The Shed: The End Of An Era
Three Years Later

Life has a habit of passing you by far quicker than you expect.

It’s been over three years now since I last visited my friends who reside in an industrial unit, simply known as The Shed, located somewhere in Ireland.

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You’ll have to forgive some of the vague details in this post and the one that preceded it, but it’s done so on purpose to protect the location of this rather incredible temple of car culture. It is a truly special place.

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What for me makes it so impressive is that this is not just a group of guys working on their cars away from prying eyes – it’s an almost perfect look into our world and something I’m sure we can all relate to.

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With all of this in mind, I arranged with the guys to come and see what’s changed over the last few years. Early last Sunday, while the country was being rocked by heavy winds and rain, I took shelter with like-minded people and my camera in one of my favourite places.

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As it turned out, both nothing and everything has changed…

Europe’s Japan
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Walking through the door, it’s almost overwhelming for a first-time visitor, particularly if you’re partial to Japanese performance cars. There have been some changes in tenants over the last few years, but the core group remains the same.

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With limited floor space, the only way has been up for one or two of The Shed’s residents. Industrial racking now occupies the side wall, and it’s chock-full of spare Lancer Evolution parts. I wonder how many Evos reside on these shelves?

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There are complete cars too, like this fresh import from Japan, sans rear wing. I’ll double check with the owner, but I think it’s the highly-desirable Tommi Mäkinen Edition of the Evo VI.

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I was surprised to see this Evolution IX GT-A wagon having been stripped, mostly because I had seen it on the road only two weeks previously. With the bad weather coming in, the owner has started to completely weather seal the underside and perform a manual conversion at the same time. There’s also talk of a full Tomei engine being built for it.

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This was probably my favourite of the Evos, but I’m going to save the details for a future feature. It’s an awesome car.

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The DAMD front bumper equipped Evo V that featured in the original story hasn’t moved much, save for a recent wash.

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I’m sure this sort of thing is something most of us can relate to. It might be chaos, but it’s the owner’s chaos, and you just know that he knows where everything is and can find it at a moment’s notice.

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It’s not all Evolution, however. The majority of cars which reside under this roof are Toyotas.

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As are the majority of parts. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a 4A-GE of some description.

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This Trueno, lurking behind a rack of AE86s, was one of the first properly-modified Japanese Hachirokus I can ever remember seeing on the street here in Ireland, many, many years ago.

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Its three-spoke and split-rimmed Advan Racing Oui wheels herald a time where style seemed to come more naturally. I await a return to those days.

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A car that was present previously, but not on this particular visit is one I’m keen to catch for a full feature soon. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Daihatsu featured here.


Another Corolla that caught my attention lurked beneath a cover. From the silhouette, I expected a UK-spec car with some Japanese touches, but damn was I wrong.


Again, subtle in its beauty was an Australian car, brought home with its owner who had emigrated for a few years. The Trueno rear lights are a touch that passed me by until they were pointed out.


The tidily installed Nissan SR20 was a little bit more obvious. Usually SR-swapped Corollas like to shout about it with big aesthetic modifications, but I really appreciated how mellow this was.

There’s More…

You might remember the KE55 from the previous instalment (if not, the link is above). For the meantime, its Work Equips are on the SR20 AE86.

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The car is currently undergoing an engine swap with an ITB’d 20-valve 4A-GE from an AE111 being transplanted into it. If there was ever a car that demanded a smoothed, shaved and fully wire-tucked engine bay, I think this is it.

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Sadly, with space at such a premium, the cinema and GT wing wearing couch have been replaced with a car cave and a covered DC2 Integra Type R.

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Another car which has been resurrected since is this R32 GTS-T. The eagle-eyed amongst you might remember it from our Club Loose coverage not so long ago. It’s wearing a couple of battle scars these days, but it’s wearing them well. The mismatched wheel combination is ace too.

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The same owner’s 1UZ-FE KE70 project has sadly remained stagnant. In his own words, it’s probably the only car that’s gone backwards since we last visited.

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Its lack of progress hasn’t gone unnoticed by The Shed’s other occupiers either.

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A recent addition is this EP71 Starlet Turbo, which is awaiting a full restoration.

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The Turbo model of this generation came equipped with Toyota’s own active suspension: TEMS. It’s crazy to think back to the late ’80s and realise that this technology was available on cars. Depending on circumstance, TEMS could automatically choose between a soft and a hard damper setting. Pretty neat, huh? It also featured a manual override that could be controlled by the driver.

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Probably not quite as neat as these amazing factory ‘Turbo’ seats.

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There’s at least one KE70 here that moves under its own power, or at least with 4A-GE swapped power.

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A car that previously featured, but has since changed owners and engine, yet still lives in the same unit is this beautiful brown AE86.

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It still houses a 4A-GE but is now turbocharged, as opposed to its previous high-revving and naturally aspirated guise. The new setup is estimated at over 200hp, which is a sh*t-load more than any AE86 really needs.

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Other projects and parts of the unit remain almost eerily untouched. Although, they will soon have to find a new home…

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Because, sadly, there’s a sting in the tale of this particular story. As Ireland’s economy recovers, demand for units such as this has returned. Unable to afford the dramatic proposed hike in rent, the tenants have no choice but to find a new home and The Shed is for sale. With little chance of finding a suitable unit large enough to house them all, the tenants will have to go their own ways from here.

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Whilst I’m sure they will bounce back, it does mark the end of something special and somewhere that was appreciated around the world. Nobody is claiming that this was the first of its kind or even a unique occurrence. It’s just what The Shed represented to us all that made it special. Closing the door behind me for what will likely be the last time, I was acutely aware of what is about to be confined to history.

Regardless, here’s to the next chapter in this story…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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Closed course films

Great hangout spot


if the walls could talk...


All good things...


So sad to hear-I don't see what else a place like this could be used for :-(


Sad to beleived for this tuning garage,how about if all cars inside will be abandoded? ;(


this must have been awesome! and now that i know that a evolution wagon exists it's on my top five.


waw wish i could  see them


I have never seen a starlet like that and it is amazing.


So dissapointing to see, the original article was one of my favorites. A group with a shared garage / workspace is the what a lot of people dream about.


this land lord got me angry and furious!!!


Fords perhaps?


Amazing place, would love to have a workplace like that with friends


Thats sad to see.. Hopefully they will find something where they don't have to split up!


Awesome feature, great to see some more Evos on speedunter pages. That second to last picture of the 4G63 is going to be a wallpaper for sure. Circumstances are saddening though


Speedhunters Although I've never been there or heard of it, it kinda hurts knowing that this place is being sold.


This is why I fooking hate the Irish obsession with property. (I'm Irish myself). Like these lads properly spend the majority of there income on there cars and renting the shed plus the ESB bill and other associated costs. I'm sure they have being giving the land owner a source of steady income but the owner deicides the recessions over and they want to make a quick buck so they basically fuck over good tenents for the sake of a quick buck. At the end of the day it's only a shed and there only cars but you have land lords fucking people out of there homes to make a buck.


nova retrotech Nothing will be abandoned, everything is being moved out. Including the Red Bull wall.


Slappy_Pistons True that.


I really hope they find a new place. I have seen a post of this shed before (regarding a purple ae86 if i'm not mistaken) and i remember reading it 4 times, watching the pics over and over. Such an awesome place.


"Why you no finish me." Hahahahaha. That made me bust up laughing. Many stalled projects need that label.


Speedhunters U0001f614U0001f614U0001f62d


advan racing oni


I want to live inside, can I? I don't eat much and can give a help. What an awesome place for a JDM fan. 
I always liked the 90's Trueno, don't know why it's so underrated, that one looks pretty cool.


So did that Redbull wall actually grow bigger since your last visit?


RensAdams Yup. They had enough to do the full width of the unit and some of the ceiling too, but decided against it as it was getting a bit, um, precarious.


EvolveWRC I think they just paled in comparison to the likes of the DC2 Type R. Can be got fairly cheap now and are still a fun car.


Nick Elias Yes, same unit. They are all splitting up now as far as I know, which is a shame.


JDMDONG I see where you're coming from but at the end of the day, business is business. It sucks.


LukeEVOVIII Hopefully getting a feature on the red VI shortly. It's a cool car.


DarrellDjEvoHill Unfortunately, they are going their own way. Although I think one or two may have found a place together. Just means more sheds to visit in the future!


Playback9 You and me both, although I do feel lucky just to be able to visit places like this.


@turbo BEAMS ae86 2 Angry, 2 Furious?


RenoRotary Yup, it's so simple but something all of us can appreciate.


BigTmoneyD I'll get some shots of it when it's finished :)


danielbelvino Someone might correct me, but I think it was just available in the Evolution IX platform. Cool car and very rare.


vroomtothetomb Let's say that it's in a decent location and in close proximity to transport links. It's sad that it's going, but I can kind of understand why.


super jesus ...they might be able to explain the headless golden Red Bull baby mannequin.


Paddy McGrath danielbelvino  Yeah only came in the IX


Hi Paddy, I live in Monaghan and I was wondering where abouts 'the shed' was located. Out of interest


Speedhunters :(


Hey, as you can imagine the guys are pretty protective about its location, so I have to respect that. Sorry!


Yes, one lucky guy to have the chance to visit those places and meet awesome people. I'm not a mechanic, just an electricianc, still gave myself some courage and bought a blowengine rx8 and started to rebuild it. Cant wait to rev the ported 13b turbo and brapbrap it. Pretty hard to do it alone, if only prices werent so high in switzerland I would rent a place and make it a free to use to friends and their friends, I'm sure my project would be finished in no time :( but hey, being alone wont stop me, be sur to check the surroundings next time you go in switzerland. I'll be driving my shinka rx8 with a huge smile :P


A lot of people consider it a "watered down" car compared to the Trueno. I don't see why


I don't envy packing and moving all of that to a different place!


The original article on "The Shed" was an excellent read and I was thoroughly enjoying this one.. right up until the closing lines. What a sad end to the tale.


yup that is an evo6 tme.  hope we can see the evo ix wagon getting a feature once it's done :)


JakWhite I'm washing my hair that day.


nu gundam 93 Will definitely grab a spotlight when it's back together.


tbtstt It's sad, but I guess it's also the beginning of a new story too.


Good luck chaps


Lots of goodies there....


Awesome photography coverage!


Nice pics, I truthfully didn't read it all. The title grabbed me to want to mention this in the comments. "The Shed" in my area (Northern Minnesota, USA) means something else. An owner of Marvin/Integrity Windows has a place called "The Shed" with classic and rare cars along the Canadian Border in Warroad, MN. I really need to get over there and compare it to what I was spoiled with during my time in Metro Detroit (Lingenfelter and GM Hertigage Collections)


Its a shame, but it might also be a good thing for the lads involved. A fresh start for everyone involved. I am almost certain that while they are moving they will find parts that they completely forgot that they even had. It might also give them a renewed interest in getting stuck into the stalled projects again. 

I know nobody will probably admit it on an open forum, but it is also a good chance to cut ties with people that they didn't like in the shed. In a group of people in such a confined space there will always be someone in the group that rubs people up the wrong way. Its a good chance for people who had good relationships with each other to make a clean break from the others. 

Anyway, looking forward to see where they all end up and seeing the projects when they are finished :)


"Don't cry because its over, smile because it happened"                                                      -Dr. Suess


More stories like this, please.




A space like this is the dream for sure. Great article, despite the bittersweet ending.


A space like this is a dream of mine. i love how their kind of unknown not trying to be internet stars and building what they want for themselves and not for others. Theres not many places in ireland where cars are built properly because of all the nock-off parts that we have here. Thank you for bringing us these stories, i really appreciate it and they are truely inspiring stories.


IRONWOLF RD I agree, great space.


I hope to see a post of the new shed and everything thats been goin on. These guys have the same idea I do when it comes to big shop, lots of cars, and lots of parts but a real budget


the car was very good 
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