Gordon Bennett Cup in Kildare

Gordon Bennett Cup in Kildare

Sorry, this film is not available for viewing in your region

Unfortunately, due to copyright permissions we are unable to show this video in your area.



Ardscull, Athy, Ballyshannon, County Kildare




02 July 1903 (of event)


01min 08sec





black and white


Digitised as part of Unlocking Film Heritage


British Film Institute

Rights Holder

British Film Institute

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Rare footage of the Irish Gordon Bennett motor race. This event was the first motor race to be officially filmed and was run over a figure eight-shaped, closed circuit.

The drivers and cars featured include the Australian-born, British businessman and racing driver, Selwyn Francis Edge. Edge - part of the English team - is seen driving a Napier. The cars raced between Controls which were placed at the entrance and exit from towns. SF Edge appears following a Marshal on a bicycle leading him between Controls in Athy. He is also seen at the start of the race, at Ballyshannon, between Athy and Ardscull. 

The Peerless of Louis Moorers - it was part of the American team and was hopelessly crude and outclassed. It retired soon after the start.

The Breton driver Gabriel driving a Mors for the French team, about to start the race at Ballyshannon. Various people important to the event also appear in the background - Clarence Dinsmore who owned the Mercedes driven by the winner, Camille Jenatzy and M. Michelin who accompanied the French team to ireland. Gabriel is then shown leaving the entrance Control. Gabriel placed fourth in the race despite a persistent misfire.

This film was digitised as part of the BFI's Unlocking Film Heritage project.



As a compliment to Ireland, the British team chose to race in Shamrock green - which thus became known as British racing green.



Please scroll to review and accept our terms and conditions (last updated on ) before viewing the moving images content.

To remember your terms and conditions acceptance, you can register as a site member or allow cookies on your browser.