This month, we are continuing our Garages for Collector Corvettes series. From the overwhelming positive response we received from our first article on John Hinckley's garage, we hope to be running these for quite some time. Many of us are fans of great garages, and lots of us are always trying to improve our own garage's function. To this end, these ongoing articles will feature garages with emphasis on how their owners improved the garages' function, solved various problems, and so on. Whether you are currently planning your dream garage or just improving your current Corvette's abode, our goal with this series is that what we discuss will inspire you and give you solutions to your garage plans.
Mike and Daryl Hicks of Davie, Florida, are the owners of the incredible garage you see here. Mike owns a commercial forming company that specializes in building high-rise building shells. Mike currently owns six Corvettes and three Vipers (but we won't hold that against him). His '62 Red Fuelie is a Top Flight/Bloomington Gold car. He also owns a '66 427/390 A/C convertible and a '67 435 coupe. Both of these cars are prestigious Duntov award cars. His '67 435 convertible, '69 L-88 convertible, and '71 LS6 coupe are also all Top Flight/Bloomington Gold cars. His Viper "den" consists of two '00 Viper RT/10s and an '03 Viper RT/10. It is safe to say that plenty of horsepower resides in this serious stable.
Mike tells us, "In our previous home, we had a detached garage with an office and a bathroom that was about 1,500 square feet. Like most garages, over time, it became too small as our Corvette collection grew. Soon there was no room to work on the cars or for our friends to come over for a visit. My original garage was so tight you had to move two cars to get one out of the garage.
"So when a certain parcel of land became available, we decided to build our retirement home a little early. Being in the construction business, we naturally designed and built it ourselves. We decided that my wife Daryl would design the house, and I would build it. I would design the garage and build it, with free advice available from her upon request.
"I wanted a garage where I could work on anything I own. But I also wanted a nice clean showroom type of atmosphere to show off the cars, my memorabilia, and a place for my car buddies to come over and comfortably hang out. It also had to be big enough to house a future motor home. Living in the hurricane state of Florida, I also wanted to build a garage that could withstand whatever Mother Nature decided to dish out.
Front of the garage. Note...
Front of the garage. Note the motorhome section on the far left.
"I now have the perfect garage as I envisioned it prior to the build. A big part of the garage is a 22-foot driveway between five cars on each side with enough room to expand my collection in the future. The driveway serves as a great dance floor when we have neighborhood sock hops. Everybody just loves the atmosphere when the lights are off and the neon lights are on, with all of us surrounded by old Corvettes. So I guess it's a garage, a showroom, and a party place. What more can you ask for?"
Do you know of a killer garage you would like to see featured in Corvette Fever? You can nominate that garage by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. The only requirement is that the owner has to own at least one Corvette.
By The Numbers Garage Specs
78'x72' detached garage
5,600 square feet
11' 6" ceiling height
16' 0" ceiling height in motorhome area
5 full car bays on each side; 9'x18' with a 22'-wide drive between them
Tool Room: 18'6"x15'
Motorhome area: 15'x43'6"
Mike has lots of memorabilia...
Mike has lots of memorabilia including these restored gas pumps inside the overhead door.
Building is concrete block and stucco with stone in some areas.
Walls are 8" concrete block with tie columns and tie beams.
Tie beams are 8"x16" with two No. 7 rebar top and bottom with No.3 bands at 12" O.C.
Trusses are 2"x6" with a 2"x8" bottom cord on a 71/412 pitch. Trusses are designed to give 30'x20'x8' clear storage area in attic.
All walls and ceiling are fully finished with 51/48-inch fire-code drywall.
Three 4'x5' windows and nine 2'x6' windows are all Marvin aluminum high-impact windows.
Entire garage has 8" wood base and 8" crown molding throughout. All windows have wood trim, marble sills, and wood-type Venetian blinds.
1 - 8'x12'
1 - 12'x14'
The doors are attached to 8"x20" concrete reinforced columns on each side with an 8"x24" reinforced concrete header beam. Doors are 2"-thick steel/foam/steel fully insulated with vinyl perimeter seals. No windows due to South Florida building codes. Lift master electric door openers.
The garage also has a custom-built...
The garage also has a custom-built air changer and carbon-monoxide alert system.
8-mil ply moisture barrier on 100-percent compacted lime rock. 6" concrete slab with No. 5 rebar and 6" O.C. each way, poured monolithic with a 12"x24" footer with four No.8 rebar continuous.
Floor Coating: Epoxy / Urethane System by Pro Painting of Hollywood, Florida
The floor was steel shot-blasted to clean and abrade the surface to a profile similar to 80-grit sandpaper. This ensures proper adhesion of the new flooring system. Next, a penetrating epoxy sealer was applied. Then all cracks, voids, pinholes, and so on were patched with epoxy patching cement. Next, two coats of High Performance Epoxy were applied twenty-four hours apart, tinted a light tan color with a dry film thickness of 9 mil. This provides a smooth solid base for the finish coats. Then two coats of Aliphatic Urethane tinted the same light tan with a dry film thickness of 5 mil were applied 24 hours apart. The urethane is extremely durable and resistant to abrasion, chipping, and resistant to all automotive chemicals, fuels, and oils. High-gloss finish will not fade and cleans very easily, just mop or wipe.
Hot and cold water in wash-up sink in work area and in the office bathroom for sink and shower.
Eighteen 8' twin-tube fluorescent ceiling mounted fixtures.
Eight 4' twin-tube fixture and four high hats in office and four in entry foyer. All are bank-switched as needed.
Bend Pak Model XL 94C128, 9,000-pound capacity with 220V power unit and overhead micro switch shut off.
This is integrated in with the main house alarm. It is controlled from the main house or the garage. If tripped, it sounds off in the house as well as the garage. It has the normal monitored phone call to the police department, plus a radio transmitter located in the attic that is separate from the phone system to the police so they get two signals each time, all with battery backup and emergency generator. It also has various cameras and sensors around and about.
A 60kw Cummins diesel-powered generator with a 350-gallon tank, fully automatic system shared with the house.
1 floor drain to wash cars inside to escape the heat or the rain.
These are 10-inch U-channels....
These are 10-inch U-channels. Mike welded a lug on them that fits into the lift arms. These enable him to put his John Deere lawn tractor on the lift to service it. Way cool!
The special wall brackets...
The special wall brackets were made to store a set of five original '66 gold line tires and four original '69 Goodyear redlines. It consists of a steel plate bolted to the exterior block wall with 6x11/42-inch Hilti quick bolts. It has two metal gussets welded on it with a 48-inch piece of 2-inch pipe made to swivel back and forth for easier access. It keeps the tires off the floor and out of harms way.
The garage also has a custom-built...
The garage also has a custom-built air changer and carbon-monoxide alert system.
Wall-mounted central vacuum...
Wall-mounted central vacuum unit.
1 Lennox 3-ton unit
1 Lennox 4-ton unit
Both have two-stage compressors with variable speed air handlers. Programmable thermostats with built-in humidity controls. Both are controlled separately. Both units have 9kw programmable heaters. The office and bath have a 1-ton Lennox unit that is controlled separately. The garage also has an air changer and carbon-monoxide alert system. With this system, you can start your car and continue to work on it with no fear of carbon-monoxide poisoning. When the carbon-monoxide level reaches a certain point, the air changer kicks on and starts sucking out the old air and pumping new air in and shuts off when the air is clear. Or you can turn the system on manually before hand and not set off the alarm. The air changers are manufactured by Greenbeck. Toxalert manufactures the carbon-monoxide alert system. It can be controlled manually by four switches in the office or automatically by the Toxalert system.
How the system works: There are four separate units located in the attic. All have 1hp motors. Units 1 and 2 are ducted (12") to four large grills in the outside roof soffit. These vents are electrically open and shut when the units come on to keep bugs and so on from entering. Air is sucked from the outside back to units 1 and 2 and then blown back to four equally spaced grills in the ceiling along the south wall. This air blows straight down the wall with a lot of force and spreads across the garage floor. Units 3 and 4, located on the north side of the garage, suck the air though two large grills close to the floor back to units 2 and 4, and then it is blown out through 12" ducts to four exhaust grills in the outside roof soffit. These units can move more than 2,900 CFM of air per minute.
Craftsman 6.5hp 220V with 33-gallon tank located in the tool room that feeds 75' retracting wall-mounted hose reel in work area.
Fully enclosed 15'x18' 6" tool room (off of work area) with two louvered 36" French-type doors. Tool room houses two air-conditioner units, air compressor, tool carts, floor jacks, jackstands, parts, 21' of steel shelving 8' high, alarm system, and wall-mounted central vacuum unit. Almost everything stays in tool room out of sight with the exception of a 56"x60" double Craftsman tool chest on casters that stays in the work area.
One set of 8' wall cabinets in work area over base cabinets
Work area is approximately 25'x45' containing the car lift, L-shaped workbench that is 19' long, a set of 12' base cabinets at the end of the work bench, and a 75' wall-mounted air hose reel. A stand-up refrigerator, wall-mounted TV, wash-up sink, and an 8' set of base and wall cabinets that house all the stereo equipment, direct TV receiver, and miscellaneous storage. Top cabinets are for coffee, glasses, cups, and so on.
1956 restored Coke machine
1962 restored Sunoco gas pump
1938 restored Texaco gas pump
1959 8' wall-mounted mobile flying Pegasus neon horse
42"x48" wall-mounted neon Chevrolet Super Service sign
1958 4'x6' wall-mounted neon OK used car with blinking OK sign
1983 Heartbeat of America wall-mounted neon sign
8' pool table
100 CD Wurlitzer jukebox
42" plasma TV on wall-mounted swivel
Bloomington/NCRS awards and ribbons on walls and Corvette pictures
Entry lobby has trophies and pictures of late-model stock car racing days
Office is 14'x16' fully enclosed off the work area with a 5'9"x16' bathroom. Bathroom has a 7' vanity, granite top, toilet area, enclosed shower, and a closet that houses the 1-ton A/C unit for the office and a hot-water heater. Office has a desk, filing cabinets, three sofa-type chairs, wall-mounted TV, phone, and fax. Two 4'x6' windows look out on the pond and woods. Phone system has built-in intercom system from house to garage.
A fully automatic 60kw Cummins...
A fully automatic 60kw Cummins diesel-powered backup generator with a 350-gallon tank.
He garage also has a custom-built...
He garage also has a custom-built air changer and carbon-monoxide alert system.
The restored neon lights add...
The restored neon lights add to the ambiance of the garage.