HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: An Irish car, and it’s not a DeLorean

Pick of the Day: An Irish car, and it’s not a DeLorean

This 1960 Shamrock is believed to be 1 of 8 built, 1 of 5 surviving


John DeLorean’s DMC-12 may be the most famous car produced in Ireland, but it wasn’t the only one that rolled out of the Republic or Northern Ireland. There also were the Alesbury, the TMC Costin, the Crossle, the DAWB 6, the Silver Stream, the Thomond, and others, including the Shamrock.

One of those now ultra-rare Shamrocks, a 1960 Shamrock, is the Pick of the Day, which seems fitting since today is St. Patrick’s Day.

Shamrock was founded in Tralee, Kerry, in 1959 by a pair of Americans, James Conway and William Curtis. Curtis was 27 years old and was visiting his wife’s family, was struck by the poverty in the area and, with Conway, built a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility to produce Shamrock cars.

Canadian racer Alvin “Spike” Rhiando was recruited to design the car, which was nicknamed the “Irish T-Bird” because of its resemblance to the Ford Thunderbird.

The Pick of the Day example is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Lebanon, Missouri, with an asking price of $74,900.

“Production goals were, to say the least, ambitious,” the dealer reports. “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 1,500cc 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 Pick of the Day is Shamrock serial number SH121 and the dealer notes that at one time, it was part of the Harrah  Collection.

Later, “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,” the dealer reports. 

“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 selling dealer adds that 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.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. (540) 333-5466 Leave message
    I have one on my property in Va that needs to be restored . Anyone interested in buying it ?


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