A man who was paid to set fire to a car was being questioned by gardai nearby when it went up in flames, a court was told.
Joseph Carroll (39) had tried to flee the scene when he was spotted leaning into the back seat of the high-powered Saab.
However, he was caught by officers close to the scene after a short car chase.
Carroll, of Oldcourt Cottage, Tallaght, admitted arson of a car at Rossfield Park, Tallaght, on October 27, 2017.
Judge Patricia McNamara ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned sentencing to March.
Gda Brian Law told Tallaght District Court he was on patrol when he received a call about two males acting suspiciously near the silver-coloured Saab 95 saloon.
He added that the car was parked on the road and it app-eared the defendant was leaning into the back seat.
Gda Law also told the court that Carroll told him he was getting paid by another individual to cause damage to the car.
As gardai were standing talking to the defendant, the car went on fire, the court heard.
Gda Law said Carroll was intoxicated at the time.
He was interviewed the next day and he told gardai he was getting paid for damaging the car by fire.
Carroll also told officers that drink was a big factor in what he had done.
There was no connection between Carroll and the car owner, the court heard.
Gda Law said that when he spoke to the registered owner of the car, he said he no longer owned it.
It appeared the vehicle had been bought by another party and abandoned.
The court heard that the defendant had 23 previous convictions.
Carroll further admitted two drive-offs and stealing petrol worth €100 from Topaz, Blessington Road, Tallaght, last July 3.
He further admitted driving without insurance or a licence on the N81 Tallaght last May 11.
On the non-insurance charge, Judge McNamara fined him €450 and banned him from driving for four years.