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In honor of St. Patrick’s Day:

While Ireland has a storied history and a vibrant culture, it’s never been well-known for its cars, especially when compared to other European nations. (It has turned out its fair share of car lovers, however, such as Cool Rides Online featured member Chevyv8). In fact, the history of the automotive industry in Ireland has more downs than ups. (This could also be said of many of the people I saw on the sidewalk this weekend in Boston).

One of Ireland’s first attempts at entering the automotive market began in the 1950s, when an American businessman named William Curtis founded Shamrock Motors. His intent was to craft a four-seat convertible that would make its way to the United States.

Overall, the company produced only eight units before it went belly up. Today, there are said to be only four models of The Shamrock Car – the name of the company’s only model – remaining, making them a valuable collector’s item, if only for the novelty factor. Similarly, the TMC Costin, a short-lived sports car, made a small splash in the 1980s, around the same time “Splash” was on the big screen.

The most notable production that took place in Ireland was completed by the Delorean Motor Company. The car, which is best known from its use in the cinema classic “Back to the Future,” was manufactured in Ireland, with the first car debuting in 1981.

Soon after, due to a lack of sales and production problems, the country’s most notable entry in the automotive world ceased production. To this day, however, more than 8,500 of the roughly 8,700 cars ever manufactured in Ireland are Deloreans, according to Jalopnik.com, making it the most notable contribution of the country to auto enthusiasts to date.

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