Definitely a unique way to see the country — from a vintage Rolls Royce Silver Ghost with the roof rolled back and the wind in your hair.
Aspirational for most but a group of around 80 international vintage car enthusiasts are travelling the country in convoy, in a fleet of 30 cars that have been shipped in from all over the world.
They are part of the Nebraska-based Silver Ghost Association, a society with more than 580 members in 39 countries, who are enjoying the 2015 Wholly Ghost Tour.
The beautifully restored cars are all Silver Ghosts which were made by Rolls Royce between 1907 and 1926 but the pre-World War I models are particularly valuable and can command prices of up to €1m.
But organiser of the Wholly Ghost Tour 2015, Billie Carey from Alberta in Canada, is reluctant to discuss money.
“How can you put a value on something that’s priceless and not for sale?” she says when asked the value of these magnificent machines.
“They range in value and the pre-war models are obviously more valuable.
“About half of the cars on the tour are pre-war and we have about 30 cars on the tour with two people per car and a few extra so the total tour is made up of a group of about 80 people,” said Ms Carey.
They began their trip in Dublin on September 5, where it will also end on September 28.
Since then, they’ve taken in Powerscourt, Kildare, Kinsale, and the Ring of Kerry, staying in the fabulous Sheen Falls hotel. They also stayed at Cork’s 5-star Hayfield Manor.
Last night, they moved on to Adare Manor and will eventually make their way up the West, stopping off at Ashford Castle, before continuing on to Enniskillen and back to Dublin on the 24-day trip.
“Members arranged to have their cars shipped here ahead of the tour and some came from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Switzerland,” Ms Carey added.
The cars were shipped into the country on a “temporary importation” procedure for private use by their owners, and were stored in warehouses awaiting their drivers’ arrival.
They will be shipped home again when the tour ends.
Ms Carey also revealed that one enthusiast on the trip is Irish.
Their target price for their hotel stay was €250 per night for a double room with breakfast.
The trip schedule also advised travellers that if they hadn’t been to Ireland in some time, they would be “pleasantly surprised” at the “rather dramatic” change in dining culture, that was previously known as the “rustic and filling kind of stuff” but was now fuelled by “artisan producers, innovative chefs and world-class ingredients”.
But there is also a charitable aspect to the trip. The society is selling postcards featuring its cars in packs for €10, with all proceeds going to the Temple Street Foundation.
Next year the society will visit New Mexico for its Wholly Ghost Tour.
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