The garage has a distinguished genesis. The man credited with designing the world’s first bespoke garage is Frank Lloyd Wright, one of America’s most influential architects. His 1908 design, the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago, includes a three-bay garage complete with mechanic’s pit and car washing facility.
High-end, architect-designed storage and cars, then, go together like Rolls and Royce. But when it comes to housing your burgeoning car collection, there are plenty of options.
Take the underground
As many homeowners have flattened their garages in favour of extensions, alternative solutions are needed for keeping classic cars at home. A microfibre fitted car cover may be a great idea for a garaged car, but it won’t suffice outside because over time, wind will rub the material against the paintwork and damp can do its utmost evil. Instead, why not try a space-saving piece of wizardry from Swiss company Cardok? In tech worthy of classic kids’ TV show Thunderbirds, they will build you a car-sized dry underground storage facility that uses hydraulic lifts to lift or drop your car into a concrete-lined pit on your property. With prices starting at £40k plus, it’s not cheap, but it’s a great way of optimising your space.
Make your car the star
Can’t stop gazing longingly into the headlights of your McLaren F1 after a day at work? Why not make a feature of your garage, as one classic car lover in Putney did when commissioning architects Dyer Grimes to build a garage, complete with fire-rated glass walls, to put his beloved Ferrari Dino at the heart of home life. It is even rumoured that the car was re-sprayed orange to match the sofas.
Why not leave it to the experts?
If you’ve a sizeable car collection, storage at home is unlikely to be an option. Here, facilities like Studio 434 come to the fore. The brainchild of the Richard Branson of car storage, Rodger Dudding, owner of one of the UK’s largest privately-owned car collections (200-strong and counting), it’s situated in Potters Bar, north of London.
This temperature-controlled complex has space for 500 cars in an area the size of the Vatican City – although there’s not a Popemobile to be seen. Cars are placed on a trickle charge and protected by 24-hour security, CCTV, a fire alarm and a sprinkler system. There’s basic vehicle servicing and they can even take your car out for a run every few weeks and pick up and deliver your car. Each vehicle costs you around £50 per week to store.
High-level car storage
If you’re lucky enough to be in southern Florida, there’s always Miami’s Porsche Design Tower. Here, you can take your classic car upstairs for the night with you. Two glass elevators speed your beloved ride up to one of the 132 apartment units overlooking South Beach. The apartment block comes with its own car concierge who will wash and perform basic maintenance on your vehicle. Naturally, it comes at a cost – prices for apartments start at $6m.
For information on storing your precious car collection, please contact your lifestyle manager.