Green Machines: The Cars of Ireland

LaFontaine Automotive Group —  March 13, 2014 — Leave a comment

Is it just me, or is everyone feeling a little…green?! That’s right; March, the Irish-centric month is upon us!

While visions of four-leafed clovers and pots of gold dance through people’s heads, it’s easy to forget that there once was an automotive heartbeat in the Emerald Isle.


Here are a list of a few of the noteworthy (or picture worthy) Cars To Come Out Of Ireland:

1. The Shamrock

At the very least the duo of James Conway and William Curtis had patriotism in mind when they thought up the name for this green machine.


The Shamrock (photo courtesy of Blue850)

This beast was intended to be exported to the US for the large luxury sedan market; unfortunately various problems plagued the production of the car and what was to be a release line of 10,000 Shamrocks made became only 10.

To this day only eight are alleged to exist, but should you find yourself to be friends with one of the lucky owners, do yourself a favor and take a spin in the Shamrock on St. Patty’s Day!

2. TMC Costin

Another somewhat obscure vehicle, this lightweight sports mobile was designed by Frank Costin, who had worked previously with exotic manufacturers Lotus and Maserati.


TheTMC Costin (photo courtesy of

His plan was to make an Irish vehicle that could challenge the Lotus-Seven, which was the dominant lightweight sports car of its time.

Despite great racing prowess in the Costin, TMC went bankrupt in 1987 and thus the Costin died (well, not quite; actually the chassis design was incorporated into the Panoz Roadster, who would go on to much better success than its predecessor)

3. DeLorean DMC-12

Anyone familiar with a flux capacitor will instantly recognize this iconic vehicle as the time machine from the legendary Back To the Future film series.


The DeLorean DM-12 (photo courtesy of

But before the days of Marty McFly and Doc Brown, it was the brainchild of John DeLorean who wanted to create a fun stainless steel driving experience. He set about founding the DeLorean Motor Company, with help from celebrity investors like Sammy Davis Jr. and Johhny Carson.

A factory in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland started cranking out these cars, and before long 10,000 DeLoreans were cruising around. Unfortunately quality issues in the vehicle, along with John DeLorean’s personal demons, spelled the end for the DeLorean DMC-12; that is, until Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd turned it into an icon.

What do you think? Would you take a leisurely drive in one of these Irish cruisers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

On behalf of the entire LaFontaine Family, I wish you all a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!



LaFontaine Automotive Group

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Founded in 1980, the award winning and nationally recognized LaFontaine Automotive Group includes 33 franchises, 5 Collision Centers in 19 Michigan locations and employs over 1100 people. It’s the mission of the LaFontaine Family to personalize the automotive experience by building lifelong relationships that connect families and strengthen the community. The Family Deal: It’s not just what you get, it’s how you feel.

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