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Celebrated annually on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture, with lively parades and festivals, green clothing, shamrocks, and plenty of beer. Another facet of the holiday is leprechauns, which are small supernatural beings from Irish folklore. So, as a car website, we’re here to answer the all-important question, “What car would a St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun drive?” 

A leprechaun might drive a car that’s good for short people, such as a MINI

Leprechaun driving a tiny orange car in a St. Patrick’s Day parade
Leprechaun driving car | Cora Rosenhaft/Getty Images

A leprechaun is commonly depicted as a bearded man, typically with a green hat and suit. They are also often mischievous — and sometimes have a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Another distinctive characteristic is the diminutive size — ranging between a height of three to four feet.

With his small size, a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun might drive a car that’s good for short people. While subcompact and compact cars are not as prevalent as they used to be, models such as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, or Kia Rio could be good choices. If he wants to go off-road to collect his pot of gold, a leprechaun could get a Subaru Forester, a compact SUV that’s good for short drivers, especially with its high ride height and excellent outward visibility.

Side view of green 2024 MINI Cooper SE, showing car that St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun would drive
2024 MINI Cooper SE; ; MINI; Artur Kornakov via Unsplash (background)

However, a logical small car for a leprechaun is one of the most iconic of all time: a MINI. While MINI rose to fame in the 1960s, the automaker is still going strong today. We could imagine seeing a leprechaun cruising around in a green MINI on St. Patrick’s Day.

Shamrock car, the ‘Irish T-Bird’

Compared to the United States and other countries in Europe, Ireland hasn’t been much of a hotbed for car production. A notable exception is the famed DMC DeLorean sports car from the Back to the Future movies. For production of the stainless steel-bodied vehicle, John DeLorean set up an assembly plant near Belfast, Northern Ireland, where 8,500 units were built. Other noteworthy cars from Ireland include the Silver Stream, DAWB 6, Crosslé, Alesbury, and TMC Costin, per The Shop.

However, the most fitting Irish vehicle for a St. Patrick’s leprechaun is the Shamrock. As detailed by The Journal, the Shamrock was the inspiration of co-founder William Curtis, an American restaurant equipment manufacturer. When visiting his wife’s family in Ireland in the 1950s, he was astonished by the poverty in the country. This catalyzed a desire to build a luxury car in Ireland — and then export it to the U.S.

The Shamrock has a striking resemblance to a 1957 Ford Thunderbird. As a result, it earned the nickname “Irish T-Bird.” Like a leprechaun, the Shamrock is very rare. Apparently, only 10 were built, with the first one produced in 1959. The Shamrock was hampered in part by its leprechaun-sized engine, which only generated 53 horsepower. 

Uber or self-driving car to drive a drunk Leprechaun home on St. Patrick’s Day

What do you think a leprechaun is really going to be doing on St. Patrick’s Day? Like many people, he’s probably going to celebrate the holiday by getting smashed on many pints of Guinness or another type of beer. 

However, a drunk leprechaun shouldn’t be driving. With this in mind, he might seek an alternative way home. While sliding on a rainbow is a potential option, he could get an Uber or Lyft, a taxi, a bus, or another form of public transportation. 

Also, in the future, a leprechaun, in a drunken stupor, could ride home in a self-driving car — once the technology advances and is proven to be safe. Some Tesla owners have already pushed the limits of autonomous driving with Autopilot and the controversially-named Full-Self Driving mode. However, the technology isn’t quite there yet to safely support an intoxicated leprechaun on his journey home.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And be on the lookout for a leprechaun driving a Shamrock — or one of these other cars suitable for the diminutive Irish creature.

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