An art car, painted by Northern Ireland artist Neil Shawcross, has been unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, in a Belfast showroom of Northern Ireland’s largest independent new and used vehicle retailer, the Donnelly Group.
The workshop of the Donnelly Group’s Honda showroom on the Boucher Road in Belfast has, for the past week, acted as a live art studio in which customers and members of the public have been able to watch the renowned artist transform the classic MINI vehicle into a work of art.
The classic MINI, finished in Neil’s signature style, was donated by Terence Donnelly, Director of the Donnelly Group, and is to be raffled ahead of a Gala event in February celebrating the 50th anniversary of Belfast native Paddy Hopkirk’s Monte Carlo Rally victory.
Raymond Donnelly, Sales Director at the Donnelly Group which has a total of 7 sites and 18 manufacturers across Northern Ireland, said:
“Paddy Hopkirk is a motorsport hero who is renowned in rally circles across the world and we are delighted to play a part in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Paddy’s Monte Carlo victory.
“The MINI that was donated by my brother Terence on behalf of the Donnelly Group is actually very similar to the vehicle in which drove Paddy to his Monte Carlo victory in 1964 with Henry Liddon.
“It was a pleasure having Neil Shawcross in our Honda showroom this week and our customers certainly enjoying watching the transformation of the MINI.
“This is an entirely unique piece that can only be acquired through purchasing a raffle ticket and I look forward to seeing the winner receive the vehicle at the Gala event in February.”
The 50th Anniversary Gala Event will take place in Titanic Belfast on 22nd February 2014 where the vehicle will be raffled with proceeds being donated to the Integrated Education Fund for Northern Ireland and SKIDZ.
Dr. Beatty Crawford, Chairman of the Paddy Hopkirk Golden Anniversary Gala Committee, said:
“The donation of the MINI by Terence and the Donnelly Group is enormously kind. The finished art MINI looks fantastic and I have no doubt it will be in high demand. Neil has done an amazing job and I’m extremely grateful to him for supporting us.
“The anniversary celebrations will kick off with a MINI cavalcade on Saturday morning February 22nd, led by Paddy Hopkirk himself. This will start from The Assembly Buildings at Stormont and will first visit Belfast City Hall to be welcomed by The Lord Mayor. They will then continue to the Titanic Quarter where there will be a knockout autotest competition.
“To be in with a chance of winning the art MINI one must purchase a raffle ticket. These will be available on line at www.paddyhopkirkgala.com where one can also register to take part in the MINI Cavalcade and the Gala Dinner which will be held in Titanic Belfast.”
For further information about the Gala Event or to purchase tickets, please visit: http://www.paddyhopkirkgala.com/