After an extremely cold and busy two weeks, I was able to spend some quality time in the garage. My car was absolutely caked in dirt and grime so it was cathartic to finally perform a proper wash. When temperatures are below zero, I cannot perform a 2-bucket wash because the water freezes on my driveway creating a dangerous situation, but the weather has been much more cooperative lately. So, a number of hours was spent removing the last two weeks of winter build up. This wash took longer than I anticipated, so I ended up finishing with a quick and easy application of detail spray. Had I had a bit more time, I would have applied a coating of "Ceramic Boost" by Adam's, but I needed to go get coffee.
At this point, the car is already dirty again, but with continued cooperation on Mother Nature's part, hopefully I will be able to perform more routine washes so it doesn't get as bad as it was.
I gave my new "Foam Gun" by Adam's a try. It was quick and convenient, but in no way does it rival a foam gun that attaches to an actual pressure washer. But, since my family was asleep, using a hose attached foam system was great since it didn't make any noise. I did not use nearly enough soap, though. I had to shake it as I was spraying it to get the suds going. For what it is, it works.
I had my first opportunity to apply Adam's Tire Armor and I loved it. I sprayed the product onto the tire and then an applicator to spread evenly. It was incredibly easy to apply and the tires looked great. Because we are in the midst of a major "melt", I don't anticipate the tires looking good for very long, but I am thinking Tire Armor is going to be my new "go to" tire dressing.
I am excited to share a very unique and inspiring garage story with you. I have been a fan of Greg and Nancy's space since they began sharing it on Garage Journal back in January of 2016. They have purchased a private storage condominium suite at "The Place" which is located in the St. Louis area. The Place has a motto: "For when your passion outgrows your garage" and it is one example of a steady movement that is spreading across North America. People in need of more space, but not in a position to expand or move, can purchase a suite where they can enjoy extra space while also becoming part of a collective community. These facilities usually have a common space where people can host social events or just hang out. Greg and Nancy have done a tremendous job of appointing and finishing their condo and I was excited when they agreed to allow me to feature their space on my blog. I furnished Greg and Nancy with some questions about their car condo experience and I have no doubt you will enjoy their responses along with the photos that effectively showcase the high quality of planning and execution that went into its completion.
Name | Greg & Nancy
Location | The Place, Chesterfield, MO –
Unit | 25
What attracted you to the idea of a car condo?
I came by an interest in cars honestly as we averaged about 15 cars at any time, scattered around our house (in the driveway, in the garage, in the front and back yards) at any given moment while I was growing up. But as much as I could blame myself alone, my wife certainly had a part in it as well. She was driving a manual Toyota MR2 Turbo when we were dating and always liked fast cars. Our 10th wedding anniversary was spent at Mid-Ohio, taking a 3-day driving course. Although we both loved cars, I was only expecting us to just each have a single nice car that fit in our small 2-car garage. The turning point happened when my wife was fighting through cancer. Part of our discussions as we sat talking during chemo sessions was that she should buy her “bucket list car” when she beat it. Once she was declared in remission, she found her dream car; a 2009 Porsche 911 C4S PDK. However, she didn’t want to sell her VW EOS, so now we had 4 cars, and with our daughters getting to driving age (meaning more cars to be acquired in the near future), our little two car garage was not going to cut it. Expanding the house garage was not an option, due to the small lot. We considered moving to a bigger house/garage, but didn’t want the larger yard and maintenance. My wife saw an advertisement for The Place and the rest is history.
Cleaning floor mats is something I take pride in. Because winters in my world make it virtually impossible to maintain a clean exterior, I take solace in the tidiness of my car's interior. I heard it once said that the floor mats are the windows to a car's soul, so I spent a couple of hours cleaning up the floors of my SQ5. Here's the process I follow when my mats and carpet need some cleaning.
As you can see, there is a significant amount of salt residue that has hardened to my floor mats. When snow melts on my mats, the salty run-off can leak out on the front corners of the mats. I have some strips of microfiber towels positioned to combat that run-off which prevents the salt from penetrating my carpets. The mats and the microfiber needed a good clean.
Using my long blue bucket as a catch basin, I spray the mats down with warm water. This results in a bucket of very dirty water. Next, I spray the mats with a couple squirts of Adam's Rubber Mat & Liner Cleaner. This is a highly effective spray liquid that, in combination with a green medium-bristle brush, made quick work of the leftover residue and buildup. A final rinse in the blue bucket and the mats are hung to dry on my "mat wall".
I have met a lot of guys through the garage and Audi worlds and while everyone has their own unique personality and story, everyone I have come to know demonstrates a high degree of attention to detail. This garage story is no exception. Located approximately 40 km southwest of Chicago, this Orland Park triple garage demonstrates how a well organized and executed garage can enhance life in the 'burbs, and support the activities that come with raising three active kids. My thanks to this garage owner for allowing me to share his garage story with my audience and for approaching my questions with such attention to detail.
My wife and I purchased our home in Orland Park, IL, USA in 2006. It was a spec house that was already built, but never occupied, so we got to start from scratch, but that also meant that there were certain things about the garage that I couldn’t build in, like I might have wanted to.
The garage is a 3 bay and is attached to the house. Unfortunately, it did not have a floor drain or a water run, so I’ve had to make do without those things, since I didn’t think to address these needs before I finished it. I’ve outfitted the back wall and one side wall with SlatWall that I purchased from Menard’s in a slate gray color. This has proved to be durable and quite versatile over the last 10+ years. In the time since, various modular wall storage slats from Gladiator and others have become popular, but these were not widely available when I finished mine, so I went with the melamine slatwall. No big regrets here.
Since my house serves my wife and I and our 3 children, as well as various extended family at various points, we knew that having a lot of storage in the garage was key. My dad and I installed 6 Gladiator wall cabinets across the back wall, in conjunction with a workbench, with two tool carts that slot into it. I then got two large cabinets and another tool cart that I’ve fashioned into an island of sorts to block up the space, as we only use 2 of the bays for das autos.
Lately, I've been obsessed with watching Retro Reviews on Motorweek. It is like traveling back in time to when all I did was read Motor Trend, Road & Track and Car and Driver magazines. Here are some incredible reviews of classic Audis:
1983 Audi Quattro
"It's from West Germany" - amazing. Only 500 of these made their way to the US. I've never seen one in the flesh. The 2.1L 5-cylinder put out 156 horsepower and they called it exotic! My 1986 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo had 146 horsepower! Somehow, I can't see my GLH garnering almost $50K at auction like this Quattro.
1993 Audi 100CS Quattro
The dog of a 2.8L V6 propelled it to 60 mph in 12.7 seconds, but it looks so good through the cones. I'd love to have a mint version of this sweet wagon. I love the supple white interior on this test model and the body design is just superb with the broad taillights across the back. I find it funny that Motorweek chose the Range Rover County LWB as a comparison vehicle. There must not have been many AWD wagons on the market back in the early-90's.
Back in junior high school, I had a buddy whose dad loved European cars. This was in the late-80's when most dads in the neighborhood were rocking big American luxury sedans. The first real experience I had with Audis was when his dad traded in his Volvo for an Audi 5000 CD Quattro. I lost my favorite car magazine to a bet because I didn't believe him when he told me his dad's car had a 5-cylinder engine. I thought all 4-door sedans had high displacement V8's, like any red-blooded Canadian kid in the 80's thought.
Recently, I stumbled upon this MotorWeek Retro Review of the quirky and awkward Audi V8 Quattro. I was curious why it wasn't dubbed a "5000" model. I enjoyed this retro review and it got me thinking more about the history of the Audi 5000/100 model.
At the beginning of the piece, Jon mentions that Audi is back on track after, "Years of negative publicity". This comment piqued my interest. I don't have any first-hand memories of dark times regarding Audis, but after some digging I quickly learned that, starting in the early-80's, the company became shrouded in controversy involving claims of unintended acceleration linked to a number of injury accidents. It's still not quite exactly clear what caused these incidents, or to what extent Audi was libel, but from what I have read it seems there was nothing actually wrong with the Audi 5000. That didn't stop CBS's 60 Minutes from airing a damning episode which devastated the company's North American sales numbers. It later became known that 60 Minutes falsely demonstrated the unintentional acceleration by having some "expert" pump air into the transmission. This, and a pile of class-action lawsuits, was enough to cause sales numbers to plummet from 75,000 units in 1984 to 12,000 in 1991. I'm still reading about this scandal, but here's a pretty decent summary of the story. One commenter on the Reddit forum claims the phrase, "I'm Audi 5000" meaning "I'm outta here", stems from this controversy.
Do you remember anything about this period of Audi's history? If so, leave a comment below.
I am excited to share this charming garage from Reykjavik, Iceland. Brynjar Hartharson is a mechanic who works primarily on GM cars. He has created an impeccable detailing environment he uses to care for his cars and the cars of others. I have been a fan of his space since I first caught wind of it on his Instagram. It was instantly apparent that Brynjar and I have similar tastes in many regards. Like me, he is an avid hobbyist detailer, obsessively pampers his German car, and prides himself in maintaining a very neat and organized workspace. I am thankful he agreed to answer my questions about his garage story and I was extremely flattered he mentioned my garage as one of his design inspirations. I am confident you will be as impressed with his space as I am. So, off we go to Iceland!
I have always been passionate about cars, dreaming of one day buying my own house with a garage. After I stumbled upon The Garage Journal in 2011, I spent a lot of time looking at garage projects and getting inspiration for my own in the future, I had designed the basic layout and look in my mind long before I had a garage.
After I parted ways with my RaceDeck Free Flow floor, there was a period of time when I was living with a bare concrete floor. Thankfully, it was only for a few weeks, but the experience left a mark on me and helped to solidify my belief that a modular flooring is a better option than an epoxy coating. These photos demonstrate the constant battle I face with water accumulating on the floor. After two weeks of having to watch where I stepped so I didn't track the filth all over the garage and into my car, I was relieved when my Swisstrax order finally arrived.
I understand that epoxy is the option some garage owners prefer, but not having to worry about where I step, or what I step in is a massive advantage, in my mind, to having a modular tile floor. My Swisstrax floor is always dry despite the constant snow that gets tracked in on the tires and undercarriage of my car.
While I do think epoxy coatings look nice, I would be constantly dancing around the garage trying to avoid slop and water and that's just not something I have any interest in doing.
After three weeks of suffering with a bare concrete floor, my Swisstrax floor arrived this weekend. Here are some photos of the install process and final result. I am very pleased with how things have come together. I need two Pearl Grey tiles and the edges weren't included with the order, so it's about 98% complete at this point. I am looking forward to putting it to good use and sharing my insights into its performance.
Here's a video I put together:
I didn't take any chances this year and installed my winter wheels in September. We experienced a significant amount of snowfall later in the month so I did the swap just in time. I do enjoy driving the SQ5 in the winter with the meaty Nokians. The gallery of photos below demonstrates the process I follow when performing a seasonal wheel swap. It is pretty awesome being able to do the swap in the comfort of my own garage with the QuickJack.
I enlisted the services of a local decal maker and had a batch of 6" x 2.5" decals made. I have only a few left. It is pretty sweet to see many of my fellow detailing and garage enthusiasts sporting the RAD logo in their own spaces! Feel free to contact me if you would like to order one for your own space.
With the support and encouragement of Carzilla, I have been working and experimenting with a variety of products from Gyeon. These videos demonstrate the application process and results of 1. Gyeon Syncro paint coating and 2. Gyeon Q2 Rim coating. I recently picked up several other Gyeon products and plan on completing a comprehensive detail on my SQ5 in the next week, once it gets dirty! Until then, enjoy these two videos:
While the owner of this sweet little Allroad and his family were vacationing down in Mexico, I saw working away on it for three days. In total, I put probably north of 15 hours into this project and I was impressed with how it came out. The video is on the long side, but it really tells the story of what I did to it. Enjoy:
The owner of the Infiniti FX35 I recently detailed dropped his first-gen SQ5 off for some RAD treatment. I didn't have the time or energy to make a video for this one, but I did do a short video for Instagram. It was a 8 hour job and the results were pretty good.
Following on the heels of the black R8, an Edmonton R8 owner popped down for a detail. I spent the entire day obsessing over this car and just before I was about to post the video, my MacBook crashed. For days I thought I had lost all the footage, but I was able to salvage it in the end. Here's the video and I hope you enjoy it:
I have never discriminated when it comes to the makes or models of cars I have detailed. I have attacked 15-year-old Toyota Corolla's with Cheerios stuffed in every fold of the back seat and I have slogged away in minivans covered with dog hair. You never heard me complain. But, now I want to treat myself. If you, or someone you know, has an Audi R8, let it be known I am offering a free exterior wash and detail. I would need the car for a weekend during the summer.
I am experimenting with a new logo, but I am not completely sold on it. It was a collaborative effort between me and a Belgian designer I hooked up with through Fiverr. Currently, I have commissioned another designer to see what they can come up with, so hopefully they can come up with something even better. In the meantime, this is the new one:
I am confident there is no place worse, no place more challenging, no place more frustrating to keep a clear clean than Calgary, Alberta in winter. Even with my garage converted into a detailing studio, I just can't keep up. But, I won't stop trying. Here's a video that demonstrates how I go about keeping a tidy interior despite Mother Nature's efforts to ruin me.
A concerned YouTube viewer raised some concerns over my wheel hub collar. From the video, it appeared my collar was cracked. I was pretty sure it was just the design, but the user went to the effort of capturing a screen shot from the video and highlighting the areas that raised his concerns, so I decided to pop the opposite wheel off to investigate. It appears that Audi has carved some notches into this specific part for some reason. Maybe it has to do with weight reduction, but who knows. I want to thank David for taking the time to reach out and share his concerns. It is very nice knowing that people are looking out for each other. Here are some photos that demonstrate the notched hub design I am referring to.
Hand washing a car in the garage may not be everyone's idea of an epic Saturday night, but I had been looking forward to this all week. The Flames were up against the Hawks and I had a dirty SQ5 that needed some love and attention. Here's a video that demonstrates how two or three hours in a garage can be quite enjoyable and productive. Enjoy.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a suburban dad who loves garages, Audis, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Custom Decals YYC
Geoff Wilkings Photography
Jay Leno's Garage Advanced Vehicle Care
OBSSSSD Premium Products
RaceDeck Garage Floors
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
In addition to showcasing my own garage, I enjoy sharing other amazing garages. Here are some spaces that I have featured on my blog:
Tyson's Acura Museum
Larry's Charlotte Showroom
Chad's "Next" Makeover
Gully's Dream Garage
Orland Park Audi Oasis
Cory's Industrial Arts Studio
Brynjar's Icelandic Garage
Pat's Controlled Chaos
Greg & Nancy's Place
Brandon Burrell's Toy House