In the history of rallying in Ireland, one name stands out above all others for the respect in which he is held and the ability he demonstrated behind the wheel of the cars — predominantly Fords — that he drove.
Team Ireland Rally Car International Ambassador and Irish American businessman, a renowned rally enthusiast John Campion and his wife Suzanne Campion, hosted a panel discussion with Irish Rally Car legends at his private rally car shop, including Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, and our own Billy Coleman. Watch the video below:
Came across some Photos of Millstreet Rally Legend Billy Coleman recently and thought it would be nice to share some of them here.
Billy was Irelands Top Rally Driver back in the 70`s and 80`s and amongst his best achievements was winning The British Rally Championship in 1974, Billy also scored victory on The Circuit of Ireland 3 times in 1975,1976,and 1984 as well as finishing 4th overall in the 1985 World Championship Rally Tour De Corse.
“Coleman Is The Name Rallying Is The Game“. Cork Man Billy Coleman Rally Driver / Farmer. The Millstreet Maestro is a 30 min documentary film on Billy Coleman aka The Millstreet Maestro who is recognised as Ireland’s greatest ever rally driver. The show was produced for RTE as part of their Townlands strand and aired in 2003.
There’s a short interview with the late mother Peg, his brother John and lots of familiar local faces.
Millstreets Billy Coleman gave one of his best ever performances at World Rally Championship level on the 1985 Cosica Rally and went on to finish a fine 4th overall on what was a very tough event, we take a look back at a great video which was made at the time following the adventures of Billy and his Team on this famous event.
For those going to the Killarney Rally of the Lakes which will be in Millstreet this Saturday (May 1st), here’s a couple of Billy Coleman videos of in-car footage from the 1986 Circuit of Ireland rally, and also one of Colin McRae on Molls Gap to get you in the mood:
Billy Coleman was Irelands most successful rally driver ever. He first came to province in 1969 in rather tatty self-prepared green Mark I Escort (TIU 250) on the Circuit of Ireland when he took special stage time off the works Escort of Rodger Clark which was almost unheard of at the time. Billy was born in 1948 in Millstreet. From an early age he developed an interest in motor cars, confessing for the bug when he sat up on his fathers knee to drive the car when he was five years old. His father owned a garage in Milstreet and was the Ford Main Dealer which helped nurture Billy’s interest in cars.
Billy is famous in rallying circles all over Ireland for his exploits in the 70s and 80s, in Ireland, Britain, and even as far away as Poland, Corsica and Monte Carlo.
A DVD on Billy’s exploits in the Irish Tarmac Championship is available to buy from Murray Motorsport amongst others.
Also added below are loads photos of the cars that he drove.