ON THE ROAD- 75 Classics Take To The Hills of Wicklow for E Fox Engineers’ 75th Birthday
E Fox Engineers are well known in Irish motoring circles. Their sponsorship of the Mondello Bridge and subsequently of the Formula Vee championship, allied to their setting up of a shop in the Mondello paddock, ensured that both racers, bikers, drifters and fans were aware of them and their business. Similarly, their attendance at classic car events and their now annual Good Friday Cars And Coffee event at their Baldonnell trade counter have endeared them to a legion of classic car enthusiasts.
In 2018, the company celebrates an incredible 75 years in business and amongst their proposed celebrations was a classic car run. With the introduction of their new Norse Tools range, and the fantastic history of Norse/Viking Raids in County Wicklow, the choice of location was an easy one. The route however, was not so easy, as there are so many beautiful drives, views and locations in the county aptly known as The Garden Of Ireland!
Wicklow Tourism were happy to help and once the route was chosen, the plan began. The run was to take the style of a Norse Raid, touring through Wicklow on some of the best driving roads on the country, whilst “Pillaging” some treasure on the way- in the form of various different Norse Tools! Predictably, there was huge interest in the event and the decision was taken to cap the vehicle age at 1988 and the entries to 50.
The number of vehicles was soon changed and, and as it was a 75th birthday, the number was easily decided. On Monday May the 7th, the Bank Holiday Monday, 75 cars and crews assembled at the historic Russborough House and Parklands, just outside Blessington. They made an impressive sight as they parked out at the front of the house and were quickly signed on. At sign on they received an impressive route book, which included historic information on all of the attractions they would visit along the route, as well as a few fun quizzes to keep all the car occupants happy. They also got packed lunches, a goodie bag and a list of the tools they were to receive at various “Pillage Points” along the route- all very exciting!
At each checkpoint, the competitors held their route books out the window to be stamped and received their tools from the E Fox Norsemen, who really entered into the spirit of things! Having driven through Hollywood, the cars traversed the Wicklow Gap, with Pilliage Points at Turlough Hill, the Armoury Cafe and Glendalough, before stopping for lunch, and collecting more tools, at the historic Avondale House. The Vintage Tea Tours Bus was on hand here, and made a perfect centrepiece as the cars parked up. Many took the opportunity to enjoy Afternoon Tea aboard the bus, whilst others enjoyed their picnic lunches al fresco.
The afternoon run was, if anything, even more special, as the cars returned to Laragh before tackling the Miltary Road, passing the stunning Glenmacnass Waterfall and crossing the Sally Gap before arriving at the Armoury Cafe where the Norsemen (how many of them were there anyway?) were there once again, with more tools to hand out! From here it was back downhill to the quaint village of Enniskerry and onto the finish at Kilruddery House. Kilruddery were delighted to welcome the classics and had opened the gates to the front of the house to allow them to park up upon arrival.
All in all a hugely successful run and one that will no doubt become annual- in fact many have already asked to book into the 2019 event already. Well done to E Fox Engineers, who put trojan work into the event, in the run up and especially on the day and thanks to Wicklow Tourism, Ireland’s Ancient East, Russborough House, Coillte, Avondale House, Kilruddery House and Leo Nulty Promotions.
Visit E Fox Engineers’ website HERE
Images with thanks to Michael Chester and Celtic Photography.