Cork motorsport history celebrated at special exhibition which opens today

Cork City Librarian David O’Brien welcomes you to an exhibition on the History of Cork Motor Sports.

Cork City Libraries in collaboration with the motor sport community in Cork are delighted to announce the launch of their exhibition Cork Motor Sport celebrating the rich heritage of motor sport in the city and the wider Cork area. The City Library were central to the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the land speed record set by Mel Nolan, on the Carrigrohane Straight Road, in July 1981. A celebratory framed print was presented by the Deputy Lord Mayor to mark the occasion. That was only the beginning of the story as the interest that event generated, and the research that had been done into the event led to a far wider exploration of the motoring heritage Cork. The discussion widened to include Vernon Mount, the home of motocross in Cork and tales and history of motorsport on two wheels and on four emerged.

In that mix are the memories of the Cork Grand Prix Series of 1936-38 organised under international formula regulations — giving it the equivalent status of a modern-day Formula One race — as part of a grand prix season of races internationally. It attracted some of Europe’s top racing teams, such as Bugatti and Maserati, and was watched by an estimated 70,000 spectators. One of the cars raced there became known as the Cork Bugatti and that model still retains that name to this day. Outside of the Grand Prix there are many individual events and stories to celebrate – there are records set on two wheels and many more items of interest to celebrate and remember in this event.

This is an event that has something for every fan of motorsport thanks to the kind permission of a wide range of enthusiasts – everything from model cars to actual rally prepared cars and motorcycles capable of extraordinary records and other vehicles that will be on show on opening night. A landmark Exhibition has been curated by Library Staff and made possible by funding from Creative Ireland. Most importantly the younger members of the community have been beavering away at a colouring competition and some of their artwork will be on show on the afternoon and for the duration of the exhibition that runs during May Not to be missed. The event will be launched by the Lord Mayor of Cork and will feature several figures from the motorsport world who will share memories with the audience. Don’t miss the opening at 4:30 pm on Thursday May 5th outside and inside the Central Library Grand Parade. The Exhibition runs from Thursday 5th May for four weeks until Thursday 2nd June next.

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