Vintage car and 200 Irish street signs to go under the hammer

The haul comes from the collection of motor enthusiast Hugh Nolan who has been collecting for decades.

Hugh Nolan, 65, with one of his 200 vintage Irish street signs (Michael Donnelly/MediaConsult/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

A 1970 Rover V8 and 200 vintage Irish street signs are set to go under the hammer in an online auction.

They are part of a huge haul collected by motor enthusiast Hugh Nolan, 65, from car boot sales over the last three decades.

The former contract manager in the construction trade in Belfast is giving up his collection in what he has termed his retirement auction, which will take place next Monday and Tuesday.

He went on to open McNean Antique and Salvage Shop in Blacklion, Co Cavan.

He said collecting memorabilia has been his secret second life.

“I never told anyone I had a second life while I was working in the building trade; I would get up at 5am on a Sunday to do the car boot sale circuit,” he said.

“I sold nothing and bought everything; I had things stored in every nook and cranny of the house, from the attic to the garage, before opening the store.”

Hugh Nolan, 65, with one of his 200 vintage Irish street signs which along with a 1970 Rover V8 and other memorabilia will go under the online hammer in his ‘retirement auction’ (Michael Donnelly/MediaConsult/PA)

The vintage Irish street signs and sign posts come from villages and towns across 15 counties, including Laois, Tipperary, Galway, Westmeath, Longford and Wexford.

He expects huge interest from ex-pats, particularly those running restaurants or pubs overseas.

Some of his pub and garage signs he picked up over the years have made it into scenes in forthcoming movie In The Land Of Saints And Sinners, starring Liam Neeson, Colm Meaney and Kerry Condon.

“The signage would have come into private ownership as they were being replaced – they are worthless to whoever is swapping them out for a newer sign, so in many cases they would have been marked to be destroyed,” he said.

A 1970 Rover V8 is part of the sale (Michael Donnelly/MediaConsult/PA)

Another highlight of the auction is set to be a 3.5L 1970 Rover V8 owned by Nolan since 2006, which has a guide price of 15,000 euro (£13,195).

Mr Nolan said: “Loving cars is a bug, and I’ve got it. I have the parts for a Triumph Spitfire, a Jaguar, and another Rover, and I’m looking forward to working on them in the coming months and years when I have more time on my hands.

“Typically, collections similar to what I have only come on sale when the owner dies.

“I want to put mine on the market now while I can enjoy it and have many conversations with similar-minded enthusiasts.”

– The Hugh Nolan retirement auction takes place live at on March 27 and 28, with viewing at the antique shop in Blacklion on March 24, 25 and 26 from 10am–5pm.