Car Chat with Rosemary Smith

Pics Top: Rosemary Smith racing the Hillman Imp in the Monte Carlo Rally Above: Rosemary Smith today

Pics Top: Rosemary Smith racing the Hillman Imp in the Monte Carlo Rally Above: Rosemary Smith today


Still motoring through life at full speed we talk, cars, gadgets and more with former Rally Champion Rosemary Smith.

Who taught you to drive? My father, when I was 11 in a big old fashioned Vauxhall in a field. I had to sit on a cushion.

What do you drive and what does it say about you? A Ford Focus which is my driving school car and it says I love teaching youngsters to drive.

Do you have a favourite car gadget? The radio, if that’s a gadget, always on RTE Radio 1 for the news and a bit of chat and music.

How do you get into rally driving? Buy a small ready prepared rally car, learn to drive it, get your competition licence, practice, and earn enough money to keep it going.

 Whom do you most admire in your industry? Rauno Aaltonen and the young Irish driver Craig Breen

What was your best career decision to date? Accepting the works drive from the Rootes manager in the early sixties.

You have raced all over the world which event is the most memorable? The East African Safari which was a very long and arduous event. It was held mostly on dirt roads over five days and nights non-stop.

How much has rallying changed since you first competed? Tremendously. The cars are so much better built and prepared and are  extremely fast, I would love to be rallying in these times.

Do you have any tips for young racing drivers? Try and get as much experience as possible and look for a good budget to spend.

 One item you couldn’t live without? A house, it’s very important to have a roof over your head the older you get.

How do you relax?  Watching television and reading newspapers.

Who is your hero? My dad, he was always my biggest supporter.

Describe yourself in one word? Courageous.


Rosemary Smith

12th January, 2016


Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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