5 must-have garage features for enthusiasts
Every car enthusiast wants to own a Garage-Mahal. This is simply a place to store one’s pride and joy that goes beyond basic covered parking. A great enthusiast’s garage has to have 5 key things for it to make the grade. Of course, we would all like a 20 car garage with a fountain at the end and trickle chargers against the wall in each bay, but that isn’t necessary to enjoy one’s private space. Here are the 5 things every enthusiast garage should have.
Part 1 – The Car
This may seem silly, but for an enthusiast to justify a great garage there should be a great car involved. It does not matter if the car is a ’67 Camaro in parts, or if it is a Bugatti Veyron. The first step in preparing one’s special hanger is a car that defines it.
Part 2 – Space
A good car-guy or car-gal garage needs to have at least a little more space than one bay. That is because the garage is to be more than just a parking space. There are going to be tools, decorations, jack-stands, and lots of cleaning and conditioning stuff that needs a home. If the enthusiast is married, there also needs to be a corner for the spouse. This is peace-making gesture only. Enough space for a bike, or a small gardening shelf. Trust me, if you are married and you make a space just for yourself you will be headed for trouble.
Part 3 – Tools Comforts and Decorations
It does not matter if you are a full time NASCAR crew chief of the world’ worst backyard mechanic you will at least have car washing and waxing stuff to put in the garage. Take time to build in some sweet corner shelves and tell yourself they improve the structure’s resistance to hurricanes. Build or buy a work bench you can then clutter up to your taste, or leave spotless if you swing that way. Of all the tools in the garage the most important is the car vac. You need a vacuum that really sucks. One mounted to the wall with about as much vacuum generating power as deep-space should do it. Sears is a great place to buy such a beast and the 5 gallon-wall mounted set-up is a good start. Be sure to get all the attachments including the crevice tool and fuzzy brush. Lie, and tell yourself you are actually saving money vs going to the coin-op car wash vacuum.
Tunage also is helpful. Forget the iPOD dock, that is so 2005. Get a small, expensive as you can afford unit that can accept the Bluetooth signal from you phone so when you go in it starts playing your song list. A little college mini-fridge with your preferred tasty beverage and one for a neighbor is always a good idea too. Get at least two good, cheap chairs. Finally, get yourself some unique decorations. A Honey Badger sticker, some of those fake stick-on bullet holes, and maybe a few of your favorite road signs (bought, not stolen please). NASCAR numbers if you like that sort of thing. This is also a good place to stick bumper stickers since, being a car-guy you would rather tattoo your face than put a bumper sticker on any car.
Part 4 – Power and Lighting
Having had a garage without electricity I know the lure of dropping a couple grand to provide 100 amp service and killer lighting. Do it. It extends your garage’s useful time and although you won’t mind jumping in and out of the car to open the garage door for the first few hundred times, it does get old. Spring for an opener. When you decide to light the space, forget fancy. Get yourself as many heavy duty fluorescent tube lamps as practical and arrange them overhead and to the sides. Put them all on the same circuit with a switch near the door. Hit that switch and see the brilliance of a thousand suns shine on your ride.
Part 5 – The Surprise
This may seem weird, but your garage should be made pest-proof. It does not matter if you have a classic Lotus rag-top, or a 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible, mice are gonna-wanna eat that top. They are going to find a way in and set up a nice nest right on top of your engine block where it stays warm most of the night after you put the car to sleep. Be all kinds of proactive. Get medieval. Decon, spring traps, sticky paper, Have a Heart traps. Not one of those – all of those. And then use chemical weapons. I prefer cayenne pepper to moth crystals, but to each his own. The point is, mice and other rodents will find a way in, so get ahead of them and you will never be pulling your seat’s stuffing out of your glove box wearing rubber gloves.
We hope you enjoyed this somewhat whimsical overview of a good enthusiast garage setup. It is meant to be fun, but every single part of it is based closely on mine. What are we forgetting, and what does yours have that makes it special?