Debut of Hickey’s self-built BMW M3 delayed
Last weekend the town of Killarney should have been awash with the sound of rally cars.
The annual Rentokil-Initial Killarney Historic Rally was set to take place on Saturday but, like everything else, it is well-known what got in the way.
Despite the rally’s cancellation, one local driver was more than ready for the event.
Headford’s John Hickey, equally renowned as a rally driver and an engineer, built a BMW M3 E30 for the event.
He undertook the project at his workshop, “half way up the Paps Mountain”.
Hickey is one of the longest his serving members of Killarney and District Motor Club and comes from a family steeped in the local history of the sport.
His brother Charlie and nephew Johnny are both accomplished competitors and his daughter Michelle made her debut last year. Another brother, Liam, is often found with spanners in hand fettling rally cars on local events.
The BMW M3 E30 is one of the most popular rally cars amongst fans, the late 1980s and early ’90s of the Rally of the Lakes were dominated by BMW drivers like Bertie Fisher and Austin MacHale, while in recent years local drivers like Alan Ring and Kevin O’Donoghue have campaigned versions of the car to much success.
“It is a lockdown project. It is going to be a works specification M3, the ultimate spec, built in Kerry to be rallied in Kerry,” he explained.
His plan, along with his loyal mechanic Ian Creedon, was to have the new car built for last weekend’s event and while he met his self-imposed deadline, he had nowhere to go.
“I had it ready just in time for the Historic Rally.,” he added. “Unfortunately she will have to wait for her debut, please God early next year, for the West Cork Rally or the Circuit of Kerry Rally.”