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Quicksilver in the Emerald Isle

David Tocher

I planned to drive over to Ireland in convoy with Jan - her in the Mazda and me in the 'hopper but she baulked at driving all that way alone. After a couple of weeks in Ireland I flew back with Ryanair to Leeds to collect Quicksilver. I had escaped the long list of jobs neede to be done on the house and garden but I knew the would still be there on my return.

I was looking at the weather forecast which seemed to get worse the closer it got to the day I had booked. It was pouring overnight but by breakfast it had stopped. After a few jobs were completed I was on my way but the sky turned black and within 5 minutes of leaving the house the heavens opened.I had a ferry to catch so I pressed on and by the time I got to Halifax on the M62 the worst was over and the sun even came out.

I had to meet someone in Penmachno, North Wales so instead of a boring drive along the A55 I had a splended drive from St. Asaph via Pentrefoelas to Penmachno and then onto Bangor through Snowdonia on the A5 which is now quite quiet road since the A55 was improved. Quicksilver was the centre of attraction while waiting at the ferry terminal. The FAQ is 'how old is it?' and people are surprised when they were told 'a year'! Being a tricycle carried as a motorcycle+sidecar I was right at the front of the boat and was first off.

The drive through Dublin attracted attention - at one set of traffic lights there were five people taking photographs! The rest of the journey to Limerick was uneventful but lots of people hooted and waved as they overtook me. I got home just after dark having travelled about 310 miles that day

There is an Irish Festival of Speed held in Limerick which has grown in popularity over the three years since its inception. They are trying to emulate the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a similar format. On the Saturday there was to be a 'supercar' display in the city and a run round the old Limerick Grand Prix circuit which I reported in ePAG #37. I thought it might be worth the trip into the city and drove in Quicksilver which had been freshly polished. I was parking outside the venue but an official told me to join the rest inside which I did. There were Ferraris, Porsches and Morgans and I was surprised at the interest shown in the Pembleton. The local paper, the Limerick Leader, published an article but didn't include a picture in the paper but one does appear on their website but it's hidden the video at the top. Looking at the pictures they do publish I think they want to sell copies of the photos and always include lots of people (named) in their pictures.

I had committed myself to sitting in a rescue boat for the Lough Derg Yacht Club annual regatta so I used the daily trip to Dromineer to go in Quicksilver. Again it attracted great interest and encouraged a club member to bring along his Cobra. It's fearsome beast but it must cost an arm and a leg to run - it does about 10mpg when he isn't pushing it.

One minor problem I had was excessive vibration which turned out to be a lost balance weight on a front wheel. When I got it rebalanced, which is not easy because of the odd style of wheel centre, it turned out that the wheel hadn't been balanced corrected the first time - it was about 30gm out. The tyre depot had a wheel carrier which as many arms as wheel nuts which swing out so that they can cope with any type of wheel. I don't think Camacs are very well made perhaps thats why they are relatively cheap!

Family reasons meant that Jan had to fly back to Leeds and I followed a week later in the 'hopper. It was a pity as I had intended to drive round the Burren in west Clare, Kerry and West Cork while I had the car in Ireland but it was not-to-be this year. The car attracted a lot of attention en route to Dublin, some unwelcome - a driver on the M50 motorway leaning across his car to take pics whilst overtaking at 60mph!

Again the FAQ at the ferry terminal while waiting was 'how old is it?'. The drive back in the UK was along the A55, various motorways round Manchester and then onto M62 to Leeds. As an aside I noticed that the road signs on the M7/N7 Limerick to Dublin road were also signed 'E20'. I googled it later and discovered that almost all my journey was on the E20 but in UK they do not sign it at all for some reason, europhobia I'd guess!. The E routes are trans-national routes, dozens of them, of a certain minimum standard.


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