Car Culture Hub With Dozens of Classics Destroyed in Garage Inferno in Ireland

The Engine Block was a pioneering car collective that united several enthusiast businesses under one roof. Now, it’s little more than a smoking ruin.

byJames Gilboy|
Culture photo
Drift Games via Instagram


A major hub of car culture in Ireland has gone up in smoke. A building housing an array of automotive businesses, including a classic car dealer and a drift shop, were gutted by a fire that may have claimed dozens of historic cars. It's unclear whether the site has a future, with one resident lamenting that their "family business is no more"—though some former residents appear to be preparing for a comeback.

The fire took place at The Engine Block, an automotive business collective opened about two years ago in a former meat processing plant outside Dublin, Ireland. Its website bills it as a "unique home for businesses that supply, maintain and celebrate all things motoring, and for the Irish car community to come together and share our passion." The Engine Block hosted a wide range of businesses, from a motorcycle dealer to detailing and wheel refurbishment services, a seat upholsterer, a garage supply shop, transporter, and even a cafe. It was a place you could take your car for some TLC and amble around with coffee while you wait. In other words, a kind of automotive mini-mall that sounds like it had something for everyone.

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But around 11:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday, a fire started in unknown circumstances according to The enormous blaze prompted the response of six fire trucks and police to cordon off the area. By morning, the fire had been contained, and no injuries have been reported. However, the building was completely gutted.

"Unfortunately our family business is no more," wrote Deane Motors, the site's classic car dealer, in an Instagram post showing the aftermath. "50 years to build it, 5 hours to destroy it. The most important thing is, everyone is safe and nobody was harmed."

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It's not yet clear how many cars were lost in the fire, but some potential examples can be found on the websites of businesses formerly housed in the building. Some of the vehicles in Deane Motors' showroom included an Audi R8, BMW M3 (E30), Chevrolet Impala SS convertible, Subaru Impreza Prodrive P1, Toyota GR Yaris, and a Lancia Fulvia S1 Rallye. Deane Motors also offered storage and restoration services, which may have implicated vehicles not listed on its site.

The resident drift shop meanwhile, Drift Games, lists several known casualties: a Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32), a trio of Silvias, a Chevy C-10, BMW 633, Lamborghini Gallardo, and more. It's attempting to rebuild, and has already began selling t-shirts to get itself back off the ground.

However, the building's ownership (which also owns Deane Motors) sounded more defeated, so it's unclear whether The Engine Block will be recast—and if so, whether it'll be under the same roof.

The Engine Block and Drift Games did not reply to The Drive's inquiries by time of publication.

Aftermath of the fire at The Engine Block. Deane Motors

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