Vintage cars to travel the route of the first international motor race to be held on a circuit of public roads.

In 1903 proprietor of The New York Times James Gordon Bennett introduced the race travelling through Athy, Kilcullen, Stradbally and Carlow.

Lovingly restored and cared for vintage cars drawn together to celebrate the anniversary of the world's first race on public roads 75 years ago.

In order to get permission to hold race on public roads, a special act of parliament had to be passed - the Light Locomotives Ireland Act of 1903. The Act stayed in force for nine months, the length of time necessary to hold the race. The Act allowed for the temporary suspension of other traffic in the interest of public safety, speed restrictions in populous places, and for other purposes incident to the proper conduct of such races. 

Leslie Thorn explains why the first race was held in Ireland. Plans for the race to be held in the United Kingdom were rejected when it was deemed to dangerous to the public. 

They wouldn't even take it in the UK because they said that it would be too dangerous and too difficult to stage.

Marking seventy-five years since the first Gordon Bennett Rally, sixty veteran cars will set off on the same route as the 1903 race. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 July 1978. The reporter is Colm Connolly.