Thursday 29 September 2016

Jack Lynch's Cortina, watch that battery, more KIAs, Italy gets the thumbs down

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Published 03/08/2016 | 02:30

Former Taoiseach Jack Lynch
Former Taoiseach Jack Lynch

It will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane in Coachford, Cork this month.

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Back in 1977 there was a huge Fianna Fail rally in the mid-Cork village before the general election. This year they expect big crowds too as former Taoiseach Jack Lynch's Mark II Cortina becomes a central attraction at the annual Coachford festival's Vintage & Classic Car and Tractor show.

It also coincides with the 50th birthday celebrations of the Cortina.

Mr Lynch's car is being shown by the West Cork Vintage Club who are now the vehicle's owners and caretakers.

The white Cortina was presented to Mr Lynch by Ford Ireland.

There are many other exceptional cars expected too on Sunday, August 21.

Also being celebrated are the 70th and 50th anniversaries, respectively, of the introduction here of Zetor and John Deere tractors.

Proceeds from the festival will be donated to Marymount Hospice and local charities.

• It's as predictable as autumn but we still seem to forget about one item on our cars until it is too late.

A report by Allianz Global Assistance, one of the biggest providers of roadside help, shows flat batteries are the number one problem for people calling them so far this year.

The report coincides with the roll-out of its new €120,000 roadside assistance fleet.

Data for the first six months of the year show the busiest time for breakdown callouts is Monday 9am with flat batteries the main difficulty on the school run and office commute.

Flat tyres and clutch problems come second and third respectively, followed by alternator problems and electrical faults.

The new fleet of assistance vans is expected to travel up to 600,000km responding to 13,500 callouts over the next three years. That's a lot of assistance.

• We're hearing and reading a lot about KIA at the moment. We're told there will be a GT production model next year - a 4dr sports saloon with possibly as much as 315bhp.

They are also going to make more SUVs as they see no end in sight to the burgeoning demand for such motors.

• The food and wine may be gorgeous, but Irish drivers put Italy bottom of the pile for drivers.

They say it is the most stressful country to drive in, according to research carried out by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

France came in second worst (16pc didn't like it).

The UK, surprisingly enough for those of us sometimes caught up in terrible traffic over there, is deemed the most enjoyable place to drive.

And when it comes to choosing the best drivers, we put the Germans way out in front.

The research also found that 45pc of those who took part believe Italian motorists are the worst drivers.

But, as motorists, we like Spain (28pc), the US (22pc) and Germany (15pc).

Nearly three-in-five (59pc) see other nationalities as better drivers than us.

For those who fancy a road trip, 41pc put the US tops with France (27pc) second. And the most popular trip would be Route 66 in the US (37pc).

Our own Wild Atlantic Way (26pc) fared well as did the Amalfi Coast in Italy (23pc) and the Great Ocean Road, Australia (22pc).

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