Garage Life: The send off

Garage Life: The send off

It’s no secret that Irelands economy is down the tube, day in day out we hear a new story of something bad, someone losing a job someone forced to sell a car. The truth is, the “glory days” of what will be remembered as that chapter in the Irish car world where the port of Dublin was flooded with a car culture from the other side of the planet. All these “JDM” cars started pouring onto Irish soil, snatched up from the auctions in Japan and shipped the emerald isle. This happened for a good solid 8 years, there had always been the odd few Japanese cars which made it over before, but the major car rush which was witnessed by everyone was truly something special. Ireland immersed itself in the culture, rims, bodykits, seats, drifting, all these goodies which suddenly ended up being everywhere, suddenly Japanese cars were everywhere, it’s the biggest part of the car world in Ireland and has been since they started coming across the seas in the masses back at the turn of the millennium.

Many people took advantage of this, so many people in the country could name off a list of cars they have owned which would anger any fan in most parts of the world, from Integra type R’s to skylines, to “the ultimate Hachiroku’s. Growing up in this environment was too good to be true, the cars that would be on the internet were now part of Ireland. Down the end of my hill was the very first car we featured on Juicebox, a pearl s15 which oozed of goodies, at the other end of the street one could see probably one of the nicest sileightys ever imported into Ireland, the first ever and possibly one of the nicest chaser’s, a JZX90 owned by Davy Pickard. It was one of the first ever to be brought into the country, it was only at the bottom of my hill every day coming home from college, not so sure back then what a Chaser even was, one of the most influential cars that made me realise just how much I loved this “Japanese” styling. It made me sad to think that this would be the last time Dayo’s s13 would ever roll down a dodgy Irish back road, with wet mossy little houses as the backdrop. The car unfortunately was going to leave the country the same way it entered.

The celtic tiger has fallen, and the country doesn’t have the great abundance of money it once had. Most people I knew that were into cars were part of the building industry, and that too has taken a serious blow. With no Jobs and no money, car prices have fallen, the days of paying 11 grand for a DC2 or 13 for a Kouki Levin are over. We know this but many find it hard to admit to, the car scene remains strong but has suffered severally with cars being broke left right and center to make ends meet, because at the end of the day family and surviving always have to come first. Cars are temporary, the rust the break the fall apart eventually and that reality. The two guys in the picture are Gino and Clement. Unfortunately for them they never had a chance to experience a rush of Japanese cars into their country due to import restrictions in France. The country has very strict laws against modifications which also means that finding a Japanese car is few and far between. As we sat and got some dinner they told stories of how a 1990 N/A FC3 RX7 could easily fetch up to 10 thousand euros stock back in France. There isn’t really such thing as a done deal filled with Integra’s and ps13’s and Evos over there.

At first when I found out that the s13 was going the france I was pretty pissed off. We have heard this story of cars leaving the country more regularly over the last six months. Some of the best cars Ireland had to offer are now gone. Steve’s black four door R34, or that pink 180sx on Enkei RPF01’s that Wez from WKD brought in a few years back, there is so much more. People are selling cars here at an alarmingly cheap rate because there is no money any more, the good times have unfortunately ended for many and enthusiasts in other countries are finally starting to see this and take advantage of our crippled economy. The cars are being sold and many young people have packed their bags for the new lands of opportunity like Australia and Canada. I was annoyed, but I took a step back and realised that these cars probably had the same type of story in Japan, there is much mystery to much of the cars that have come here over the years. We might never know the love that was given to such cars or the timeless hours poured into that Skyline you might have owned.

The cars that we have access to now will be gone someday, either because of rust, crashes or possibly foreign interest, when I met Clement and Gino I suddenly realised they were just like us, the same love and passion but had a much harder time when it came to their passion. Clement’s dream was to own a PS13 but in France this is an almost impossible dream, that was until he realised he could pick up a fully modified one in Ireland for just over 7 Grand. To a person in Ireland at the current economic climate this would be considered too expensive but to Clement this was a cheap dream come true. Ill never forget his reaction when he saw the car for the first time walking off the Ferry, he was like a child at Christmas. The car was leaving and that was sad but it would go on to be loved somewhere else in the world, just like it did when belonged to Japan.

Sadly the abundance of Japanese cars in Ireland is slowly getting smaller, someday there wont be that many white Integras driving around or the vast abundance of other Japanese cars you see in car parks or on the mnotorway or driving around town. Who knows what way things will work out in Ireland, there is no denying what is going right now with Japanese cars, it angers many people because they dont have the money to enjoy things and its paradise for others from other countries.

I made two new friends when I met Gino and Clement. Clement came with the money sellotaped to his body, it was like something out of a drug film and even though the car was leaving the country I was happy to see it go to someone who will truly appreciate it, this gave a whole new light on cars leaving the country. Clement said there is only one other s13 he knows of in his area and when he gets back people will freak out when they see the car much like the way people freaked out back in the day when the first batch of Silvias and Integras or AE86’s that rolled off the boats in Dublin port. Most cars that really came to Ireland were only temporary whether we liked it or not, I’m sure many more will be shipped to other parts of Europe to be loved just as much as they were here. Many like myself have grown very attatched to the abundance of Japanese cars we have at our disposal but we have to remember they came from another place also, another scene somewhere in Japan. We can only hope that not everything vanishes over the next few years, from all the cars being broken and scrapped to others crashing or using them for spares or leaving the country we can only hope it doesn’t get too bad otherwise it will go back to the 90’s!




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  • Great write up man! Sad to see that car leaving, just cried out Awsomeness!

  • craigfarrell says:

    sad to see such a nice s13 go out of ireland

  • admin says:

    Cheers Paddy, a tad bit of a depressing write up but I guess this is whats happeneing. Glad the car is gone to a very enthusiastic owner though.

  • junior says:

    thtas a very heart filled write up….
    Bad times :/

  • eddy says:

    The whole fucking country will be full of felt spec audis come next year, as sad as this write up is its very very true, the good times are over and we will never realise what we had until its gone. All that will remain are diesel a4’s with 19’s

  • susan xx says:

    Sad times….. such a right up… like that from experience i was the owner of the pink 180 with enkeis but like that the joy lives on to the next owner i couldnt have picked a better owner for the car i wanted her to go to a good home and she couldnt have got better, the 13 in the pics is 1 my mates shane he sold up to go oz… hope the 13 lives on 🙂

  • Killer86 says:

    Being part of this generation myself It actually really does sicken me to read this article but it is the scenario described to a tee. Proudly having owned everything ranging from TT6 Supras to shonky 86’s and everything in between I really am considering buying something to have in storage for when I eventually return from Australia (which will be no where in the near future)because from the looks of things everything will be either broke or re-exported in the near future. Pity but it is reality…….

  • omer says:

    really messed up the amount of good cars going to mainland europe but i dont think all the good one.s will go theres always a few die hard lads who will never sell an those cars will only get better !

  • Just lost an erection. Makes you think when you read shit so deep.

  • Chris Gray says:

    great article guys, really good read!

  • Peter says:

    A harsh sign of the times really. The works s14 that was featured before has sadly gone to the UK. But in other ways its great to see other people getting to enjoy these cars. It will bring diversity to the european car scene and it will be interesting to see of they will go all out jap or put a euro spin on the cars. The car scene here is not what it used to be by any margin but it is going in a good direction with some amazing cars being built here and it seems to be weaning out the posers and pretenders. Long live the scene….

  • Noel says:

    Really a sickening sight lately. More and more are going. Mate of mine sold a evo 5 ta Germany. I contemplated it but I couldnt. I would much ather hang on to my car. Maybe even keep it in storage unti its rare again. Great write up but equally as depressing

  • hachi says:

    I find it depressing as i was hoping to own an s13 or twin cam when im about 23 or 4 but reading this article it doesnt like i will be

  • Jonathon V says:

    Quality write the pics.know all the locations very well as Im from Passage west.see so many cars heading for the ferry these days and never coming back 🙁 Seems like only yesterday we used to all head down there at night and watch all the jap cars arriving on the ferry from japan

  • cookie says:

    sad write up i must say and jap cars are getting rare on these roads with the money it costs to run them. but im fucked if im ever selling up to settle for an eco car rapes me to put petrol and pay tax for my 14 but it dose make me smile. i wont lie she is rough from track days and bad roads)never be a feature car anywhere :P) but second hand parts market which has improved should keep us all goin and with site like this cant go too far wrong 😀

  • ianolawlor says:

    sad to see that ps13 go was a car and a half

    now what is dayo going to get next?

  • Ejiro says:

    Having once been broke & jobless I had to do the same thing to a car I loved some years back. You loose a part of yourself that day.

    Don’t give up. I hope you can keep fighting and claw your way back in to the seat of a car that you love. Here’s to hoping that better times are coming up down the road.

  • nick says:

    my black deep dished s14a went to germany , some of you may know it. for as long as i could remember i wanted a black s14a , i would stare at the autotrader non stop looking at black s14a’s and wishing i could have one , but i could never afford 14k! last year i bought one and i couldnt beleive my luck , i loved that car to bits and the car was better than any car i could have imagined owning. i treated the car like a baby and in return the car was good to me. now its in germany 🙁

  • Anon says:

    Sad sign of the times.

  • Dave says:

    Great write up! Would have loved to see the guys’s face when he stepped off the ferry to see the S13. Sad how things are going here 🙁

  • Tadhg says:

    Jesus Christ I nearly cried reading this :'(