first_imgDD MOTORS: On the road Again By Brian McDaidTo Imagine. To Create, To Learn.Micky Gallagher hosted a very special driver’s briefing in the reception of his period Georgian home along the Mall in Ramelton on Tuesday evening last. Advertisement At Micky’s recent 80th birthday before Christmas at the Mirabeau Steak House, it was there after a beautiful meal and a couple of after dinner drinks that Micky expressed a wish to see the double winner of the Donegal International Rally James Cullen back behind the wheel for the 25th Anniversary of his 1st overall win of his home event.Micky told us that he probably will not be able, to go out next weekend to watch his wish come through of James Cullen on the Donegal Rally because of his fading health.Micky might not have the energy to prepare and cook that perfect meal and to be the perfect host which made his restaurant, “The Mirabeau Steak House” the famous landmark that it is. But he makes up for it with encouragement which is very infectious.We assured Micky that he was looking well, but his reply, I might look ok on the outside but things are not so good inside. He then switched the attention to the reason why we were there. Advertisement With fading evening light making it way through the imperfect Georgian glass of his front room window, Micky takes us on a journey of great times in motorsport. He tells us of the buzz of the great days when one of the stages of the Donegal Rally went through the streets of Ramelton. The sounds of the big Porsches lining up along the Mall at the front door of his restaurant to start the town’s stage.Derry’s Cathal Curley, Fermanagh’s Bertie Fisher and Cork’s Billy Coleman. All multi winners of the rally down through the years, all had the Donegal as their “must win event”.The glorious sounds of the cars as they echoed through the streets of the town and that unforgettable voice of Plum Tyndall doing commentary from the upstairs window of a fish and chip shop across from The Old Stewart Arms Hotel on Castle Street.What’s important in life.In life we tend to listen more to people that feel its to our benefit that they point out our mistakes and faults. On Tuesday evening that negativity faded in to insignificance as Micky’s enthusiasm was a mirror image of the high tide filling to meet the River Lennon outside his front door.Micky who is a motorsport connoisseur , talked about the great Grand Prix days in far away places like Monza ,Spa and Silverstone that he loved visiting . He talked about the great F1 drivers and not forgetting Ferrari of course, which he is a life long fan of. Then like the perfect host he brings the conversation home to James Cullen. All the great drivers came to Donegal over the years because it was the best event on the Irish Tarmac Calendar. They also came to compete against the best local drivers.A beautiful Mk1 Lotus Cortina in Micky Gallagher’s workshop as he show James Cullen the work he has done on the car so far. Photo Brian McDaid100 places.If you park up James Cullen’s two overall wins for the moment and take a look at where he finished on the Donegal Rally over the years , How many 2nd’s , how many 3rd’s. he had, you soon get the picture of that talent the James Cullen had behind the wheel.If you go back to his 1st rally in 1979 in a Hillman Avenger the records will state that he made up 100 places starting at 112 at the back of the field and finished 12th over all in the event.Micky’s spirits were lifted on Tuesday night by James Cullen’s visit which was organised by Denis Orr. Com’on to you see this yok Micky said to us , as Micky makes it to his feet and collects the key of the garage door on his way to his workshop at the back of his home. Inside a freshly painted Mk1 Lotus Cortina sits in the centre of his garage. Micky tells us its finished in the original Lotus Colours of Ermine White and a Sherwood Green ascending side strip. James spots the diff and gearbox and other mechanical parts neatly placed out in the corner of the garage. The car is a credit to Micky Gallagher’s attention to detail, but Micky feels certain that “we” might see the car completed somewhere in the future, unfortunately he feels he will not be around to see it.James Cullen at a special driver’s briefing with Micky Gallagher, Ramleton this week. It was at Micky’s 80th birthday before christmas that he expressed a wish to see James behind the wheel of a rally car for this year’s Donegal Rally, 25years after he was the overall winner of the event. Denis Orr , one of the organisers,is also pictured on Tuesday evening as they celebrate the reality of it all coming together next week Photo By Brain McDaidTo Imagine, To Create, To Learn ,I was one of the group that were fortunate enough to be involved in getting Cullen back this year. James thought that no one would remember his achievements in rallying. Micky Gallagher had the imagination and belief in the great local driver that James Cullen was.Our job was to create the possibilities, and in turn we were soon to learn that we were not the only ones that believed in Micky’s imagination as the support was quick to arrive to make this all happen.One big Thank you.Wearing the Cullen Cap for a minute, when actually is a lovely white shirt courtesy of E&M Embroidery, who are one of the sponsors.We don’t really know where to start. It’s not enough to thank the people that are involved in this present drive to get James Cullen out on the road for this years Donegal Rally. We have to recognise the product or household name James has been in rallying circles for years.With out the help the people at the start of his rallying career, like the late Danny Caddye who built James Cullen’s 1st rally car and now Danny son Aidan is following in that belief and is one of the team onboard this time around.If we had to pick just the one to represent they local support that James Cullen received down through the years,The late Frank Grimes name comes up time after time.Frank Grimes was the glue in the James Cullen story along with people like Tony Kelly they offered a professional platform for other sponsors to get involved with.James Cullen and with local lads that made it all happen, Denis Orr, Steven Sheridan and Aidan Caddye at the rally press conference as they get ready for the Donegal Rally. Photo Brian McDaidStand In Model.A commission by Frank back in 1988 of James Cullen’s Ascona which was used by the Four Lanterns as one of the principal sponsors. I was behind the camera trying to organise the picture.The Late Ellen Morgan one of the most professional co-drivers and a great part of the team from the UK was unavailable for the local photo shoot, so a stand in model was ask to wear Ellen’s helmet and sit in the car for the picture.Everything went well until the helmet got stuck on the model’s head, Everyone in the company that evening had a wee go at pulling the helmet off, much to the annoyance of or model for the evening.The ragged edge, a battered Ascona 400 at 10/10th on the Donegal International Rally in 1988. Photo Brian McDaidClassic Cullen Rally.The 2016 Donegal Rally will be no different than any other that James Cullen has competed in. As always in James Cullen’s career sponsorship is vital and in theory we think we have enough to get him over the finishing line, If you are reading this and you have helped in any way financially or have opened a door for us in any way Thank you so much. If you are thinking about coming on board ,We still have white space on the car that would look great with your companies name on it, so feel free to give us a call.Fuel Watch .The most competive fuel prices com from Drumkeen the week for the Top Oil filling station which is 24 hrs for Trucks for Diesel, Petrol is 131.5 and diesel is 115.5.Happy motoring folks .James Cullen pictured with Aidan Caddye at the Old Starlite Shell Filling Station. Aidan.s late father Danny built James Cullen’s 1st rally car, a four-door Hillman Avenger. Photo Brian McDaid100 places James cullen started his 1st rally as car number 112 over the weekend he passed 100 competitors to finish 12th over all.Congratulation to The Dry Arch Complex in running a very successful vintage and classic car run in aid of the Pieta House. Photo Brian McDaidBack on the road again. James Cullen with Micky Gallagher at the windscreen of one of his Humber Halks pictured with Denis Orr as James get ready to compete in this year’s Donegal Rally. Photo Brian McDaidDD MOTORS: ON THE ROAD AGAIN WITH BRIAN McDAID – IMAGINE, CREATE, LEARN was last modified: July 21st, 2016 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more