Ireland’s First Petrol Car Comes Home

Ireland's first ever petrol car comes home

Ireland’s first ever motor car was on display at the Malahide Car Show on May 19th, at the Grand Hotel.

The show brought people back 100 years when it showcased the 1898 Benz Velo, the first petrol-driven car ever to run on Irish roads.

The event was organised by the Malahide Lions Club (a volunteer charity) in aid of St. Francis Hospice. “It’s very hard for people to put their hands in their pockets these days, so you have to try and be inventive, you have to give people a reason to give you a donation. The idea was to give them a good day, rather than just shake a bucket in their face,” says Brian Dooley the Public Relations Officer for MLC.

Although over 90 cars were on display at the Grand Hotel, it was the vintage Benz Velo that got the most attention. Manufactured in Germany by Karl Benz, creator of the world’s first car, who later started the Mercedes-Benz motor company, it was sold to the owner of the Grand Hotel, Dr. John Colohan, before falling into a state of disrepair and going missing.

In 1984, the car was found on a farm in Kilkenny. At this point, Dubliner Denis Dowdall, Service Manager at Mercedes Benz Ireland, restored the car to its current condition.
“The car was lent to us for the day of the show, coming back to its original home place for the first time in over a century,” says Brian.

By Liam Cahill