Girls & Cars: Emma Quinlan


Emma Quinlan is a rare breed of car enthusiast, in fact she’s a rare breed of girl. On the surface she appears to be a model, burlesque performer and party host, but get to know her and you’d find she’s an animal lover, outdoors type and huge fan of horse racing.

But… she holds a special affection for cars – fast ones, although with her love of equestrian pursuits her favourite marque is perhaps unsurprisingly Land Rover.

The quickest car she’s driven? A Bugatti Veyron, which she drove until it broke down. (not her fault!) Her newest love is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

Model, dancer, reptile owner, car enthusiast, horse lover and busy event manager, Emma is not an easy girl to type cast.

She’s travelled in most, if not all, of the most exotic super cars, supports the annual Cannonball Ireland run, and is friends with several drivers in GP2 and endurance racing. In fact, despite her model looks, she’s a class-A petrol-head with a passion for speed.

Emma is the niece of Irish property developer and tycoon, Derek Quinlan, who previously owned three of London’s highest-profile hotels (Claridge’s, the Connaught and Berkeley hotels), together with the Savoy Group which he sold the remainder of in 2006.

Despite the fun-loving feel of the event, the Cannonballers manage to raise around £100,000 for their favourite charity each year. Images:

During last month’s Cannonball Ireland, she joined a merry bunch of supercar enthusiasts, driving in convoy on a picturesque road trip around Ireland while raising funds for charity.

The 400 or so competitors, in 150 cars travelled from Dublin to Belfast, across to Galway and then down to Kilkenny over a period of 3 days, raising money for Ireland’s first Children’s Hospice – LauraLynn House.

Despite the inclement weather and the event’s more serious purpose, Emma added her own unique charm to the gathering with a series of driver-oriented outfits including ‘Little Fox’ (above) and ‘Cheetah’.

Emma and James Hennessy of Reptile Village take a closer look at some of the zoo’s caiman and alligators.

As well as being voted one of Ireland’s 50 Hottest Women, and being featured in the pages of FHM Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Australia, Russia and USA, she can also be spotted, in her downtime, looking after snakes, alligators, scorpions and spiders at Reptile Village Zoo, Kilkenny.

Unlike some models, Emma doesn’t just stand next to cars – she prefers to get knee deep in the noise, vapours and dirt of racing cars. Which segues nicely into the main reason for this post and the title image that brought you here.

Back in April, Emma jetted off to Vienna for the Monster Energy Masters of Dirt event – a freestyle motocross show featuring rally and drift stars, together with BMX, Sled, Quad and MTB riders, all performing extreme stunts on a man-made course of dirt.

Travelling between 3 cities, hundreds of miles apart over a period of just 4 days, the M.O.D Austrian Summer Tour was a wild and hectic event, which I initially got to hear of when Emma sent over the stunning images you see on this page.

Emma during a photo shoot at the Masters of Dirt event in Vienna.

She’s renowned for being a hardy lass, which she needed to be as her bare skin was sandblasted during the M.O.D photoshoot – but it makes for a great picture, don’t you think?

When she’s not working in and around cars, Emma can be found providing event marketing services for her sports and entertainment clients, looking after the needs of VIPs such as David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto and Calvin Harris.

She’s a ballsy girl who likes nothing more than to get her hands dirty, but don’t make the mistake of thinking she’s ‘just a girl’ – with more appropriate footwear she’ll probably leave most guys in her dust out on the race track.

As I said, she’s a rare breed.

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  • Wow. She’s beautiful. I’d never heard of her before but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out.

    • Emma is a delightfully edgy (but honest) person, with little or no airs and graces (she calls a spade, a spade). Her Twitter account is @EmmaQuinlan and she can also be found (performing and promoting) at The Wright Venue, Dublin – @TheWrightVenue