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Motor City Dream Garages

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By Steve Purdy
Detroit Bureau

Motor City Dream Garages
By Rex Roy
Forward by Don Sherman
Motorbooks International

It has been said that a man’s home is his castle. For many car guys it may be more accurate to say that a man’s garage is his castle. Rex Roy has explored and photographed 20 eclectic collections of automobiles in the Detroit area for this fascinating book, Motor City Garages: Amazing Collections from America’s Greatest Car City, and he has profiled the collectors themselves – some famous, most not.

Some of the garages themselves are unique, historic and notable structures, like Henry Ford’s Power House, half of which still produces hydroelectric power for the estate while the other half houses a collection of about a dozen significant automobiles including: a few Model T’s, of course, to signify Ford’s success in putting the world on wheels, some wonderfully creative scaled-down cars built for and used by the Ford grandchildren and the V8 sedan Henry rode in on the day that he died.

At the other end of the spectrum some of the garages are merely warehouses for the containment of wonderful collections, like the 30,000 square-foot space housing the collection of racing legend, Jack Roush. You won’t find many really old cars here but all those fast, sporting and racing cars could soak up lots of your time.

I found Chapter 3 particularly fun as it describes the Big Red Barn of Chuck and Diane Schneider. This converted big red barn, including original silo, with additions and beautiful windows added, houses an extensive collection of streamlined cars, trucks and tractors, mostly from the 1930s. Like many of these garages the walls, ceilings and other spaces are filled with cool, colorful and historic memorabilia as well.

Throughout the pages of Roy’s book you can visit and enjoy the collections of people like GM product boss, Bob Lutz, former Lionel Train owner, Dick Kughn, collision shop owner and chairman of the prestigious Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, Larry Smith and many others. But just as importantly, you can visit with the collectors themselves just as if you were having a personal chat. Roy’s writing style and presentation make it seem that you’re right there.

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