Two unique rally cars from the workshops of Sydney Meeke, the Dungannon engineering genius, will be in the line-up for Déjà vu Tralee on Saturday 28th May, one of the highlights of the Kerry Motor Clubs 50th anniversary year.
Sydney (father of the World Rally star Kris Meeke), who famously provided cars for Ireland’s rallying legends such as Bertie Fisher, Billy Coleman and Stephen Finlay, realised that the Mk II Escort’s reign was coming to an end and thought it might be fun to house the Mk II’s bits in the newer booted version of the Mark III Escort, and so the Meeke Orion came into being.
THE MEEKE ORION
The talented Tyrone driver Stephen Finley was one to sample Sydney’s Orion and now it has been acquired by Barry Meeke, the brother of Kris, to add to his growing collection of cars and memorabilia from his families distinguished rallying past. Barry will drive this car in Tralee.
THE MEEKE PROJECT X
The Meeke thinking cap was on again in 1996 when Sydney, anticipating the advent of the new Kit Car regulations in the World Rally Championship, dovetailed a two-litre fuel injected engine into an Opel Corsa shell and added the four-wheel-drive system from a Cavalier that he had been preparing for a Spanish off-road Championship.
Only twenty examples needed to be produced to satisfy the FIA, but sadly the Opel factory pulled out and Sydney’s lone Project X only competed in National and Club events. This one-off car is now back in the Meeke fold, and after its complete ground-up rebuild. It will make its first appearance in Tralee and will be driven by Kris and co-driven by his father.
TRALEE REUNION WILL HELP RECOVERY HAVEN CHARITY
All profits from this 150 car plus motoring extravaganza will go to the cancer support house Recovery Haven Kerry.