- Lifestyle & Sports
- 26 Jan 23
If you’re looking to buy a car, the best first move is to talk to people with a real passion for cars – and for driving. Look no further than Ken and Keith Lyons – both champion rally racers...
Being propelled into the air at over 100 miles per hour in a rally car that’s blasting along a winding, bumpy, Irish country road of a Sunday is not every business owner’s prelude to their strategy meetings on a Monday morning.
It is, however, a regular occurrence for father and son duo Ken and Keith Lyons, of Lyons of Limerick motor group – and it reflects exactly what ignites their passion to keep driving the business forward: a love of cars, and of motoring.
With over 38 years in business to their credit, Lyons of Limerick has been hailed as a dominant – and widely respected – brand within the Irish motor industry. And rightly so. The Lyons family, and their staff, pride themselves on the close working and friendly relationship they have developed with their customers – and on delivering fantastic cars and exceptional service.
This commitment to excellence and professionalism has been instilled in the organisation by the company’s driving force, Ken Lyons.
“Dad started the business from the ground up,” Keith recalls, “by selling our family home and throwing everything he had at it. I was only three at the time, the youngest of his four kids.”
From those humble beginnings, Lyons of Limerick has emerged as a motoring titan. They now boast five hugely impressive, modern car showrooms, showcasing brands that include Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and LandRover. With dealerships in Limerick, Nenagh Co. Tipperary and Galway, Lyons also offer contract fleet leasing, as well as van hire through their Hiravan office on the Ballysimon Road in Limerick.
Having started out as a small family business, passion and pride in your work are core values of their now thriving motor company.
Keith emphasises that the long lineage of his family’s involvement in motorsport is integral to their continued success in business.
“Motorsport and car sales complement each other well, yes,” he says, “but it goes back much further for us as family. Rallying is in the blood. My Grandad and Grandmother were involved in the Limerick karting club and in building the Kilcornan karting track. My dad Ken went on to become a national karting champion as a young boy and later got involved in the sport during the real glory days of Irish rallying.”
KEY FACTORS IN BUSINESS
Ken quickly became well-respected as a competitive and successful driver.
“People would still come up to me with stories about Ken’s rallies,” Keith says proudly. “They remember everything about the cars he drove, right down to their registrations.”
Keith got his own first taste for motorsport at Mondello Park.
“My Mom gave myself and my Dad a present of a track day and we made a bet that if I was quicker than him he would pay for my first rally. I beat him and sure enough he had to put his money where his mouth is!”
Keith competed in his first event at the Carlow rally in 2002, driving a Ford KA.
“When you experience the thrill of driving a rally car as fast as you can along a fully manned, safe country road, all you think of is how can I do that again? Once you get a taste for this sport, you’re hooked!”
There are many parallels between what the Lyons’ strive to do in business and what they aim to do behind the steering wheel of a rally car. Passion, precision, perfection and pride can be instantly recognised as key factors in their business and rallying endeavours alike. They have been actively developing their association with Irish motorsport throughout the years, which in turn helps promote their business.
“The rallying community is a very special one,” Keith says. “That community has been extremely loyal to us, forming a large part of our customer base. Rally people are very supportive and have travelled from all over to deal with us.”
The Lyons clan never fail to impress – whether with their immaculate, top class cars and livery or their rallying exploits.
Keith’s first rally of the season will take place in Galway on the first weekend of February, as part of the Irish Tarmac Championships. He will be accompanied by his trusted co-driver, Corkman JJ Cremin. All eyes will be on the pair that weekend as it will be the first chance to see Lyons’ head-turning, all new Ford Fiesta Rally2 in action.
Keith and Ken are understandably excited for the year ahead. 2023 will see them compete in a number of rounds of both the National and West Coast Rally Championships, as they continue to steer Lyons motor group in the right direction.
• Phone LYONS of Limerick on (061) 413 344; LYONS of Nenagh on (067) 33442; and LYONS of Galway on (091) 399 210.
Read more in the new issue of Hot Press, out now.
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