Heritage Week Show & Tell

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    Once in a lifetime opportunity to see first-hand the engineering and craftsmanship under the bonnet of Letitia Overend’s 1927 Rolls-Royce 20 Tourer.

    Meet Reginald (Reg) Plunkett, custodian of Letitia’s Rolls-Royce for over four decades. Hear Reg as he recounts memories of the Overends and their motoring escapades – or share details of your own sightings of Letitia driving her Rolls-Royce.

    Our Vintage Car experts currently refurbishing the iconic bodywork will be on hand to discuss progress and conduct a once-in-a-lifetime under-bonnet tour, where parts bearing original Rolls-Royce stamps are testament to quality engineering and craftsmanship.

    Airfield Heritage Manager, Genevieve Whitfield will discuss a selection of documents from the Airfield Archive. Highlights will include the car’s first journey to Portsalon, County Donegal which became an annual pilgrimage and details of maintenance and previous repairs carried out over the past century.

    • Profile of the 1927 Rolls-Royce • Profile of Letitia Overend • Profile of Reginald Plunkett • Overview of a five-year program of restoration and centenary celebrations • Sample documents from the Airfield Archive

    A grant from The Heritage Council supports the current refurbishment work.

    Date: 21 August 2022

    Time: 11.30am to 12.30pm

    Location: Airfield Car Museum

    Cost: FOC with annual pass or day ticket

    Some background on Letitia Overend and her Rolls Royce Tourer

    1927 Rolls-Royce 20 Tourer

    The Rolls-Royce 20 open tourer, six cylinder 20.6 hp engine, with navy blue bodywork and black hood was purchased in London for £1,959 14s 0d. At Letitia’s request the sale was processed via R.T.V. Adams, Dublin. Although registered in April 1927 - registration number Z 287 - the car chassis was built in 1926 by Rolls-Royce with body or coachwork built in the same year by H.J. Mulliner of London

    Letitia Lily Anne Lethan Overend (1880-1977)

    Letitia Overend was the eldest daughter of Elizabeth Ann (Lily) Overend, née Butler (1854-1945) and Trevor T. Lethan Overend (1847-1919). Independently wealthy, Letitia was known for her philanthropic work and enthusiasm for Irish motoring. In January 1920, Letitia respectively declined an appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services rendered during World War I. Letitia’s involvement was formative in establishing the Children’s Sunshine Home (now LauraLynn). In 1955 Letitia was made a dame justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and in 1961 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trinity College Dublin in recognition of her public service work.

    Reginald (Reg) Plunkett:

    As former IVVCC President (1988-1991), Reg was acquainted with the Overend sisters. Recently, as custodian of Airfield’s Rolls-Royce, he has maintained the iconic car in roadworthy condition.

    Female motoring enthusiast

    Letitia credits her father Trevor with sparking her lifelong interest in cars when in 1903 she accompanied him to the first Gordon Bennett Rally hosted in Ireland. In 1909 Trevor purchased a Daimler with a 22 hp engine, one of the first motor cars in the Dundrum area. While Letitia enjoyed the freedom driving afforded her, veteran and vintage car rallies were integral to her active social life. Not content with being a passive bystander, Letitia participated in numerous rallies and regularly dined at the Royal Irish Automobile Club Dawson Street where she sponsored a mechanical turntable to make exiting the club garage easier!

    • Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club (IVVCC). In 1973 Letitia was awarded honorary life membership of the IVVCC for her ‘long standing and continuous enthusiasm and dedication to vintage motoring.’

    • Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA). Since 2017, FIVA has been a partner of UNESCO with consultative status, representing world motoring heritage and related culture.

    • 20-Ghost Club. In 1971 Letitia acted as host for the 20-Ghost Club’s tour of Ireland.

    • Leinster Motor Club

    • Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club

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