Despite mid-August being a predictably warm and sunny month, nothing was going to stop the climatic conditions, synonymous with the Dundrod circuit, prevailing. Jaguar Competitions Manager, “Lofty” England once said of Dundrod, “One can be pretty sure of bad weather, which is not much fun for the competitors, and much less fun for the spectators.”
The relentless rain eventually stopped the running of the motorcycle Ulster Grand Prix, but conditions were fair enough for the Dundrod Historic Car Legends parade. Organizers had permission to close some 7½ miles of public road for the event, which traced the circuit where drivers such as Ascari, Fangio, Hawthorn, Collins, and Moss vied for the coveted Tourist Trophy in the 1950s. It is hard to believe that an Irish village, with a population of about 50 souls, was to play such a significant part in motor racing history. Ian Titterington, who drove a Triumph TR2 in the 1954 and ‘55 TT races, was present in a BMW 328. “It’s such a shame that this event has been marred by this terrible weather. However, it did bring back many happy memories for me.” Other cars included period marques such as Jaguar, Riley, Cooper, Healey, MG, HWM, Invicta, Alfa Romeo, and Fraser Nash, most of which compete regularly at events in the UK and Europe. Unfortunately, over half were unable to take part in the ceremony.
A pacecar headed the depleted parade, organised by Bill McMahon and Rodney McComb, which was a celebration of the running of the Tourist Trophy from 1950 to 1955. The procession gingerly negotiated the very narrow and twisty lanes that once tested the driving skills of Grand Prix drivers and novices alike. These tight, winding roads, banked on either side were to be the demise of the Tourist Trophy campaigned on this circuit. With two fatalities, and a number of crashed cars blocking the road, it is easy to see why 1955 was the final curtain.
By Mike Jiggle