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'm excited to be featured on the second in a series of videos produced by YouTube sensation, Pan the Organizer! His "Pan & the Organizers" series features viewers touring people through their detailing themed garage spaces. I am enjoying reading through the comments left by Pan's viewers and feel very proud that people seem to dig what I have created.
The best part of being featured on Pan's channel is the amount of feedback from his viewers. I will admit to reading each and every comment and I am so impressed with the amount of positive feedback my garage has received. Here's a sampling. Click image to enlarge.
Brandon Burrell is a remarkable dude. He says he enjoys "tinkering" in his garage, but what he does is so much more than tinkering. He has created a number of amazing custom vehicles over the years and maintains a strong social media presence that allows him to showcase his passion for everything custom with thousands, perhaps millions of followers. I was humbled when Brandon mentioned my garage was part of the inspiration behind his own garage. As you will see, he has created a space that is truly special and unique, and is the perfect environment to create and play with his toys. It has been cool getting to know Brandon and I am really enjoying following along with all his amazing projects, especially his current "cRAMbury" build featuring a 2019 Ram. I am confident you will enjoy his story as much as I have.
Name: Brandon Burrell
Location: Asheville, NC
Type: 2-car attached
Dimensions: 19' x 22'
Date of construction: Late-2014
Brandon refers to his garage as a "two civic" garage because of its modest size, but lack of acreage hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some remarkable custom builds. Located in a suburban area consisting of 600 homes, this garage is currently home to Brandon's #cRAMbury build which promises to snap necks at this year's SEMA show. He enjoys tinkering on his and friends' vehicles, detailing, and displaying various automobile paraphernalia along with his extensive array of Adam's Polishes products. I am pleased that Brandon agreed to this blog feature. I haven't known him for a long time, but in our conversations I have found him to be an incredibly down-to-earth car guy with an incredible eye for detail and his "automotive portfolio" demonstrates a ridiculously high level of vision, creativity and execution.
What projects have you tackled in your garage?
I currently park my #cRAMbury build in it. I use the garage to tinker on mine and friends' custom vehicles, detail my vehicles and some others from time to time. We have built three full custom Honda Groms, a custom motorcycle trailer (with speakers, lighting, etc), a Subaru WRX that was at the 2016 and 2017 SEMA shows, a 2015 Tundra that was at the 2017 SEMA show and a custom lifted golf cart in this garage.
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.
Like most Canadians, I have a love-hate affair with Canadian Tire. On one hand, it is so convenient to drop by the local store and browse the aisles for whatever you may need. On the other hand, they have been known to stock their shelves with products of questionable quality. Whatever the case may be, I cannot help but get nostalgic when I stroll my way past the wall of car cleaning products at my local store. I remember scouring this wall as a young lad in search of the latest, greatest product that was going to help me perfect my car's finish. In fact, it wasn't until about six or seven years ago, when my obsession began to take hold, that I began sourcing products from other stores and sites on the Internet.
That means the Canadian Tire automotive cleaning products aisle has been a part of my life for the better part of 30 years. For that, it still gets my respect.
If you take a close look at these two photos, you will see some pretty decent products for sale. And, you'll see some not-so-good ones as well.
A few weeks back, an order of Adam's products arrived on my doorstep frozen solid. I contacted the team at Adam's and they put together this care package of replacement items along with some other goodies. They do know how to treat their customers. Here's a look at what I came home to last Tuesday.
I still have to follow up with the staff at Adam's to ensure the other items that I received in my frozen order escaped physical and chemical damage. I'm assuming that they are fine since the team at Adam's didn't send replacements for those products but I will double check. At any rate, I am fortunate to have the support of Adam's behind me and I know these products will find a lot of use once I get back to my regular detailing routine.
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 been an admirer of this garage for years, so I was pumped when the owner agreed to having it featured on my humble blog. This is a true car lover's dream garage that I really hope to one day see in the flesh. Everything you see here was created by the owner with the help of his family. I have followed each evolutionary change that he has made and the level of execution is simply amazing. You can learn a lot more about the history of this garage by checking out the build thread on garagejournal.com or his photo album on Photobucket. It's amazing to see how Chad and his family transformed this regular garage into something truly special and unique.
Location: Nashville, TN
What inspired you to create the garage you created?
I have always loved fixing ugly things up and that applied to garages too. I have enjoyed taking several houses that had the nastiest and ugliest regular old garages and trying to turn them into something that wows you when you open the door. With this house, we usually come in through the garage and my wife and I wanted to make it a beautiful and inspiring path to come into the house. She is a car fanatic too!
I have been going through some old car related photos, and I stumbled upon this beauty. This photo features a red Dodge Viper belonging to Tim Horton's co-founder, Ron Joyce. I was working as a counselor at Tim Horton's Children's Ranch during the summer of '96 when Ron and Bobby Hull came out to visit and drove this sweet Viper. Imagine my delight when Ron threw me the keys and let Steve and I take it for a quick rip up Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country. It is still one of the most insane cars I have ever had the pleasure of driving. The boss of the camp had a fit, but I didn't care then, and I definitely don't care now. When someone lets you drive a Viper, you drive it.
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.
I was expecting an Adam's order to arrive on January 24th, but FedEx lost track of the package on the 21st and didn't recover it until the other day. In that time, the weather took a drastic turn for the worse. Had this package arrived on the 24th, everything would have been fine, but the package arrived on my doorstep frozen solid. I put the various items in a warm bath to thaw them out. The All Purpose Cleaner bottle burst, but I was able to salvage 80% of the contents and use an extra bottle I had laying around. The label on the aerosol Window Cleaner was ruined due to the spillage, but it works. The worst part of all involves the Ceramic Spray Coating bottle. I thought everything was fine, but when I awoke this morning, I was shocked to discover that the entire contents of the bottle had leaked through a tiny crack and completely saturated my workbench (no pics - too dramatic!). I have contacted the team at Adam's to see what they can do to help me get my life back on track. I'm afraid that the chemical integrity of some liquids has been compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle. I'll let you know how it goes...
16 oz liquids
Aerosol Window Cleaner 19oz
Which of these products do you think have been compromised by the freeze/thaw cycle?
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.
Last weekend, a good friend came by to snap some photographs. She is quite talented so I am very eager to see how they turned out. She sent a few teaser pics and they look great. I even convinced my family to pose for a few. My plan is to use her shots to update my website. Since I had the garage tidied up, I did a new tour video because the last tour video is a couple of years old and things have changed a bit since then.
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.
Performance Parts & Service
There's some companies that I just love to support, and Tunerworks is one of them. My first experience dealing with Tunerworks was back in 2008. I ordered some chrome wheels off the Internet for my 2006 Cadillac STS-V. Yes, I know chrome is no longer cool, but this was 2008 and I was all about the bling! I didn't want to take a chance and have some hack at the local tire shop scuff the wheels so I decided to take them to Tunerworks thinking they must go to great lengths to avoid such disasters since they work on a variety of exotic cars. Having seen the Lambos and Porsches outside their shop, I prepared myself for the pretentiousness that would surely accompany an outfit that caters to the upper crust of car society. It turned out, I couldn't have been more wrong. The staff was completely down to earth and I have been dealing with them ever since. Here's a historical break down of the work I have had completed by Tunerworks:
2006 Cadillac STS-V
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.
Patrick Simpkins is a 29-year-old law enforcement professional from Tazewell, Virginia. He contacted me through Instagram because he wanted to share his garage project with others. Tazewell is a small town located in southwest Virginia and Patrick points out it is one of those sleepy country towns with more cows than people! In addition to working as a full-time detention officer at the local jail, Patrick runs a detail business out of his garage and has plans on creating the ultimate home garage/detailing studio. I shot Patrick some questions about his garage and future plans, and I'm happy to share his responses along with some photos of his current setup and screenshots of the various products he plans to upgrade his space with.
My garage was built in 2001 with my home as my home is a split foyer style home with my garage located under the master bedroom. It's a standard 2 car garage that measures 23 feet deep and 25 feet wide. The builder did a fine job designing the garage as I would only change a few things, like adding a drain, different location of garage button openers and a couple more outlets. The garage already has water ran to it with a sink and the HVAC system was routed in there so I'm able to work in my garage all year long. One of the previous home owners had installed some custom made shelves, which have been great but aren't ideal.
If you are active in the garage community there is a good chance you are familiar with this garage. "Dubber" is a fellow garage and detailing enthusiast that I have known from the onset of my garage hobby. He agreed to share his garage experience by answering some questions about his garage and sharing some photos of his pristine space. He has created an immaculate environment and openly shares his passion for his Volkswagen vehicles via social media which I faithfully follow. His journey to this point is proof that paying attention to your garage and following through on your vision will pay off in the end. I find his garage story inspiring and seeing him take his love of detailing to the next level is further proof that creating a clean and efficient garage can reward any car lover with new and exciting opportunities.
Take a look at this spectacular North Carolinian estate belonging to my longtime garage buddy, Larry. For years, I have been a fan of Larry's clinically clean and expertly organized garage, but what impresses me even more is Larry's remarkable detailing work that he completes inside it. When I made the decision to feature garage spaces of others on my blog, I immediately sent Larry an invite and he graciously accepted. He furnished me with comprehensive responses to all of my questions along with quality photos that showcase the pristine environment he has created to pursue his passion for detailing.
Name: Larry Bishop
Location: Charlotte, NC
We moved to Charlotte from the DMV area in mid-2016 and built our first single family home. Construction was completed late August and I quickly started on the garage. Fortunately, the builder finished both garages and installed baseboards which gave us a great starting point. In the first month of ownership, we completed the epoxy, lights, and all the gladiator wall tracks/cabinets. Since we built the house, I spent the construction period researching and accumulating products which meant I had the bulk of the items upon move in. I originally met Rick on Garage Journal, where I spent a good amount of my research time. Yes, I went through all 88 pages of Rick's build journal and contributed greatly to his 630k views! I lost steam on my garage journal thread but the following is what I started:
Click here to connect to Larry's informative build thread on garagejournal.com
My quest to feature garages belonging to other enthusiasts takes me to Saskatoon, SK. Shaun Gullacher and I have been garage buddies for a few years. We became acquainted through the Obsessed Garage Facebook group page and have been communicating our fascinations with garages and detailing through texts and Instagram messages ever since. We had the opportunity to meet up this past summer when his family was in town. We took the kids to a play centre, dropped in on Chris at Carzilla, downed some burgers, and hung out in the RAD environment for a few magical hours. Since the summer, Shaun and his wife have begun construction of their dream home complete with the most epic of garages. The project is in full swing and I thought it would be fun to ask Shaun some questions about his project. Before I share his responses, here are the vitals:
What is the primary focus for your dream garage project?
Primarily, the garage will be used for keeping my two vehicles clean as well as accommodating my side detailing business. I will also use the space for minor vehicle maintenance (oil changes/etc.). The focus of the garage is to have a large enough space to comfortably park two vehicles year round and have enough room to move around the vehicles while they are in the garage. Getting kids in and out of the vehicles daily with out having to worry about doors opening and hitting the other vehicle or other items in the garage. Having the space to be able to unload those big grocery hauls from Costco on cold January nights in the comfort of a heated garage with the doors down.
I'm always talking about and showing off my own garage, but I also spend a significant amount of time obsessing about other peoples' garages. One garage that has always impressed me is the one that belongs to Tyson Hugie. This past holiday season, Tyson emailed me to share a flooring project he was undertaking. He had an epoxy coating applied to his garage floor and he wanted to share the process with me. I enjoyed the story and photos he sent and thought it would be interesting to share the story here on my blog.
Tyson's Arizona garage is a shade under 1000 square feet and is set up in a triple tandem configuration (6 cars). In addition to being large, it is home to an extensive collection of Acura cars. Currently, he owns eight of them! What makes his collection even more impressive is that they are all impeccably maintained and driven on a regular basis. In fact, he gained notoriety a few years back when his pristine 1994 Acura Legend coupe surpassed the 500,000 mile mark. In the early summer of 2013, Acura honored this incredible milestone with a red carpet ceremony. Six months later, Acura presented him with the keys to a silver 2013 ILX. Tyson has done a fantastic job of documenting his automotive passion and accomplishments on his "Drive to Five" website and has been featured in a number of videos on Acura's YouTube channel.
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.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a suburban dad who loves garages, Audis, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
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