Extreme Garage Makeover: My 1990’s Acura Showroom
Odometer (Legend Coupe): 548,712
Odometer (Integra): 237,380
Odometer (ILX): 183,721
Odometer (Legend Sedan): 150,668
Odometer (Vigor): 106,293
Odometer (NSX): 106,150
Total Miles: 1,332,924. 1.3 million miles!
Time-travel back with me about a quarter-century to those glorious early 1990s. I was only about 10 but I still remember them fondly. You turn on your FM radio and it’s Ace of Base “The Sign.” Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, and Toy Story are big hits at the box office. And if you stroll down to your local Acura dealership, you might see vehicles like this:
The Acura brand, at the time only about 5 years old, was having a heyday. The NSX debuted as a world-class supercar with uncanny reliability. The second-generation Legend was selling like crazy – some 65,000 units in the 1991 model year alone. The Vigor was a brand new model with the touring comfort of its larger Legend sibling but with nimble handling. And the Integra GS-R boasted a 1.7 liter VTEC motor with more horsepower-per-liter than any other motor in the world. Life was good.
Oh, and all those cars in the picture? They’re stick shifts. Did you know that there is no new Acura sold today that has a clutch pedal? That in itself is one more reason why I hang onto the past like this.
Last weekend, I called upon the expert services of the most efficient, hard-working construction crew I’ve ever known: My family. Between my dad and my brother, there is no home or car repair task that can’t be completed (in record time). When I bought my new Phoenix home in late August, the main selling factor was the fact that it had two garages.
For the last 5 years, I’d been renting storage units in different parts of town to accommodate all of my vehicles, so when the opportunity arose to pick up a home that could fit them all, I worked quickly and made it happen. (For reference, back in March at an NSX meet I had been lusting after a local club member’s place which similarly had gargantuan parking possibilities).
There was still just one hurdle: The largest garage was split into two separate 2-car units with a garage door at each end. This was fine for the previous owner, Charlie, who used half the garage for his woodworking & welding, and the other half for his two vehicles. But I had other plans for the space: I wanted to knock out the separating wall and create one gigantic Acura automotive storage mecca. And that I did! Or rather, my dad, brother, and stepmom did.
Here’s a look at the progression taken from the south entrance in just 4 photos.
1 – Prior owner’s stuff:
2 – Space cleared out, wall still there:
3 – Wall removed, finish work underway:
4 – Garage completed, vehicles staged:
The Friday morning after a 12-hour drive from northern Utah, my garage makeover crew set to work on the task ahead. Due to limited time-off at my new job, I had to go into the office. After settling in to check emails, I decided to walk across the street to Starbucks. At 7:32 a.m., my brother sent me 2 photos. He and dad had already torn down the wall! There were dangling wires and a few boards, but I couldn’t believe how much larger the space looked. It made my day.
Friday afternoon I joined the work crew and assisted with masking and taping off so that my dad could spray the paint on (a much more efficient way to tackle a large surface area than using rollers). The garage turned into a cloud of misty white air as dad applied two coats. Smartly we shut the garage doors so that the cars in the backyard didn’t end up with overspray.
We installed 3 matching ceiling fans and hung up two banks of cabinets in the southeast corner for my detailing supplies and tools. The final step was general clean-up and the hanging of a few banners and signs. Dad sprayed the garage out with the hose to get rid of the dust and debris, and then we did a quick wipe-down of each of the 5 cars that would be going into the showroom. Even my 4-year-old nephew Beckam gave us a hand for that chore.
I’d had months to think about how best to position the vehicles within the space, and I wanted to keep things symmetrical. We ended up putting the two sedans at the north end, the two coupes at the south end, and the NSX centered in the middle at a 45-degree angle. I even finally had a use for the aluminum display stand that my other brother, Payton, had built for me earlier this year.
I couldn’t be happier with the results. When the 7 fluorescent light tubes kick on and gleam against our bright white ceiling & wall paint, it’s shocking. Next on the list (but a ways down the road) will be a floor coating, which means I really ought to get some leaks addressed on the cars before I do that. The Vigor is dropping oil, and the Legend coupe leaves a trail of power steering fluid virtually everywhere it goes.
My family members and I finished out the weekend by planting a couple of citrus trees in my backyard. For 10 years I’ve been living in Arizona and my dad has been wanting to harvest oranges and grapefruits, so we are finally making it happen. Below are the rest of the pics!
Edit 10/15/16: Just confirmed for kicks that I can get 6 cars in the main garage pretty comfortably. Sweet.
Taking a look at the plans
Before – south garage (prior owner)
Before – north garage (prior owner)
Before wall removal – north garage
Cars parked in the backyard awaiting their new home
Wall coming down
Dad working on wall removal
Getting ready for paint
Visit from friends Kyle and Matt
Out on the town with my brother Bentley, Lance, and Rob
Cars got rained on while they were ALL outside!
Nephew Beckam gives us a hand with weed removal
Cars parked in the back – with Beckam’s Power Wheels pickup
Taking a break
Posters ready to go
Family dinner at Switch Restaurant on Central Ave
Final spray down of the floor
Posters getting put up
Legend sedan wash
Dad and Beckam with the finished product
Artwork is ready to install, like this framed Legend coupe poster:
New NSX interior! I don’t think I’d shown this yet. Fresh leather.
And a bath for the ILX so it doesn’t feel forgotten in its separate garage.