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If you’re concerned with the safe, secure storage of your collector car (who isn’t?), there are two books you might want to have in your reference library. Some of people have described Garage: Reinventing the Place We Park and Ultimate Garages as books that depict “Garages of the Rich and Famous.” While this is certainly true, both books are chock filled with wonderful pictures and information that provide the average car collector with plenty of food for thought on storing valuable collector vehicles.
Few of us may have a Malibu bungalow with a Ferrari and a Delahaye parked in the living room, as depicted in Garage: Reinventing the Place We Park. Few of us may have three airplane hangars full of cars and motorcycles, like those that house the well-known Jay Leno collection and appear in Ultimate Garages. Yet, the chapter in the latter book discussing a Beverly Hills collector’s earthquake-proofing measures should be of interest to West Coast car collectors building even smaller, more modest hobby structures.
Garage: Reinventing the Place We Park, written by Kira Obolensky and published by Taunton Press, looks at a wider variety of garages used for everything from parking cars to living in. It combines a history of the American garage with looks at some of the best, worst and strangest structures that qualify as a “garage.” It shows a number of super large, super-fancy or super-expensive facilities, as well as some small one with a real “down home” character. Of interest to all car collectors should be sections of the book offering creative options for using existing space, floor plans for new buildings and design solutions to garaging problems. The book was published in 2001 and author Oblensky has given it a very artistic touch.
Phil Berg’s Ultimate Garages (published in 2003 by Motorbooks International) Garage: Reinventing the Place We Park is filled with lots of photographic art, but is more car-hobby-oriented in that it focuses only on garages and other storage facilities used by car collectors. It takes much more of a “lifestyle of . . . “ approach, visiting 24 different facilities owned by a broad spectrum of car aficionados. The places depicted are divided into three different types of garages: The Garage as a Palace, Real-World Garages and Non-Traditional Garages. Jay Leno’s hangars, for instance, fall into the palace type. Ken Gross’ three-bay shrine to flathead Fords is in the “real-world” category. Writer Brock Yates’ converted carriage house in classed as a “non-traditional” garage.
Both books are nice to “oooh” and “aaahhh” over in a first reading. However, it is when you hear these noted collectors talking about the features of their buildings and when you inspect the photos carefully that you begin to get some practical ideas. What you see in and learn from these beautiful books can actually be used to make the building that you store your cars in safer, more secure place that’s more fun to spend time in.
For information or ordering Garage: Reinventing the Place We Park call Taunton Press at (800) 888-8286. For information or ordering Ultimate Garages call Motorbooks International at (800) 826-6600.

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