of 11no. cars, represented a 24 year production spectrum, with no less than 7no.Individual model types.
Other notable cars present on the day including a fine two – tone Rolls Royce, once owned by the British Comedian / Actor, Sir Norman Wisdom. The current owner had a fine display of information related to the car, and its illustrious former keeper.
Another vehicle which caught the eye of many was the 1987 Renault 4 Service Van. Painted in the Renault service livery, the condition was a credit to its owner. No more than a lot of its contemporary FIAT’s, when was the time you seen a Renault 4 van?
There was a nice mixed of vehicles on display, with a nicely contained feel to the show, not too big, not too small. There was an indoor fate, with stalls selling craftwork, jewellery, and outdoor activities for the attending families in the form of Karaoke for the Teens / Mums 😉 & a Bouncy castle for the small people.
For its inaugural year, this show was a great success. At this point, mention must be given to our own Paul Heffernan. Many of you will know Paul, or his beautiful 600, but on this occasion Paul was wearing his event organiser vizzy vest. Well marshalled, organised, managed & attended. Congratulations to Paul and his team. Fine show & a great charity. We wish you well, for the years ahead.” From a small acorn grows the mighty oak.”
As always, thank you to all our members who brought their cars on the day or attended. Your support is great appreciated, and the club is the better for it. Thank you.
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MOUNTBELLEW VINTAGE CLUB
MOUNTBELLEW VINTAGE RALLY – Sunday 28th July
SHOW REPORT:

Words & Photos by Kevin Doyle

The alarm clock went off at 8.00 and at 8.30 I was showered and fed. By 9.0am the sat nav was programmed, the car provisioned and our Chairman reminded that I still have his Fiat 124 wing from Glengarriff and did he want it bringing!?? The 131 and I hit the M19 west reaching the end of that superb motorway in Gort about 30 mins later. It was at this stage that the journey for me was relatively new taking me through Loughrea (what a beautiful town on the edge of Lough Rea) and through places called Ballymacward, Castleblakeney and ultimately Mountbellew. Travelling through rural Ireland is a bit of a culture shock for a townie and some of the sights reflected some of the changes in modern Ireland. While it was nice to see an old Irish telephone box at the side of a railway crossing, I also passed signs looking for support for turf cutters due in court in a few days time. Passing a huge church in one sleepy village with its gates closed and not a car in sight on a sunny Sunday morning seemed to tell a story too.

I arrived at the planned meeting point to see 3 x X1-9s and a never before seen (by me) Fiat 124 Special T 1400 Automatic. Apparently it’s been in Ireland 16 years and I was taken for a ride by the owner. It was very solid and original and a joy for me not having been in a live one since 1975.

At 10.45 we proceeded in convoy to the grounds to meet a Fiat 124 Sport (Ivan) and a Fiat 127 Palio (Derek). At this stage we were 7 and shortly afterwards Enda (Hammer) in his attention getting orange Fiat 131 Sport arrived. We took up our assigned spaces (either side of a our own private/public loo) to be shortly joined by three stunning series 3 Fiat 132s that arrived together – Enda in his maroon car and Stephen with his black and white pair. Somehow he had convinced his lovely wife to drive the auto. Lined up together they competed with the very best the show had on display anywhere.

Somebody erected our tent and flags and suddenly we were competing with the established clubs for impact and attractiveness (I’m referring to the cars – not the drivers). The line up of classic Fiats drew constant admirers all through the 4 hours I was there and it was a shot in the arm for the club and the men behind the scene making it all happen. Regular short sharp showers arrived to liven things up but the water didn’t last as inevitably strong sunshine followed each outburst. The show itself was well supported and for once the attendees seem to be well organised into specific makes – Either the clubs are realising the benefits or the organisers spotted a way of enhancing the appeal but it certainly worked. The winning display must go to Ford with over 40 cars on display – many to a very high standard. Mercedes was up there too for numbers and it was surprising to see a big turnout from NSU. Bias aside, I believe the Fiat stand was a genuine second on the day. Whilst there was a pre 1950 section, most of the cars were 60s/70s and 80s – Just my cup of tea and the show justified the effort and expense of going.

Entrance with a classic car entitled the driver to a free meal – Roast beef, Roast Chicken or Fish and chips …plus a plaque. I’ve had free sandwiches before in Ennis but it’s a first to have a hot dinner put in front of me. Credit to the organisers for their foresight and for putting on a good show, Access was good in and out with plenty of stewards. Everyone was friendly and I’d certainly go again. Towards the end we have a beautiful classic Fiat 500 in red join us taking the total for the day to 13 Fiats.

The journey home saw thunder and lightning and more heavy outbursts of rain…resulting in unexpected floods. I was caught out a few times and Fiat 131 brakes don’t take kindly to wet roads. Still, I made it home in one piece and in time to see who will be Limerick’s opponents in the hurling semi final. Trips to some shows can be a bit disappointing but I really enjoyed today – What a great bunch of lads too –genuine enthusiasts and always delighted to see old friends and new. If anyone reading this is wondering what the flavour of the new CFI club is like, I hope today and this report helps form an opinion and encourages you to make the leap and join up with the Fiat family.

Finally, this is the first show that I’ve been to that 132s outnumbered 131s despite the huge numbers of Mirafioris now in Ireland – Come on 131 owners – Don’t let the side down!!!!!

Just to say thank you to Kevin for the show report & photos, Ivan who provided our “on field” accommodation for the day in fetching “sport orange” – very appropriate!, Pat Glynn who sorted out club stand on the field & to all the members who supported this event.

Our next event is the Classic Car Show (Debra Ireland) – Sunday 18th August – Templeogue College, Dublin. This inaugural event is organised by one of our own members, Paul Heffernan (600), and is free entry to pre 1983 cars. Please support.

All the best from the CFI Team.

Kevin's Super

Kevin’s Super

Our "Sport Orange" HQ - Cheers Ivan

Our “Sport Orange” HQ – Cheers Ivan

Fine Lineup

Fine Lineup

Ivan's 124 Coupe & the X Brigade

Ivan’s 124 Coupe & the X Brigade

3 Fantastic 132's

3 Fantastic 132’s

The free meal - Thank you Mountbellew Vintage Club committee

The free meal – Thank you Mountbellew Vintage Club committee

IRISH JAGUAR & DAIMLER CLUB
CLASSSIC & VINTAGE MOTOR SHOW – Sunday 7th July – Terenure College

SHOW REPORT:

 

The Sun…..

It’s hard to believe that something which 92 million miles away, could have such an impact on a classic car show in Dublin. But what an impact it had…

For those of us who suffered wet feet and huddled in small numbers in the centre of the field last year, this year was the shot in the arm we all needed. A strong dose of vitamin D, soaring temperatures and massive attendance, is what the Terenure show should be remembered for.

The conditions were also perfect for growth, especially on the Classic Fiat Ireland stand. From early morning there was a real concern that we would not have sufficient space to cater for all the classic FIAT’s arriving, so much so the chairman had to park his “hire car” beside the bouncy castles! A total of 16 cars were on the stand, a fantastic turnout. In particular it was great to meet some of our new members and their cars, Dermot and his 1959 Milliecento, Gerry and his rare 124 Special T Automatic, Paolo and his1978 X1/9, Bob & family and their 131 sport & yellow 127, Joe & boys and their 128 saloon, Brendan and his early 1978 1300 X1/9, and Derek & Josephine in their 127 “Palio”. Thank you to all the members who brought their cars along. The effort is always appreciated.

We were also delighted with the interest in new membership, with a total of 9 new members joining on the day. This now brings the club membership over 40. Thank you one and all.

Another noticeable addition to the stand was the new Club Events HQ. We recently purchase a heavy duty 3x3m waterproof marquee, which gave a welcome relief to the high afternoon sun.

Classic Fiat Ireland was delighted to present one of members with a Trophy, acknowledging his devotion to owning & running his FIAT since 1982. Brian Sloane purchase his 1978 1300 X1/9 in late 1982, with 28k miles on the clock. Brian informed us that the car was originally metallic blue, then “hand painted” Cream and transformed into the Yellow peril around 1994, a colour which nearly synonymous with Brian ever since. He has travelled to the UK, France (twice) and extensively within Ireland in the intervening 31 years, covering 18k miles. Brian is typically the first man to arrive for an event, and the last to leave. Brian is a quiet man, but always worth listening to.

Joe Gantly, a man recognised to a lot of our members, as the public face of FIAT IRELAND, for many decades, was on hand to make the presentation to Brian on the day. Our thanks to Joe, and our congratulations to Brian.

 

Among many visitors to the Classic Fiat Ireland stand on the day, we would like to express thanks to our friend Jack Epstein. Jack has been a supporter of Classic Fiat Ireland from the start, with a great love of small FIAT’s. Jack will be a familiar face to many on the classic scene, as the man behind the camera at many events. Jack, assisted by his son Morris, and front man Aaron, interviewed and recorded the stand for his upcoming double DVD box set “The Enthusiast’s Guide to Ireland’s Classic & Vintage Car Scene”. We wish Jack & Co. well, and look forward to seeing the end result.

Another visitor of interest was a man who was an original FIAT employee at the Kylemore Road assembly plant. He explained how initial FIAT assembly was carried out under licence in Upper Major Street up till 1964, when a fire destroyed the building. Operations then move to Chapelizod, where 4 models were produced: 600 (+ Multipla), 1100 (Saloon & Estate), 850 & 124 (Saloon & Estate). Eventually production moved to a purpose built plant on the Kylemore Road in 1970. There were approximately 100 employees, in the period from 1970 to 1981, where the 128 model was solely produce for export to the UK market. A production target of 40 cars a day was set, but actual production was closer to 30/day. His abiding memory was that “FIAT were too good an employer. They were one of the only employers to give sick pay on top of social welfare, for up to six months, Sure who’d bother working with a scheme like that!”.  Production ceased in 1981. An interesting footnote on the history of FIAT’s within Ireland.

Other FIAT’s of note present at the event on other stands included a rare 1400 saloon (A. Hennessy), a 131 Abarth Replica (W. Carrick), a lovely mint green 128 (M. Fagan) accompanied by a fine 124 spider, two Topolino’s, a 600, and the FIAT 500 club members.

A very enjoyable day. Thanks to all who helped out in setting up the marquee & club stand (Ed & Charlie), and all who assisted on the day. Recognition must also go to the committee and stewards of the Irish Jaguar & Daimler club, who run this excellent show on an annual basis, with military precision, which in turn provides one of the Irish classic car calendar’s highlights – Thank you.

Our next event is the Mountbellew Vintage Show – Sunday 28th July – Co. Galway

(Free Entry, Gift & Meal) – Hope to see you there!

Our new HQ / Coffee dock

Our new HQ / Coffee dock

Wonder who owns this???

Wonder who owns this???

Visiting 124 CC Coupe

Visiting 124 CC Coupe

Brian & Joe

Brian & Joe

Brian & CFI Members

Brian & CFI Members

Gerry's 1972 124 Special T Automatic

Gerry’s 1972 124 Special T Automatic

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Paolo's 1978 X1/9

Paolo’s 1978 X1/9

Joe Gantly (formally Head of PR at FIAT Ireland) presenting trophy to Brian Sloane

Joe Gantly (formally Head of PR at FIAT Ireland) presenting trophy to Brian Sloane

Derek & Josephine's Palio

Derek & Josephine’s Palio

Dermot's Wonderful 1959 Milliecento

Dermot’s Wonderful 1959 Milliecento

Bob's 131 sport & Edward's 1200 Cabrio

Bob’s 131 sport & Edward’s 1200 Cabrio

David's X

David’s X

Martina's 127

Martina’s 127

Joe's 128

Joe’s 128

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Brendan's 1978 X

Brendan’s 1978 X

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Stephen's 132 injection

Stephen’s 132 injection

Charlie's Supercharged 1300 X along side Patsy & Helen's pride & joy

Charlie’s Supercharged 1300 X along side Patsy & Helen’s pride & joy

All the best from the CFI Team.

CLASSIC CAR LIVE – MONDELLO – 16th June 2013

SHOW REPORT:

The Home of Irish Motorsport, Mondello, hosted its annual classic car show, Sunday last. This show is a firm favourite on the classic enthusiasts calendar, with the benefit of a static show and a run, in the form of parade laps on the circuit, all contain within the one complex. Mondello also has the “All Weather” benefit, as there are acres of the black stuff! Thankfully, despite the changeable nature of the Irish Summer, and the pessimistic forecast, the day remained DRY, & even warm at times!

A total of 10 Classic Fiat Ireland members & their cars assembled in the club area. A good mix of models as always, with a Stephen’s 132, Bob’s 131 Racing, Paul’s 600, Edward’s 1200 Cabrio “Vetture Speciali”, and five X1/9’s, including Bob Cameron’s very clean 1981 original Irish X. There was also one of the fabled “electric X1/9’s”. Not much is known about this model, but unfortunately the owner was unavailable for comment. Apparently he had charging issues, with the other end of the extension lead disconnected in Cork! (see pic below)

Thanks to all who brought their cars. CFI appreciates the effort all owners display in supporting the club at such events

Apart from the main Classic Fiat Ireland group, the other notable FIAT’s present at the event were, Colin & John Clinton’s fantastically original 1991 Dark Blue Uno 45 3 Door, & Declan Doyle’s  showroom condition 1978 1300 X1/9 Lido.

Colin recently took ownership of this car, which had been with the previous owner for 20 years. Colin intends to do light cosmetic work, but all in all the car is a beautiful original example. Colin also is involved in a race series in Mondello, which he campaigns a race spec Uno. CFI wishes him well with both.

Declan’s Lido really needs to be seen in the metal to fully appreciate its remarkable condition for 35 years old. It was great to see it out & about.

A good day was had by all, with a relax atmosphere prevailing in the most, until the RED MIST descended on even the most mild mannered and refined owner, when the “parade laps” commenced. It must be the smell of unburnt fuel, mixed with the aroma of the chip van, for it seemed to weight up the right foot, particularly along the pit straight!

With this in mind, quote of the day must go to our friend Ed Byrne. When asked if he would partake in some of the onsite catering (chips & burgers), he politely remarked “Nah, you’re alrite, you wouldn’t put Diesel into a Ferrari!” – Cheers Ed. Needless to say we’re all FIAT people, so we ate away!

Our next event is Irish Classic & Vintage Motor Show – Sunday 7th July – Terenure College, Dublin. CFI is hoping to see as many members as possible at this event. We have now purchase a hospitality marquee, and will be looking to fill it with members during the course of the day. If you haven’t already returned the registration form, PLEASE do so, as the size of the Club stand is directly influenced by the number of entries pre registered against the Club Name. THIS IS THE LAST WEEK TO PRE REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT. Entry forms are available for download from our website.

All the Best from the CFI team.

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Edward’s 1200 Cabrio & Paul’s 600 – The diversity of models in the early 60’s!

Edward’s 1200 Cabrio & Paul’s 600 – The diversity of models in the early 60’s!

Bob's 131 Racing

Bob’s 131 Racing

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Stephen's 132

Stephen’s 132

Bob Cameron's X1/9

Bob Cameron’s X1/9

"Eleanor - the fabled electric X"

“Eleanor – the fabled electric X”

"All that's missing is some primer"

“All that’s missing is some primer”

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What would the owner say if he saw this Yobbo standing on his “pride & joy” – Lost for words!

What would the owner say if he saw this Yobbo standing on his “pride & joy” – Lost for words!

Colin & John Clinton’s fantastically original 1991 Dark Blue Uno 45 3 Door

Colin & John Clinton’s fantastically original 1991 Dark Blue Uno 45 3 Door

Declan Doyle’s showroom condition 1978 1300 X1/9 Lido

Declan Doyle’s showroom condition 1978 1300 X1/9 Lido

Hannah O’Byrne Memorial Run and Static Show – Wicklow Vintage Club

RATHDRUM 9th JUNE

SHOW REPORT:

On literally the high point of the Irish Summer, a group of FIAT’s headed for the Garden of Ireland, in temperatures more familiar to the “home country” This made for the perfect inaugural Hannah O’Byrne Memorial Run and Static Show, organised by the Wicklow Vintage club in association with Rathdrum Cancer Support Group, in aid of St Luke’s Hospital

For an inaugural event, it proved a great success with approximately 70 classic cars & 30 vintage tractors at Rathdrum Rugby Grounds. There was also a short run around Rathdrum & the beautiful surrounding countryside.

The FIAT marque which well represented on the field with 8 Vehicles, the largest of which was finished in Sport / Racing Orange, but wasn’t a 131 or 127. This large ‘Cabrio’ features a 2.3 litre 4 cylinder Diesel engine, and was constructed circa 1960.  Answers on a SAE! Classic Fiat Ireland also got to see a couple of new members cars. Willie Carrick brought along his fantastic 1980 131 ‘Abarth’ . Paul Heffernan had with him his ‘time warp’ 1960 600. Big thanks to both the  lads for bringing along their respective machines, both in resplendent condition.

Classic Fiat Ireland would like to express our gratitude to Margaret Randle and the Wicklow Vintage Club Committee, for the invitation this event and excellent manner in which this inaugural event was run. We wish them every success for the years ahead, in support of a good cause.

Our next event is Classic Car Live  – Sunday 16th June – Mondello, Co Kildare. This event is one of the highlights of the classic car calendar, and Classic Fiat Ireland full attendance, ready meet and greet all Classic FIAT owners.

All the Best from the CFI team.

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CLASSIC WHEELS IRELAND VINTAGE & CLASSIC CAR & BIKE EVENT 2013 –

YOUGHAL 25th – 26th MAY

SHOW REPORT:

Many of the our members were left red face over the weekend in Youghal, thankfully not down to mechanical maladies, but with sunburn as a result of the glorious sunshine which greeted us on arrival in Youghal on Friday afternoon, and thankfully stayed much of the weekend.

The Quality Hotel acted as based camp for the majority of members attending both the drive on Saturday and the static show on Sunday.

The first organised event of the weekend was the Classic Car Drive, departing from the Summerfield Bar, in Youghal. A total of 10 Classic Fiat Ireland members registered for the drive on the day, including one of our newest members, Joey & his X, which completed its maiden voyage to Youghal.

The drive was about 45 miles of easy / sometimes spirited driving which stopped off in the beautiful village of Villerstown, Co. Waterford. All the classic cars taking part in the run, parked along the main street, which was close to through traffic for a period of about two hours. The locals were out in support with complimentary refreshments, and relaxed atmosphere reigned over the stopover. From there the group carried through Lismore, and worked its way back to the Summerfield Bar in Youghal, for the organised Barbeque & the Classic Wheels Awards for the run.

Much to the delight of all members, our Club secured of first bit of silverware, through Tim Hourihan & his fantastically presented Fiat 127 900 Comfort. Tim’s car was awarded the “Coupe of the Run”. The Static show was held on Sunday in the grounds of the Summerfield Bar in Youghal. There was a fresh group of all classics, including a couple more Fiat’s including a 132, a 125p & a time warp condition 850 coupe. The show day proved even more successful for the club, with two more members receiving awards for their cars. Margaret Randle’s ’89 Eurosport X1/9 was awarded “Most Desirable Car” & Brian Sloane’s ’78 1300 X1/9 – “Best original classic”.

Well done to all. Only two events in for the club and the trophy cabinet is filling up already!!

All in all, a great weekend was had by all in attendance. A special mention must go to John Greene & all at the Summerfield Bar, for the organisation & hosting of an exceptional event, which was totally FREE. It’s very rare to attend any event for free, especially one of such high calibre as this. This event is set to become a fixed event in the Classic Fiat Ireland calendar. Thanks to all Classic Fiat Ireland members who attended and the new members who joined at the event. A word of congratulations to our three award winners!

Our next event is Hannah O’Byrne Memorial Run and Static Show – Sunday 9th June The event will be based at Rathdrum Rugby Grounds, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow. This event is been organised by Wicklow Vintage Club, and is of special interest to Classic Fiat Ireland, as Mags Randle is a committee member of the WVC. CFI members support would be greatly welcome.

All the Best from the CFI team.

Show Report – Durrow Show 21st April 2013

Despite the poor weather forecast predictions, and the heavy rain Saturday night – Sunday morning, the day of show turned out better than accepted on all fronts. The mild weather brought out the Classic FIAT owners in style & numbers.

From mid morning there was long queue of Classic cars, tractors & commercial vehicles formed on the Cork Road, waiting to gain access to the show. The popularity of the Durrow show is growing year on year, with a wide variety of vehicles and a large number trade stands and stalls.

Once the entrance was overcome, the field was in reasonably good condition, and held up well during the day, despite the previous night’s rain.

Classic Fiat Ireland, took the high ground, naturally! With the advanced party meeting at the Local Service station, they quickly setup our HQ for the day ahead. There was a constant stream of visitors to the “Collins’ Coliseum” (the gazebo) , between interested owners, well wishers and show organisers, with a peak in numbers during the lunchtime rain shower J.

All in all there was 24 FIATS presented on the club stand, representing a wide spectrum of models from the beautifully  simple 1937 Toplino, to the elegant  1962 1200 Cabrio “Vetturi Special”, a full battalion of X1/9’s, including the fierce some 1300 Supercharged “CS” special, an original Irish 850 saloon in unrestored state, a  500 Abarth “pocket rocket”,  two pristine  127’s , two  magnificent 131’s, a spotless 132, a royal blue 124CC ,and the chairman’s “special” 125 special.

We were delighted with the number of new members to sign up on the day. In total, 21 FIAT owners joined. Thanks to one and all, numbers are the life blood of any club, and more importantly, it’s good to meet friends new & old.

Special thanks also goes to Willie Carrick for bringing along a sample of a new club fleece, embroidered with the club crest. All interested in purchasing a fleece, please send an email to  classicfiatireland@gmail.com 

Most unique vehicle - Paul & Andy Perich; Fiat 900T Amigo Group at Glencar Waterfall Furtherest Travelled - Phil & Lorraine Morris Preston, UK; Fiat X 19 Car of Show (Robert Randall Memorial Trophy) - Gerry Campbell; Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Best original Irish registered Car - Enda Carney; Fiat 132 Best Classic Car - Frank O'Dwyer; Fiat 124 CC Coupe