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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Ireland vs. UK as a classic cars destination

Dear Gentleman Drivers,

I need your help, I need to rely on your expertise.

In my private life (the public one being the one as a blogger), I am a young professional. I am one of those expats - word that I don't like at all by the way, as in a non-native English speaking environment that's simply a snob way to define emigrants - who is investing in his own future moving from one Country to another every other year in a continuous effort to find a trade off between employer's satisfaction, work-life balance, and career growth.

It's a funny bustle at the end of the day, and I am still enjoying the interesting aspects of these uncertainties around my future. That said, this time it seems I might be asked to move either to London or to Dublin in a close future.

Currently living in Switzerland, where - despite the stunning panorama - there are very few chances to watch motoring events or join them, due to either strict rules aimed to protect the environment from pollution or the prohibitive cost of car meetings, I am hoping to find a better place to enjoy and enhance my motoring passion.

Alright, one would say that the UK is a proper institution for cars enthusiasts, and that there is no competition if compared to Ireland when it comes to motoring tradition, passion, events among which Goodwood is the ultimate benchmark. I should then expect to find a new chance every week to do anything car-related, and I am sure there are a number of historical venues to visit. So that's the final destination, right?

Still, I have never lived either in the UK or in Ireland, so my question is: what is it really going on in the UK, aside of cliches? what's your experience as a driver, collector, professional, and what the main issues (restrictions to join clubs and events, cost to participate to any initiative, bureaucracy and so forth)?

People living in Her Majesty's land, please let me know that yes, the UK really is the classic cars fanatic dream land.

Irish classic car fans community, please speak up if you want, and let me know what's the Irish interpretation of a driver's life, what are the best places to be, roads to ride, British Classics hot spots, race events, happenings, and everything else that comes into your mind.

Hope to have your feedback soon, either here, or on Facebook and Twitter (@britgasoline) thanks!


  1. There is no way that Ireland can compete with the scale or the quality of the classic car events in Britain but we have other attractions that make up for this...

    The size of the country is more manageable - if you are working in the fincancial centre of Dublin a 30 minute drive on a Summers evening brings you up into the mountains or rural countryside, even less time takes you along the coast with beaches, cliffs and city lights all to be seen. A couple of hours on the motorway gives you a weekend away in Kerry, Connemara or Donegal with empty roads and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

    For 9 months of the year there is at least one classic event on somewhere in Ireland North or South and there is plenty of modern motor racing, rallying and hillclimbing too.

    Most makes and models of car are present here and, while there aren't museums or public collections, it is easy to meet enthusiasts and everyone will introduce you to a friend of a friend who shares your interest.

    And if you really need to see Goodwood or the NEC then it they are only a short ferry trip or Ryanair flight away!

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  3. I'd say the UK was a good place to live as a car enthusiast. There are plenty of events, plenty of circuits and some good driving roads. Policing is relatively lenient - certainly compared to Switzerland. The only real issue is the traffic density. Unless you're well out of the major towns the roads tend to be a lot busier than they are in Europe.

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