West Cork farmers will drive vintage tractors 660km from Mizen Head to Malin Head for charity
A group of vintage tractor enthusiasts from West Cork are about to do what no Massey Ferguson owner has done before – and drive all the way from Mizen Head to Malin Head in Donegal.
The Long Way Home Vintage Run will see at least eight old tractors from West Cork – plus 15 or more tractors and a few motorbikes from the Kilmainhamwood Vintage Club, Co. Meath run over 660km along the west coast.
And it will be done to benefit Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund, which helps Irish families bring home the remains of family members who died suddenly overseas.
Tractors and motorcyclists will leave the parking lot at Mizen Head on June 2 and travel north for 4 days.
On the first day they travel to Bantry, Kenmare, Killarney and spend the night in Tralee. On the second day they will pass through Listowel, Tarbert where they will board the ferry to Killimer and pass through Ennis before spending the night in Oranmore.
On the third day they continued their progress north through Claremorris and to an overnight halt in Donegal town. The fourth and final day will see them tour Letterkenny, Buncrana and beyond towards their objective at Malin Head.
The entire trip – complete with photos, video and details on how to donate – will be seen on their Long Way Home Vintage Run Facebook page.
The age of the tractors ranges from the 1950s to the late 1980s and although they have all been restored, none have modern luxuries like fully suspended cabs, air conditioning and sound systems.
Only two of the West Cork tractors on the Long Way Home Vintage Run have the luxury of protective windscreens, the others are fully open to the elements.
Three members of the famous Ballinsacarthy Ryan family will be in attendance. Paddy will use a David Brown 950 built in 1959. Michael will use his 1964 David Brown 990, while Denis will use a 1977 David Brown 996, a tractor that holds special meaning to members of the Ryan family. their father bought in 1977 from Atkins in Cork who were the dealers for that brand at the time.
Now, after a full restoration, Denis Ryan will proudly drive his father’s tractor down the road.
The Diarmuid brothers and James French of Leap will use their respective David Brown tractors, Diarmuid will have his 1967 Brown 880 model while James will use his 1967 David Brown 1200 model.
Conor O’Sullivan will proudly display his 1964 Fordson Super Major and John Fleming will also use his Super Major tractor. Martin McCarthy of Innishannon will use his 1978 Ford 4610.
Some of the participants are no strangers to all-weather long-distance races, but all are hoping for some sunshine to tackle this long-distance course.
Participants are also open to sponsorship offers and sponsorship placards will be carried on the tractors and shared on social media and in the press. They can be contacted via their Facebook page, and good luck to them.