Motors and Me: Reg Plunkett, Custodian of the famous Overend sisters’ Rolls Royce at Airfield House, Dundrum

What are you currently driving?
A 1939 Riley. It’s a wonderful car which I’ve had for 40 years. As former president of the Vintage Club of Ireland I’ve had the opportunity to drive it quite a bit and we also use it as a family car.

Love at first sight, or just a means to get from A to B?

Oh love at first sight. I still remember when I bought it. I was in the motor trade for 48 years and one day a guy pulled into our garage in Hulls Cross for petrol. The same morning he had lost his carpark space. I said to him if he every considered selling the car to keep me in mind. A few days later he was back and I paid him £450 for it — which was quite a lot of money in 1974.

What’s under the bonnet?

It’s a 2.5 litre. A great looking car, same styling as an old Jag. It has a wonderful shape. It always gets a great reaction whenever I drive it.

Petrol head or Sunday driver?

I’m not a petrol head. I’m in my 70s, but I’ve always been mad about cars. I’ve always preferred older cars and ulgy ones at that. Cars can’t be too perfect, they have to have a few bumps and lumps. I always did like cars that were more than 40 years old.

What was your first car?

First car was a 1929 Morris Calvey, flat nose. I’ve done the Gordon Bennett Rally in that over the past 26 years.

What else do/did you own?

I’ve had a few more cars, including a 1948 MGTC, which is a really lovely sports car. At one time it would reach 100mph, but I don’t drive anywhere near that. And of course I have an 1899 Sperry Cleveland Electric car.

Dream drive in dream location?

Has to be the 1948 MGTC somewhere in France. I’ve done quite a lot of driving in the Reilly. We’ve taken it to Wales where there is some beautiful scenery in the mountains.

Passenger you’d most like on a long journey?

Has to be my wife Valerie. I would love to be able to spend more time with her on the road.

I’ve been very lucky in that she has allowed me to indulge my passion. Other than that my two good friends Peter McElvaney and Martin Leech.

Passenger you’d least like?

Anyone who doesn’t have an interest or passion for cars.

What’s on your playlist?

I like classical music. Sad music, anything melancholy.


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