In 1903, the prestigious Gordon Bennett Race was held in the Kildare and Athy area of Ireland. Ireland was chosen for the race because racing was illegal on British public roads. A Napier car, now in the UK’s National Motor Museum, was built especially for the Race by D Napier and Sons Ltd, and was driven by Charles Jarrott as part of a team of three Napiers, representing Great Britain. Now in 2023, one of Britain’s oldest racing cars was taken by the National Motor Museum to Ireland to participate in a significant anniversary rally on 8-9 June. The Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club (IVVCC) sponsored the car’s attendance in the event, which traversed the original route of the race. The car covered 70 miles with no issues and was the star of the rally.
Doug Hill, National Motor Museum Manager, reported, “In 1903, sadly, the Napier failed to complete the original event, suffering a major crash following a mechanical failure whilst driven by Charles Jarrott. Following intensive research, the Napier visited the exact spot where the accident has occurred 120 years ago. During the trip another entrant informed me that he had in his possession a pair of gears which were picked up from the crash site of the Napier in 1903. The following day he arrived with the gears and indeed they were a direct fit onto our engine!”
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