The Cork v Kerry rivalry is well know in football terms but that rivalry doesn’t really follow through when it comes to vintage cars, more especially when that car is the Ford Escort MK1 & Mk2. Each year a group of us like minded Escort men meet up and support each others vintage runs and shows. This year that started with the Cork boys making their annual trip to Killarney on May 17th for the start of the 35thRing of Kerry Run. A total of 92 cars set off scenic route which encompasses the Iveragh peninsula with a length of 170 km. As we made our way through Killorglin we headed for our first stop for some quick refreshments in Glenbeigh and onward to Caherciveen for lunch. It is very important to have your car in spotless condition when parked up in Caherciveen as judging for the Best Presented Car on the Run takes placed here, Brendan’s 1600 sport Escort was lucky enough to scoop the prize for him in 2013.
After Caherciveen we took the optional route and headed for the quick crossing to Valentia Island departing by ferry from the ideally located Point Bar. Once on the island we headed for the Slate quarry and Lighthouse, followed by panoramic views of the island and beyond from the top Guekon Mountain. After departing the island at Portmagee we drive up over the mountain along a twisty maze of tarmac road that would bring the rally driver out in any Ford Escort MK1 or Mk2 owner as we headed for the overnight stop in Sneem. On Sunday we depart Sneem for the first stop of the day for tea/coffee in Kenmare, followed by a fantastic spin down the infamous Molls Gap and complete our event on our return to Killarney. A total of €3500 was raised during the event which will provide much needed funds for local Kerry charities.
On August 31st it was time for the Kerry contingent to return the favour to the Cork boys and support their vintage run and static show in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Our journey starts quiet early from Tralee where we travel to the start of the run at the ViaDuct Inn on the Bandon road out of Cork City. The pub is a popular place for many of the Ford owners to meet up for various events throughout the year and it doesn’t disappoint again with over 30 cars including Escorts, Anglia’s, Cortina’s and Capri turning up to support this worthy charity. After a good hearty breakfast is onboard we depart the Viaduct for 30km route along the back roads around Cork City and finish at the industrial village of Ringaskiddy for the static show on the grounds of Cork Port. There was already a large amount of fellow vintage owners parked up to greet us when we arrived at the Port with cars ranging from two beautifully restored Ford Model T’s to the modern Ford Focus RS. After a few hours of admiring the cars on show and having the banter with the Cork lads it was time to head for the county bounds and the long journey home, an impressive €3000 was raised for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. If anyone fancies joining us on our travels next year they are more than welcome.