‘Garage find’ 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth heads to auction

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Fast Fords from the 1980s have become hot property at auctions in recent years, with records broken for the biggest sales. 

One of the lots listed for the forthcoming Silverstone Auctions May Live sale is another desirable modern classic. 

However, the winning bidder might need to be prepared to get their hands dirty to make the most of this hidden treasure…

Awakened after two decades

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

The ‘barn find’ phenomenon has taken over the auction world, with collectors fighting for abandoned classics. The 1987 Sierra RS Cosworth in question here is slightly different, having been deliberately stored in a garage by its owner. 

Sold new in June 1987, the car passed through several owners before reaching the current registered keeper in June 1991. 

The Sierra was then driven round 16,000 miles, taking the total recorded on the odometer to 84,552. In 1998, the car was then placed into a state of hibernation until March this year.

Break out the chamois leather

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Untouched for more than two decades, this Cosworth has all the dirt and dust you’d expect from a lengthy period living in a garage.

The seller has decided to put it up for auction in unrestored original condition.  

Externally, there is enough grime to keep a professional valeter busy for days. The 15-inch multispoke wheels need a deep clean, while the interior is grubby but looks complete. 

Under the bonnet, the 204hp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is far from being in concours condition, but could be smartened up again.

Returning to rude health 

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Despite the covering of dust, the seller notes the car does run. More than £1,300 has been spent fitting a new fuel tank and fuel pump, along with a comprehensive service, to get it working again.

Other work included freeing seized brake calipers after decades of standing still. A new water pump and cambelt were also installed for the Cosworth YBD engine. 

When new, the rear-wheel-drive Sierra RS Cosworth would have been capable of 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, with a top speed of nearly 150 mph. The racing Sierras the road car existed to homologate were considerably faster, and dominated Touring Car competitions around the world. 

A whale of a time

Garage Find Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

Putting a value on this Sierra RS Cosworth is no easy task. Being one of only 1,650 examples old in the UK makes it rare, while the decades spent in storage add a special twist. 

Last year a barn-find RS Cosworth sold for more than £80,000 at auction, with that example having been taken off the road in 1991. 

Bidders and enthusiasts will have to wait until 23 May to see what the Sierra sells for. Silverstone Auctions will run the sale behind closed doors, but you can bid via telephone or online.


Recreate your Vanishing Point movie dreams with this 1970 Dodge Challenger

Modern touchscreens now available for classic Porsches

You could own an original classic Ferrari POLICE CAR

Porsche 962C

The London Classic Car Show 2020 preview

Porsche 962C

The London Classic Car Show gets underway this Thursday at Olympia. Around 500 classic cars worth more than £70 million will be on display, including the five Audi quattros we showcased last week.

Needless to say, we’ll be there with our cameras, so stay tuned for exclusive images and videos hitting your screens later this week. In the meantime, what can you expect to find at The London Classic Car Show? Here are some reasons why this is a show you won’t want to miss.

But before all that, it’s worth noting that The London Classic Car Show has a new home. From its former base at ExceL, the show, which is now in its sixth year, has moved to Olympia London in Kensington.

SEE ALSO: The best motoring events in 2020

Bas Bungish, The London Classic Car Show event director, said: “The new central location, in the heart of one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, is the fitting place to appreciate and honour these fantastic machines.

”Our move to Olympia London allows us to offer an improved and accessible premium platform for our valued exhibitors, and an even better experience for those travelling from across the UK.”

New for 2020: Car Stories

Bond DB5 Goldfinger

Car Stories is a new carefully curated feature. Hosted by classic car expert Max Girado, Car Stories tells the stories of famous cars, with the help of some equally famous names from the automotive world. Ian Callum, Adrian Newey and Tiff Needell are just three of the experts on hand to provide the knowledge.

For 2020, the featured cars are:

  • Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation
  • Aston Zagato
  • Aston Martin Vanquish 25
  • Audi Quattro Sport
  • Duesenberg Model J
  • Lotus 49
  • Maserati 250F
  • Porsche 962C

50 years of Range Rover

Range Rover London Classic Car Show

Eight of the marque’s luxury SUVs will be on display, each one representing key moments in Range Rover’s history. Exhibits include one of the ‘Reborn’ models – a two-door Range Rover restored to factory condition using only Land Rover Classic Parts and original components.

The list in full:

  • Range Rover Classic ‘Reborn’ (1974)
  • Range Rover Vogue LSE (1994)
  • Range Rover P38 Holland and Holland Edition (2000)
  • Range Rover L322 (2011)
  • Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic (2019)
  • Range Rover Evoque (2019)
  • Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography (2019)
  • Range Rover Sport SVR (2020)

“Range Rover isn’t just one of Britain’s most iconic car brands, it has successfully evolved over the past 50 years to stay at the forefront of the luxury SUV market. We are delighted to have eight of these vehicles on display at the show as we celebrate this special half century anniversary,” said Bas Bungish.

Coys at Olympia auction

London Classic Car Show

On Saturday 22 February, The London Classic Car Show will play host to the Coys at Olympia auction. There are around 60 classics going under the hammer, including a 1978 Ford Escort MkII and an Alfa Romeo Montreal.

There’s also a 1983 Ferrari 512 BBi with just 211 miles on the clock. Supplied new to a ‘notable international royal family’, it was kept as part of a collection and never driven. It’s expected to fetch between £400,000 and £500,000.

Alternatively, a 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder is likely to sell for anything up to £900,000. In many ways, it’s coming home, as the rare Maserati was produced for the 1970 London Motor Show.

Click here for a full list of consignments.

From Becks to Benz

LCCS David Beckham Aston Martin

If that’s not enough, The London Classic Show will also play host to an Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage Volante formerly owned by David Beckham. Joining Beckham’s Aston is a Jaguar XK120 commissioned by David Gandy and completed in 2019.

Also on show will be a 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, the first of its kind to ever be sold and delivered to the UK. It has an extremely low mileage, having covered just over 36,000 miles, and is expected to fetch in the region of £1.3 million.

Tickets for The London Classic Show

Advance tickets for The London Classic Car Show start from £25 per adult, £20 per child (6-16) and £75 per family (two adults, two children). Entry for children under the age of six years is free.

Premium tickets for Thursday’s preview evening, where an industry personality will be honoured with the show’s Icon Award, start at £75, with premium options also available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

How to get to Olympia

Kensington (Olympia) is on the London overground network, with the exhibition hall located directly next to the station. The following bus routes also stop within walking distance of the venue: 9, 23, 27, 28, 49 and 391.

There’s also a car park, but you’re advised to pre-book your parking space. Parking for a car costs £29.50 and can be booked here.

If you can’t make it The London Classic Car Show, here are some other great motoring events of 2020.

Salvage Hunters Classic Cars Range Rover

Salvage Hunters Range Rover heads to auction

Salvage Hunters Classic Cars Range Rover

If, like us, you spent the weekend sheltering from Storm Dennis and binge-watching the latest series of Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars, you’ll recognise this Range Rover.

The 1982 two-door Range Rover was imported from Spain before being recommissioned by Twenty-Ten Engineering. Although the episode ended without the car finding a buyer, it could be yours, because the Range Rover is going under the hammer this weekend.

It’s one of the lots at the Coys at Olympia auction, which is part of The London Classic Car Show. The pre-auction estimate of £22,000 to £26,000 is unlikely to please co-presenter Drew Pritchard.

SEE ALSO: David Beckham’s Aston Martin stars at London Classic Car Show

He was adamant that the car should fetch at least £30,000, describing it as potentially “the best left-hand-drive one out there”. Fellow presenter Paul Cowland hoped to achieve £30,000 on the nose.

‘This car owes us a lot of money’

Salvage Hunters Classic Cars Range Rover interior

“I’ve seen the invoices for this car and they’re just massive. This car owes us a lot of money,” said Cowland.

Pritchard travelled to Barcelona to buy the Range Rover and spent £13,500 on what he thought was a totally original example. Having entrusted Twenty-Ten with the job of recommissioning the car, he discovered that just the driver’s door was the original paint.

Undeterred, the team pressed on with a sympathetic restoration, maintaining some of the car’s originality, including the letters on the bonnet and tailgate. A pair of travel stickers were also retained, although the hosts failed to agree on whether or not this was a good thing.

Cowland described the Range Rover as a “£26,000 piece of stock”, so anything less than the higher estimate would be a disappointing result.

It’s a manual from Barcelona

Salvage Hunters Range Rover for sale

Previously, it was for sale on the Car & Classic website for £29,995, with the description stating that the producers ‘would be keen for the new owner to potentially appear on camera purchasing the car from our presenters’.

You won’t get an opportunity to appear on TV if you buy this at auction, but you will own a Range Rover that has spent almost its entire life in the classic-friendly conditions of Spain.

If you haven’t caught up with the latest series of Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars, you’re missing a treat. The presenters are excellent, the cars are fantastic, and you get to see the wonderful array of engineers and specialists helping to keep our classic cars alive.

Here’s a link to the show. Enjoy the binge-watching.


Concrete barrier will keep M20 moving

Crash test highlights vehicle safety ‘double standard’

Free polling station parking to help people vote

50 years of classic Fords

Celebrating 50 years of classic Fords

50 years of classic Fords

In January 1970, the first vehicle left the assembly line at the Ford plant in Saarlouis. Since then, more than 15 million cars have rolled out of the German factory, including the Escort, Capri, Focus, C-Max and Kuga. Here, we celebrate 50 years of the plant with the help of some archive photos.

Work begins in 1966

50 years of classic Fords

The Saarlouis plant is situated on the site of the former Roderberg airfield in Germany, about 15 minutes from the border with France. The foundation stone was laid by Ford General Manager Robert G. Layton on 16 September 1966.

Roderberg arfield

50 years of classic Fords

This photo from 1966 shows the Roderberg airfield before construction had started. Until then, the 1.4 million square-metre factory area was overgrown with meadows and trees.

30 years later…

50 years of classic Fords

Things looked a little different in 1996.

The first bodyshell

50 years of classic Fords

Although the Saarlouis plant didn’t officially open until 1970, the first Ford Escort body shell was completed on 20 October 1969. The plant also manufactured body parts for other European Ford plants, but also for Renault.

The first Ford Escort

50 years of classic Fords

The first Ford Escort rolled off the Saarlouis production line on 16 January 1970. The prime minister of Saarland, Franz-Josef Roder, had the honour of driving the car off the assembly line. The Escort was powered by a 1.1-litre engine producing a rather modest 40hp.

A beautiful Ford plant

50 years of classic Fords

Henry Ford II, the grandson of the company founder, is pictured signing the founding certificate at the official inauguration of the plant in June 1970. He described the Saarlouis factory as “one of the most beautiful Ford plants in the world”.

The car you always promised yourself

50 years of classic Fords

From 1971 to 1975, around 150,000 examples of the Ford Capri rolled out of the Saarlouis plant. The one millionth Capri, an RS2600, was completed on 29 August 1973.

The first Ford Fiesta

50 years of classic Fords

The first Ford Fiesta rolled off the Saarlouis production line on 11 May 1976. By 1980, more than 700,000 units of the popular small car had been produced at the German plant. Today, it’s the best-selling new car in Britain.

Fiesta festival

50 years of classic Fords

What a brilliant photo – new Fiestas as far as the eye can see. Of these, how many are still on the road? Yellow was far more popular in the 1970s than it is today.

Two million and counting

50 years of classic Fords

The two millionth vehicle to be built at the Saarlouis plant was completed in 1980. A good way to mark the 10th anniversary of the German factory.

Ford Escort Mk3

50 years of classic Fords

In 1981, the Ford Escort was named European Car of the Year. As well as Saarlouis, the Escort Mk3 was also built in Halewood, Spain and Brazil.

Five million cars

50 years of classic Fords

Saarlouis production hit five million in February 1990. The milestone car was a fourth-generation Ford Escort. We suspect the factory workers were delighted to be chosen to hold one of the seven figures.

Saarlouis in 1997

50 years of classic Fords

This photo of the sprawling Saarlouis plant was taken in 1997. Note the railway line, which is used to transport cars across Europe. If you look closely you might be able to spot a yellow Mk1 Fiesta. Probably.

Ford Focus

50 years of classic Fords

The Ford Focus is another ‘son of Saarlouis’. Just a year after the start of production, the Focus was named 1999 European Car of the Year.

Ford Focus RS

50 years of classic Fords

The Ford Focus RS was built on its own assembly line at the Saarlouis plant. Production was limited to 4,501 units between October 2002 and November 2003. Nearly half were sold in the UK, making it the biggest market for the Focus RS.

Ford C-Max

50 years of classic Fords

Production of the Ford Focus C-Max began in November 2003. After the facelift of 2007, the Focus part of the name was dropped, with the MPV now known as the Ford C-Max. By 2019, some 1.2 million C-Max cars had been built in Saarlouis.

A Saarlouis wedding

50 years of classic Fords

Ford calls this a ‘wedding’. It sees the platform-sharing Focus and C-Max on the same production line, where the body and drive units are assembled.

10 million cars

50 years of classic Fords

Yet another milestone. In July 2005, Saarland’s prime minister, Peter Muller (left) and Ford’s Bernhard Mattes were on hand to celebrate the 10 millionth vehicle to be built in Saarlouis. Most of the people in this photo look delighted.

Ford Kuga

50 years of classic Fords

The first Ford Kuga rolled off the production line in 2008. Today, the Kuga is the most popular SUV in Germany.

We run green

50 years of classic Fords

From July 2008, vehicles at the Saarlouis plant were converted to liquified gas (LPG) for the first time, followed a year later by natural gas (CNG) technology.

Saarlouis at work

50 years of classic Fords

This photograph taken in 2010 shows a vehicle sidewall in production at the Saarlouis plant.

Ford Focus Electric

50 years of classic Fords

In June 2013, the first Ford Focus Electric rolled off the production line in Saarlouis. It was the first fully electric Ford in Europe and the first pure electric car to be produced in Germany.

C-Max returns to Saarlouis

50 years of classic Fords

Ford moved production of the C-Max to Valencia in 2010, but it returned to Saarlouis in 2014. Here we see the C-Max, Grand C-Max and lots of happy people.

15 million cars

50 years of classic Fords

Disappointingly, Ford didn’t re-use the figures from the five million milestone when celebrating the 15 millionth car. This photograph was taken in December 2019, just a month before the 50th anniversary of the Saarlouis plant. When the first Escort rolled off the production line in 1970, production capacity was 20 units a day. Today, that number has increased to 1,160.

Aston Martin DB5

Amazing classic cars reimagined for the ‘electric era’

Aston Martin DB5

‘What would it look like if six of the most iconic cars in history were brought back to life and redesigned in an electric era?’

That was a question posed by a garage and mechanic comparison website before it produced half a dozen renders. Some are more successful than others, but in fairness, you could remove the badges and still recognise most of the cars for what they are.

That’s because some of the familiar elements have been retained, most notably the radiator grille, which is a redundant feature of an electric car

For the Lamborghini Miura, has removed the grille to create a look that’s not too dissimilar to the Walter de’Silva-penned Miura concept of 2006. Not that we’re likely to see an official electric version of the iconic Lamborghini.

Lamborghini boss Stefan Winkelmann said: “The Miura was a celebration of our history, but Lamborghini is about the future. Retro design is not what we are here for. So we won’t do the Miura.”

Lamborghini Miura

That may not stop one of the companies specialising in the restoration and electrification of classic cars from making an all-electric Miura. The demand is there, as highlighted by the recent news that Lunaz is to double its workforce to respond to a ‘shift towards a requirement for zero-emissions luxury cars’. has also tried its hand at a 21st century Jaguar E-type. Would it be wrong to suggest that, without the iconic grille, you’d be hard-pressed to recognise it as a Jaguar? Whatever, an official electric E-type looks unlikely, despite plans to put an E-type Zero into production. The company has paused plans following a ‘reappraisal’, saying that it’s ‘not a priority in the current global commercial climate’.

The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL is more successful, but the Shelby Cobra could be any number of classic roadsters, with the front end looking like a modern Mini. As for the Bugatti – that looks like something you might find on the set of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Have a look at the renders and decide for yourself. Maybe there’s an ‘iconic‘ car you’d like to see with an electric makeover. Maybe the Sao Penza? Or Matra Rancho? Or the Citroen Dyane.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


2018 GQ Car Awards

The 10 most popular British-built cars in 2017

2018 Bentley Continental GT makes UK debut

Cars are classic at 30 years old

Official: 30-year-old cars are classic

Cars are classic at 30 years old

What makes a car a classic? Go too new and you run the risk of looking like you’re trying to up-sell your old snotter that’s at the bottom of its depreciation curve. Conversely, go too old and the declaration of a car as a classic becomes sort of redundant. If it’s carbureted, and didn’t come with seatbelts at first, that ship probably sailed years ago. So when does true classic car status begin?

The Federation Internationale de Vehicules Anciens, otherwise known as the international federation of historic vehicles (FIVA) reckons you can’t go far wrong at 30, given the right make and model. You don’t get much more official than that.

Cars are classic at 30 years old

“There’s no magic rule to say when a vehicle becomes a ‘classic’,” says Tiddo Bresters, president of FIVA, “but reaching 30 years of age is one of FIVA’s clear criteria.”

“So in 2020 we’re delighted to welcome a whole new raft of 1990 classics to the fold, as they celebrate their 30th birthday, thanks to their caring owners. Historic vehicles don’t have to be hugely rare or valuable; the ‘new classics’ range from supercars to city cars to motorcycles – but all are important milestones in the story of our motoring heritage.”

Defining a ‘historic’ vehicleCars are classic at 30 years old

‘Clear criteria’ is no joke either. FIVA has four boxes for you to tick if you want to declare your vehicle is historic. Firstly, it must be at least 30 years old. The second is that it’s “preserved and maintained in a historically correct condition”. That means no modifications, and preferably no rust. Thirdly, and curiously, it mustn’t be a means of daily transport. We’re not sure on that one, given that technically one could use a Ferrari 250 GTO daily.

Fourthly, it has to be “part of our technical and cultural heritage”. It’s 30, clean, unmodified and used sparingly, but does it have its place in the history of the motorcar? Is it a worthy note on the great motoring tapestry? If not, not all is lost. You’ll almost certainly get a spot at the Festival of the Unexceptional. We’d be curious to know what the FIVA makes of that event.

Class of 1990Cars are classic at 30 years old

So what cars have secured true classic status? Entries range from the humble Renault Clio supermini, to the rip-snorting Lamborghini Diablo supercar. The Honda NSX also gets a mention, as does the boisterous 177mph Lotus Carlton. In the case of the latter, infamy plays as much a part in classic status as age.

Indeed, all are remarkable cars in their own way, whether that’s because you’re deliciously French (Clio) or are chasing 200mph (Diablo). So perhaps the FIVA is right on that fourth point about technical and cultural heritage.

The classic cars that gained and lost money in 2019

Hagerty classic car market 2019

Political and economic uncertainty have led to turbulent classic car values over the last few years. According to market experts at Hagerty insurance, the result was a deflated market overall in 2019. There are however, some cars that have gone up in value, despite the market conditions.

In 2018, the Ferrari Testarossa that was the poster car for lofty expectations. The average price of an advertised car was £116,000, compared with an average sale price of just £87,800. That difference of £28,200 closed in 2019, as sellers have smelled the coffee: £110,225 was the average advertised price, versus £91,100 for a sale.

“Things are now much more realistic than they were a year ago,” says Hagerty.

The rise of the modern classicHagerty classic car market 2019

Also according to Hagerty, the end-of-year rise in sell-through rates can largely be attributed to a shift in the types of cars up for sale.

The buzz is around modern classics: cars that are aspirational but not expensive, and on the up in terms of values. They also represent a lower risk than traditional ‘blue chip’ models.

The classic car winners of 2019

The king of modern classics is the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. Values had stalled more recently following a big jump. However, 2019 showed some strong results. Overall the Sierra Cosworth saw a 13.7 percent rise in value last year, based on average sale prices.

A more conventional classic led the way for appreciation overall, however. The curvaceous 1960s Jaguar MkII – the original super saloon – had a bumper 2019. Following years of stable values, prices jumped 23.6 percent last year.

What you should be buyingHagerty classic car market 2019

Hagerty claims the modern classic ‘Goldilocks zone’ is popular luxury and performance cars from 1990 onwards. In terms of value, if you’re looking to spend £150,000 or more, you could be taking a risk. For cars at that level, it’s a buyers’ market.

However, if you’ve got a smaller budget, and a classic car you want to own had previously looked unattainable, perhaps now is the time to look again.

Classic cars converted to electric ‘are not historic’

Lunaz electrified classics

The international federation of historic vehicles says it is unable to promote or support the conversion of classic cars to electric power.

FIVA (the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) ‘understands the motivation of some owners to electrify their vehicles” and that ”all modifications are a matter of personal choice”.

It also acknowledges that electrification allows vehicles to meet modern environmental standards, with the additional benefit of increased power and performance.

However, in a rather damning statement, FIVA has slammed the electrification of historic vehicles, saying it ‘cannot promote, to owners or regulators, the use of modern EV components (motors and batteries) to replace historic vehicle’s powertrain’. 

An increasing number of classic cars are being converted to electric, including the Volkswagen Beetle, Jaguar E-Type Zero, Renault 4L Plein Air, Jaguar XK120, Aston Martin DB6 Volante Electric and Ferrari 308 GTE.

What is a historic vehicle?

Lunaz electrified classics

According to FIVA, a historic vehicle is ‘a mechanically propelled road vehicle’ that is:

  • At least 30 years old.
  • Preserved and maintained in a historically correct condition.
  • Not used as a means of daily transport.
  • Part of our technical and culture heritage.

The final point is open to interpretation, but the reference to ‘historically correct’ leaves us in little doubt. An electrified classic cannot be classed as a historic vehicle.

Tiddo Bresters, FIVA’s vice president, legislation, said: “It is not, in our opinion, the shape or body style of a vehicle that makes it ‘historic’, but the way in which the entire vehicle has been constructed and manufactured in its original form.

“Hence if any owner, motor engineer or manufacturer chooses to make such conversions to a historic vehicle, FIVA would strongly recommend that any changes are reversible, with all the original components marked and safely stored.

“In this way, the vehicle may – if so desired in the future – be returned to its original state and may once again become a historic vehicle.”

FIVA’s stance is certain to spark a debate in the pubs of Great Britain and on classic car forums. Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

Thinking about investing in a classic car? Seek legal advice first, warns solicitor

Thinking about investing in a classic car? Seek legal advice first, warns solicitor

Thinking about investing in a classic car? Seek legal advice first, warns solicitor

With interest rates stuck at paltry levels and the stock market wallowing due to Brexit, research from Footman James suggests more investors are considering buying exotic classic cars.

But a solicitor at law firm Clarke Willmott LLP, David Stedman, has warned that people risk losing large amounts of money if they make ill-informed investments.

He said: “The Footman James research suggests that 1 in 5 people are considering investing in classic vehicles in place of more traditional asset classes.

“I have acted on all too many occasions in cases when recent retirees, having decided to use their pension lump sum to purchase a classic as an investment, have ended up with a car worth a fraction of what they paid or, even worse, a car that they do not even have title to with the rogue trader disappearing over the horizon.”

‘Buy a Lamborghini with your pension’

The warning comes several years after former pensions minister Steve Webb suggested it wasn’t for the government to concern themselves if individuals chose to use their pension savings to buy a Lamborghini.

Stedman added: “In perhaps one of the best known such cases on which I assisted, Gray v Smith 2013, a rogue trader was paid many millions of pounds by an investor to build up a collection of classic cars including a McLaren F1. The actual ownership of the F1 was just one of the issues in the case.

“Although the values involved in this particular case were extreme, the case highlights the importance for the amateur investor to obtain legal advice from the outset and the need to be wary of provenance, misrepresentation, and title.”

Does your car deserve a dehumidifier this winter?

A dehumidifier for use in a garage

As summer ends, many motorists will consider putting their car into hibernation for the winter. Which is where a dehumidifier comes in.

Used correctly, a dehumidifier will minimise the effects of rust, stop mildew growing on seats and prevent carpets and cardboard boxes from going soggy.

If you’re storing a car, motorcycle, machinery or tools in a garage, you probably need a dehumidifier. But how do you choose the right one?

For unheated garages, a desiccant system is preferable to a compressor unit as they operate at lower temperatures. They also tend to be lighter, which could be a factor if you intend to move the dehumidifier.

Crucially, from a classic car perspective, desiccant dehumidifiers have the ability to reduce the relative humidity to 40 percent or lower – below the rusting point of metal.

A basic compressor unit will be ineffective at temperatures below 15ºC. 

DehumidifiersUK recommends buying a unit with auto restart, which means the dehumidifier will restart after a power cut, rather than going into standby mode. Meanwhile, a unit with continuous drain-off means you have the option to feed a hose into a sink, drain point or separate holding tank.

How to get the best from a dehumidifier

Using a dehumidifier

Manufacturer Meaco has the following advice for motorists storing a car in a garage:

  • Place the dehumidifier on a level surface
  • Drain the water using a hose, preferably into a sink, to avoid the unit going into standby mode when the tank is full
  • Use as little hose as possible as too much will create a negative air pressure
  • Don’t use a plug-in timer, as desiccant dehumidifiers have a cool-down facility to prolong the life of the unit
  • Seal the garage the best you can
  • Leave the doors of the vehicle open so that damp air can migrate to the dehumidifier
  • Cleaning the filter will increase the lifespan of the dehumidifier and maintain efficiency

A quick look on the Meaco website reveals desiccant units are available from £170. Cheaper than repairing a rusty vehicle or replacing damp carpets in the spring.