PADDY Blaney could well be Ford's favourite customer. Earlier this year, the 82-year-old Dubliner made his annual visit to Tallaght Ford on Airton Road to pick up his 141-D Ford Fiesta, the latest in a very long line of Ford models he has owned over the years.
In fact, it is the 27th Ford Paddy has bought in the last 27 years from Paul Molloy of Tallaght Ford.
It all started back in 1988, when Paddy took the keys of his new Ford Escort. Back then, the Escort boasted luxuries such as a heated windshield and five-speed gearbox, but electric windows and power steering were not yet available. Since then Paddy has been behind the wheel of Orions, Fiestas, Mondeos, Focus and now back to the Fiesta.
Paul Molloy of Tallaght Ford, who has handed Paddy the keys to all 27 of his cars, commented: "We have several customers who like to change their car practically every year, but none can match Paddy. Every October he comes in to select his model and colour, and like clockwork, he is there to collect it in the first week of January. As you might expect, his trade-ins are always immaculate!"
A native of Walkinstown, Paddy says down the years his Fords have "never given him any trouble" and, unsurprisingly, he has never had to have them serviced. He recalls that it was the offer of free mud flaps on the Escort that originally tempted him to buy from Paul, and the rest is history.
Paddy is showing few signs that his new car will be his last, as he's already thinking of a Fiesta for 2015. His favourite Ford of them all? "My next one!" he says.