Price – $75,000 – Make an Offer
BK Auto Auctions presents this extremely rare 1960 Shamrock. This 1960 Shamrock bears serial number SH121 and is a very well documented car. One of the three known to remain in the United States (the other two are in California, according to the 2013 article) this car at one time was a part of the famed Harrah’s Collection in Reno, NV.
Ireland is a country known for many things, but automobile manufacturing is not one of those. Back in the late 1950’s, Shamrock Motors, LTD had lofty aspirations to change that.
American businessman James Conway joined forces with William Curtis of Castlebury, Co. Monahen to form Shamrock Motors, LTD. With their office in England, the pair’s goal was to produce a large luxury car aimed for the export market, with the United States as the primary target. They assigned Alvin “Spike” Rhino, a Canadian who formerly raced in the 500cc Formula 3 series, to design the car.
Production goals were, to say the least, ambitious. Conway and Curtis set sights on manufacturing 3,000 units in their first year, which would be for the 1960 model year. Their car was designed with a 98-inch wheelbase X-frame chassis sporting fiberglass body panels. Power was sourced from a 1500cc four-cylinder Austin A55 and corresponding four-speed transmission. The design featured coil springs on all four corners and independent front suspension. Production was commenced at a factory in Castlebury.
Problems arose almost immediately. The 1.5L Austin powerplant displaced just over 50 horsepower, making the car seriously underpowered compared to the vehicles it sought to compete with in the luxury market. The fiberglass body panels at the rear of the car shrouded the rear tires, making it impossible to remove a wheel without dropping the rear end. Financial issues also quickly came about, resulting on the production of eight finished vehicles when production halted after only six months. According to a magazine article published about these cars in 2013, all the remaining parts for the cars were dumped into an area lake.
That article also stated that it is believed five of the original eight cars survive, two in Ireland and three in the United States. All of the cars left the factory painted white with green interiors and green convertible tops. One of the United States cars has been repainted in a light green color and one of the cars in Ireland reportedly has a removeable fiberglass hardtop believed to have been a factory prototype.
The car was owned by a private collector in the Kansas City area for about a decade and was acquired in 2004 by Seattle, WA car collector Dan Holms. The Shamrock spent about a decade in Mr. Holms’ care at which time he entrusted the sale of the car to Memory Lane Motors in Reston, WA. That dealership negotiated the sale of SH121 to the present owner in June 2014 and the car has been housed in a humidity-controlled environment since that time. Under his ownership the vehicle has been driven sparingly and shown occasionally at local and regional events.
The car appears to be exceptionally correct, and we believe the odometer reading of slightly over 10,000 miles to be correct but in accordance with Missouri statutes regarding the sale of motor vehicles by licensed dealers the car will be sold “mileage exempt” due to age. The white paint on the vehicle still presents well and the limited brightwork on the vehicle is in excellent condition. Both the car’s interior and convertible top appear to be in very good condition.
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