When you finish your next build… build a garage. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re a true automotive addict. That means you are likely always thinking of the next mod for your car. The perfect exhaust, that JDM/Euro touch that will set your car off perfectly. If it isn’t that… then it’s the NEXT CAR you’d like to buy. For me, visions of everything from a Honda CR-Z (because they are cool) to Maserati Bi-turbo (likely a horrible idea), or even a Ferrari Testarossa (I’ve always regretted selling my ’86) regularly dance in my head. I would venture a guess that we all spend a fair amount of time on Marketplace or browsing for “the next one”.  Well, I am here to suggest a worthy alternative: Park your dream car in your dream garage!

collectors garage

I want to share a bit of my personal journey in hopes that it’ll lead you on a path to true automotive bliss.

For me – it started back in about 2005. I had to deliver a GT500 to an acquaintance’s garage. I arrived to a fairly nondescript steel & wood-sided building with 3 very nice overhead doors. But once inside – my jaw dropped! No, it wasn’t filled with cars that I had long lusted after. In fact, most of the 6 or 7 cars were muscle cars that I personally never had much interest in. But the garage! Dude. This garage was amazing!

Cool signage & collectibles everywhere. Upstairs was a 3 bedroom / 2 bath ‘playhouse’ finished much nicer than most homes. This million dollar space rocked my concept of what a garage should or could be.

garage

A few weeks later I was changing the oil in my own garage, and remember distinctly thinking…

“Man… I need a real garage”.

Six months later, I traded that very car (a Porsche Boxster with 130k miles) for a timber frame barn built in the 1890’s adjacent to my primary residence. Now – I’d love to tell you I immediately dropped $250k in renovations and have since won all sorts of architectural design awards. But nope! My Grandfather raised me with the ethos…

“If you don’t have the money for something, you save until you do”.

So this is precisely what I did. At first, the progress was slow. This was, after all… a barn built over 100 years ago. It had a dirt floor and was mostly open, and no cars could be stored in this space. I needed to get to work.

Alfa 4C

I poured a cement floor myself, then realized…

I didn’t know what the heck I was doing & it would probably crumble under the weight of a lift. So I dug it up & brought in professionals. Then I put in a lift, all new doors, and had some Amish guys completely redo the loft-space. I also had some pals help me drywall and insulate. It’s been a labour of love… and it’s STILL far from complete. However, in many ways, it’s EXACTLY like one of my builds… like a car you perfect over years of loving ownership. This year has seen some new improvements, and next year will see more. It has been great to be able to house some of my collection in a space that I have had a hand in transforming… in improving & perfecting.

car memorabilia

Though I’m by no means ‘FINISHED’ with my Barn Garage…

I thoroughly enjoying the satisfaction of simply walking through the threshold, sitting on my ’79 Ford Bronco seat (turned into a Bar Stool by my neighbor Russ & his son Nate), and enjoying the view of my cars. And letting the inspiration soak in! The space accentuates the cars – displayed with posters, press materials, and models of similar eras. It’s so rad. And it’s funny, because when people come over, they see it as being sort of unattainable. It isn’t! I traded a car for it… and have just nickel & dimed it to where it is today. Far from finished, but so in love with the journey. Find your space, and make it a haven.

•Text by Tim Neely from Tim’s Enthusiast Garage & Motor Vice

Tim Neely wrote this article a few years ago for an issue of S3. And it may not be right now… but at some point, this article starts to hit home for practically any enthusiast lol. There’s such a satisfaction in having some space for you & your hobbies to stretch out & relax. To have ‘that haven’ that Tim speaks about. –Wooley

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