Oct 1, 2012

Garage Envy

I'm moving back into my most favorite garage tomorrow.  I can confess, I did envy the cool garages belonging to everyone other than me had.  Yes, I hated you.  Now that I am "home" with an enviable garage all my own, your lives will all be spared.

All pictures are compliments of the Rennlist Dicussion Forums.  Thanks guys.




Just think of me as like a deposed dictator who's just regained his position through the use of an elite fighting force backed by the CIA. I'm back jack!  With nary a buck to spend on car wax, but I'm here damnit, and it's all mine.  Except for the half that now will belong to my wife.  A small price to pay.

Cowhorn's RS pretty much is the definition of envy.  


You have got to have a decent garage or the other guys in the neighborhood won't envy you properly.  When a car guy's garage door is open, nearby "domesticated" husbands need to look yearningly as they pass.  They should walk past with baby carriages and point to educate their young, all whilst consumed with envy.  Baby or no baby, they should know it ain't that hard to keep your car-guy self respect.  We must bear witness and help them to sell those minivans, read and then learn.
A clear source of envy for me, due to the lift.
Thanks Steve

A cooler garage is still easier to accomplish than you might think.  Even when those children of yours might demand food and books for school, there is still a way to retain ones manhood.  Thats because any garage can deliver fulfillment.  So don't have garage envy, rather be the source.  With a little thinking you can get your groove on too.

David, That white one's in danger if an earthquake occurs.  I'll take it off  your hands.

Perhaps you don't have cable and a spare flatscreen TV for a garage entertainment of your dreams. Don't give up just yet.  Wifi streaming of TopGear would work fine too.   I know you've probably got an old decommissioned laptop right?  Better yet,  just tell that special someone you want to upgrade them to the new iPad-3 and viola, spare iPad for the garage.  See, theres no need to give up and watch American Idol in the living room just yet.

AKFC's  red accent wall should really match those calipers.
See, now you have a winter project :)

Flooring is of course paramount for an ideal garage experience.  Even something as simple as indoor-outdoor carpeting or a coin top rubber mat will make an impact.  Nothing makes you feel good about your car like a bad ass floor.  An improved floor makes finding that small screw you just dropped easier too.  Do your homework though, upkeep can be a bummer if you choose wrong.   The Racedeck pictured with me above was expensive, but covered uneven seams in the concrete really well.  I cost me a motorcycle, I sold my Husqvarna to fund it.    Don't let that happen to you, be rich or sell a child or kidney instead. 

Flecks on a painted epoxy floor are great,  Epoxy comes from many sources.
One rule with epoxy is one word:  Prep.


Those huge 6ft florescent bulbs were hard to dispose of when they burnt out.

Flooring, and paneling makes the garage like a living space.  Very very good.

Don't underestimate good visibility.  Think screw in fluorescents at a bare minimum, they can be much brighter than comparable incandescents.  Then spend up from there if you can.   Think in other ways about light too.  Consider painting your garage with illumination in mind as well.  No that doesn't mean glow in the dark paint, but rather light reflecting colors and textures.  Paint's cheap and can help spread that light around well, giving more bang for the buck than any other garage modification. Dark colors like charcoal might match your GT500 but it won't optimize light.
White paint, fluorescent light, small television.
Well done, now pass me that 15mm socket.


When wax or oil end up on your walls you'll appreciate choosing gloss or semigloss paint. Good lighting and light painted walls will pay off when cleaning that ride. Important note though, soiled, well used, cars are still the coolest.  They do, however, at least need the potential to be clean.  Only then can you truly brag about choosing not to clean them.



Why don't I have one of these?

Most of us work with the garage door open when doing projects for better ventilation as well as lighting.  In Seattle I find working with my garage door open is a great way to meet drunks and losers. Open windows make better sense but are a potential access point for thieves that noticed your stuff when you had the garage door open.  Try installing a bathroom style electric vent in smaller garages.  Mine's wired to a timer set it to 15 minutes after drives.  That keeps the gasoline and rubber smells down to a minimum.  Remember, my garage is connected to the master bedroom, and somebody in there doesn't appreciate the smell of limited slip additive.  Besides you can buy scented candles that resemble motor oil later instead.

963K993's recycling of track tires is enviable for sure.
I'd prefer some soiled handprints on that towel though.


Bad ass storage is every car guys dream.  You don't need to buy them, just take left overs from craigslist or that upcoming kitchen remodel.  Besides you know that kitchen is getting a remodel before your garage ever will.  Paint those old cabinets to match the garage, and change the handles to something cool for crying out loud.  Think left over rod bearing caps, door handles etc.  My larger grey cabinets below were cheap (Lowes $150ea) and are good for hiding those things your sweetheart tells you "must" go in the garage. Nobody needs to know they actually store Christmass ornaments.

Some day I'll keep piles of money in these cabinets,  to afford  parts.
One cabinet has the back cut out and is actually a closet for my cycle gear


Size matters,  don't let anyone lie to you.  Deeper, wider garages, with plenty of room are cooler than yours.  Tall ceilings mean you can install that lift nobody's bought you yet.   But if room just isn't that plentiful you could try high mounted shelves instead of cabinets.  Or, my favorite solution: buy a smaller sports car.  Just about any problem can be fixed with the purchase of a new vehicle.   



RJT, decorating the ceiling is uniquely cool.  But watch for gravity storms.
Plumbing.  My garage has a door to the master bedroom, which I appreciate when I need to take a leak or grope someone.  It also has plumbing for a washer and dryer, so shop towels don't need to intermingle with ladies undergarments.  If at all possible shoot for at least for a source of warm water to wash stuff as well as your car in winter.  This is often easier than you think since many times the hot water heater isn't far from the garage.  Tell no one, or people will want to wash their dogs in your driveway.

Posters, and other stuff are easy, you had a bedroom as a teenager right, same idea.  I personally can't keep my interest on any a single car or manufacturer long enough to get a good theme going.   I am thinking about photos of cars I've owned as a theme.   A sad, humble theme that includes my Pontiac Sunbird and two Nissan trucks.

Don't let the red floor partitioning distract you from envying that cool plane.
Thanks RudyP

Climate control is a garage status symbol for sure.  No self respecting car guy should have to work with cold fingers.   Heaters really sap the electricity though, so unless you pay the bills yourself each month,  try hard to insulate and weather-seal that big hole called the garage door.  Then buy a sweater.

I wish more was going on in my garage, instead of in my mind.
Thanks Mat



Magdaddy's got the heat and lighting figured out.  

Sometime's you are most passionate BEFORE you get that good garage.  

See
Michael's garage cluttered or saturated with ideal car guy toys.
Things could be worse. 
ilko's done amazing things in this small space


Just remember, it's not important how good your garage is, just how much better it is than your neighbors'.   Let them focus on the landscaping.




late arrivals that bear appreciation:

nothing motivates like freezing your but off
levtron, ilko's passion warmed him through the garage free years.  


Roof racks on Carrera's are very very cool.   sfish C4  thanks for the pic