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Last Call: Éirinn go Brách Edition

Robert Emslie March 17, 2017 Last Call 22 Comments

In honor of today being St. Patrick’s Day, I give you a shamrock green DeLorean DMC-12, which, as we all know, was built in Ireland.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.

Image: DMCTalk

  • “…a shamrock green DeLorean DMC-12, which, as we all know, was built in Ireland.”

    We all know it was built on the island of Ireland, but to say it was built “in Ireland” is, to put it mildly, a contentious claim. Instead, here’s a Shamrock, built in Tralee, County Kerry, using quite a few Austin parts brought over from, um, not Ireland:

    http://www.weirduniverse.net/images/uploads/sham1_thumb.jpg

    • crank_case

      Damnit, why do people always have to bring up that abomination and not our other road car…

      The TMC Costin, designed by Frank Costin as an aerodynamic take on the Lotus seven, built in Wexford, and later became the basis of the Panoz roadster.

      http://kingofwallpapers.com/tmc-costin/tmc-costin-012.jpg

      • But I… I like the Shamrock.

        • crank_case

          Hey, a lot of people like Bono, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t make us cringe from time to time.

          If it came out of the US or Britain, it would be an amusing footnote, but when it’s roughly 50% of your original (non-CKD) automotive history, you do wish people would call to mind, the other, actually rather good one.

          In terms of CKD stuff, There used to be a lot of CKD assembly in Ireland pre-EU to get around restrictive import tarriffs. Ford set up in Cork (Henry fords ancestral home county), Renault in Wexford and VW in Dublin among others. In fact the first Beetle to be built outside Germany was built here. It’s now on display in the Wolfsburg museum.

          http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y77/trevorbrady/Germany-trip/IM000563.jpg

          • I initially read that as “Bondo” before stumbling at “he” but overall the substitution also conveys the sentiment fairly well.

        • outback_ute

          I wonder how many were built; even in 1959 it must have been recognizable as a colossal pile…

          • The general consensus is approximately ten.

          • crank_case

            It’s a really odd one, if it had been aimed at the domestic market, it might have made some sort of sense, kind of an Austin based domestic car, like the Brazil only VW derived sports cars based on the Beetle. It was aimed at export back to the US though. Why would anyone in the US want an Austin based car that was a lost in translation fibreglass pastiche of their own fins and chrome cars. What’s even weirder is that the founder of Shamrock was not a deluded Irishman with no exposure to the US, but rather a US businessman.

            The British car industry on the other hand, succeeded in the 60s export market, almost by accident, in spite of the conservative stuffiness of the management of Austin and what became BL, because they offered something different to the US domestic market – mainly Sports cars, but not before they’d made mistakes like the Austin Atlantique, which sort of puts the Shamrock in perspective as this was a thoroughly misguided US market car from a “proper” established manufacturer.

            http://www.simoncars.co.uk/austin/slides/Austin%20A90%20Atlantic%20front.jpg

            On a similar note, if the Morris Minor had had the cutting edge mechanicals originally envisioned, history could been quite different, the Beetle might not have had things all its own way.

            • “Why would anyone in the US want an Austin based car that was a lost in translation fibreglass pastiche of their own fins and chrome cars.”

              From my perspective you’ve answered your own question there. The only reason I don’t own one is that the guy who had (has?) one in Seattle wanted $35,000 for it when he put it up for sale a couple of years ago. I’m not saying it’s not worth that much to someone, but that is about ten times as much as I’ve ever spent for a vehicle.

              • crank_case

                It was rhetorical, sorry, poor writing. I wouldn’t pay 35k for a Shamrock either, but it is historically significant I guess. The tragedy perhaps, is that it’s sort of shorthand for how making cars in Ireland could never work (and perhaps DeLorean in NI too, which was initially a beacon of hope at the height of the “Troubles”, if you want to get an idea of how crazy a time it was, watch the movie 71 which while fictional, captures the era in perfect detail, gripping but a tough watch, it’s no popcorn flick http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2614684/ ) as it’s seen as such a joke, while the TMC Costin on the other hand showed we could have had the basis of a world class car. The Costin was well designed (Frank Costin also did work for Marcos, Lotus and the body for the Vanwall F1 Car) and reviewed favorably, so much so that Panoz were happy to buy the chassis design…and yet the Shamrock wasn’t even really an Irish endeavor, but its sort of discouraged anyone from trying again.

  • Maymar

    https://topnotchbitch.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/d159750e36e1c564016defe6bd6abbff.jpg

    Saw this today – considering I have Sweeneys on my mom’s side of the family, I’m a little disappointed it’s apparently not real (it’s a backlot somewhere?).

    • Batshitbox

      It’s a better deal dealt to you having Sweeneys on your mother’s side. Every Sweeney I ever met had to grow up with the other kids singing, “I see London, I see France, I see MaymarSweeney!”

      (Ask me about the time Pete Sweeney met Mark Specker. Difficult to deadpan that one.)

  • Victor

    Hall of Fame Inductee Carroll Shelby watches his crew work during the 1963 12 Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/adf57bef7deba0a71ad6c5e2bb78363d99b62b113abc14a37431296cc1dd5ada.jpg

  • Batshitbox

    SOLD!
    Steve The Unremarkable White Pickup has a new owner, who is out $2000. I hope the truck is as good to the new guy as it was to me.
    Interesting guy, he’s retired from the science museum I work in, has a Bultaco from the ’60s, and this little beast

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d14eaabc37bbdd7ef32349b1b1d443fa74bbbf78a3d08fa29716be7530b92cee.jpg

    It’s a Pembleton kit car using the drivetrain of a Citroen 2CV. The hood ornament is indeed a wingnut.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/44d11d3df2069cba82e21dca7cc54bf64ab8e1c30ca5a8ad7680bf708adfd975.jpg

    He said, “If you ever want to stop driving for a year, buy a kit car and swear off driving until it’s done.” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/74f25319665e3e87d08290249d248e3e8e00ced9c0c45f270a4822968c751762.jpg

    • dead_elvis, inc.

      Congrats, and dang, I could use a Steve in my life right now.

      I assume Steve will be serving as a tow mule/rescue rig for his Remarkable New Step-Siblings in the near future.

  • Zentropy

    The DMC12 looks so much better when painted. The difference in color between the stainless body and the plastic silver trim always bugged me.

    • outback_ute

      However I understand that the most common reason why they are painted is to cover up collision repair, which is horrific to deal with otherwise due to the stainless steel body.

      • Zentropy

        SS panel repair is difficult only if you want to return it to the original unpainted finish. Collision damage on a painted DMC12 is no more difficult to repair than on a regular steel-bodied car (hammer, weld, fill, sand, paint), other than using the right paint formulation for good adhesion.

  • dead_elvis, inc.

    Spotted in late night downtown Seattle yesterday: a Nissan X-Trail (possibly first-gen, as determined after many seconds of cursory Googling). Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_X-Trail#/media/File:Nissan_X_Trail_Sport_(petrol)_2003.JPG

    Mostly, I was behind it. It stood out since it seemed smaller, boxier, & more Saumurai/Sidekick-like than anything I’ve seen in years.