A classic car fanatic has been left devastated after a beloved collection of vintage motors worth almost £500,000 was damaged when Storm Eunice flattened his barn.
Ewen Sergison, 46, has been left counting the cost after his valuable vehicles were destroyed in 100mph winds over the weekend.
The F1 racing engineer, who also works as a high-speed driving instructor, said the damage to his collection of racing cars will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
An Alfa Romeo GTA, worth £350,000, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, worth £30,000, a Mini Marcos, worth £15,000, a Triumph Stag, worth £10,000, and two TVRs, worth £20,000 each, were all inside the open- fronted barn when it collapsed.
Despite the extensive damage, Ewen, who runs AVIT! Motorsport, says he was just glad no customers or staff were inside the structure when it came down during the storm.
Ewen, of Darlton, Notts, who lives with fiancée Rachel, 30, said: “We’d only been home for around half an hour when we noticed the wind pick up.
“One tile suddenly shot across the yard so we thought we should move the cars but, as we got up to move them, the whole courtyard filled with dust.
“The building’s roof and walls just came down. It was a relief to find out nobody was inside. My partner was hysterical, I spent a good minute telling her to calm down.
“Luckily, everyone was safe. None of my staff, customers or animals were in there, it was mostly my own cars damaged and not customers.
“If anything, I’m glad it wasn’t the customers – as one of them was the £350,000 aluminium-bodied Alfa Romeo GTA and the other was the Triumph Stag.
“But the cost in total is still likely to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, so it’s pretty devastating to say the least.
“We moved in just over a year ago, the home hasn’t had any damage. One side is where all the preparation work takes place, the side that’s collapsed is an open-fronted barn where we kept the cars.
“The wind blew the back wall and roof and took it around 20ft (6m) into the courtyard.
“The digger and dumper are one’s we use on site, the Aston Martin was a retirement present.
“The 1968 Mini Marcos was given to me by my late mother when I was 14, so these cars obviously have sentimental value, too.
“But we also got away with a lot when you think about it. The valuable customer cars just had some windscreen damage and dents to the bonnets and roof.
“Long term we were going to have 11 cars, five ramps and a glass front, so it’s a good job it happened now instead of further down the line as it could have been worse.”
Ewen and his partner had already suffered a terrifying flight from New York back to the UK, landing at Heathrow Airport in the high winds.
He added: “We had a bad landing at Heathrow, I drive F1 cars for a living, but that is the most scared I have ever been.
“We saw our flight featured on YouTube. It was a bit surreal to see it when we recognized it.
“And then this happened within half an hour of getting home. Everyone has been brilliant in terms of supporting us though.
“People were helping and bringing food. I’m not sure of the exact costs yet and I’m not looking forward to finding out.”
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