A racing part exchange: Irish motor sport collection for John Campion

Bertrand Gachot in the Jordan 191 in Mexico

Bertrand Gachot in action in the Jordan 191 in Mexico. Remember when F1 cars looked this good?

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From red, white and blue to emerald green: an avid motor sport collector has traded in his multi-million pound group of Martini Lancias in order to start a new collection of racing cars with ties to his Irish homeland.

John Campion, who is now based in the US, had painstakingly build up the collection of Lancias over years. But, as reported in Motor Sport’s July issue, he is now selling the lot. He intends to replace the cars with a new collection that celebrates the past and future of Irish motor sport. The change of heart comes after Campion, who made his fortune supplying portable generators to bands including the Rolling Stones and U2, received a diagnosis of leukaemia, from which he is now recovered.

“The idea was to change the focus of the collection” Campion says. “We wanted to tell the story of Irish motor sports physically, through the cars. So we started off with the March 811 [driven in period by Derek Daly and still resplendent in its original Guinness colours, right]. Next we bought the Billy Coleman MkII Ford Escort that won the West Cork Rally in 1980. Then we got the Ford Fiesta R5 that won the Irish Tarmac Championship last year.”