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Lifestyle


November 19th, 2003

Win a copy of Ultimate Garages

Would you like a free copy of Ultimate Garages for Christmas? Enter our contest to win a copy of Phil Berg's fantastic book (see review, below). Simply send us two photos of your garage - or several if you wish. The reader with the most enticing garage will be the winner.

The Rules:
* Email us two photos of your garage.
* Garage must be owned by the participant.
* Entries will be judged on the garage decor and architecture (not the cars inside), and will be judged by Pete Vack, Erik Nielsen and Karen Nielsen,(who has a degree in interior design).
* Send 260 width (pixel) .jpg images to vack@cox.net.
* All entries must be received by December 10th. Winner will be announced in VeloceToday on December 17th.
* All images will become the property of VeloceToday and selections will be published in forthcoming editions of VeloceToday.

Book Review

Ultimate Garages by Phil Berg
Published by Motorbooks International, St. Paul, MN 1-800-826-6600 www.motorbooks.com $34.95 224 pages



What do a hot rodder and an Italian car enthusiast have in common? Or a motorcycle collector and a Cobra owner? The garage, of course. Motorbooks International has come up with that rare breed, the book that will sell to anyone who is interested in anything on wheels. Ultimate Garages will have your attention whether you own a Ferrari or a Ford.

Over the years, we have been lucky to get a peak at some unusual garages, from Jarl de Boerís strange maze of huts and buildings, where around every corner another Etceterini hid from prying eyes; Bill Marriott's majestic 12 bay Georgian-style stables in Potomac, Maryland; serious 'working' garages with high lifts and glittering Snap-On toolboxes on checkered floors; garages with the houses built around them, separated by glass, so the owner could watch his car rather than his TV from the living room; to old OSCAs tucked away with the horses in rustic 19th century barns in Connecticut. And no matter what is inside, the common denominator is the structure which houses them. Naturally, Berg's book was of great interest.

From the first paragraph, Berg grabs your wrench. "It is a universal law that the wife must decorate the house and the husband is allowed the basement and the garage. It may be an unwritten law, perhaps only enforced in the Midwestern states where Iíve lived, but it's as solid a piece of human legislature as has ever been devised."

And thank goodness for that. The idea for the book was conceived while Berg was a staff writer at Car & Driver. His article, "Garageamahals", led him to a wider search for interesting garages. With the help of Bill Warner, Ken Gross, Larry Crane and others, he was able to get inside of some of the wildest, most interesting, and downright beautiful garages in the states. Categorizing the various types of garages was logical. Part I, The Garage as a Palace, illustrates the cost-is-no-object approach. Part II, Real World Garages, brings us into the realm of the reasonable and possible, perhaps the most interesting segment of the book. The last Part, Non Traditional Garages, is devoted to the very unusual garages such as Curt Catallo's use of an old Methodist church as a haven for his cars and bikes.

It works well. Some of the garage owners are familiar to us all; Jay Leno, David Sydorick, Bruce Meyer, Ken Gross, and Brock Yates. Others are not so well known, or collect motorcycles or American antiques. But they are all what Berg describes as "serious cars guys" and have great garages.

For the reader, every page encourages leaps of imagination and, well, lust. Second only to the desire to own a particular car, is the desire to have a wonderful, spacious, decorated and dedicated building in which to keep the car. Each garage in the book provides further food for thought, more ideas, more dreams. At only $34.95, Berg's book is a must-have at an extremely reasonable price.

Dieseling: Every book must get its knocks, but there are very few of any consequence. The font is neat but slight and hard to read at times, at least for old eyes. We wish there were more text in addition to the great photos. The photography exhibits the manifold problems of shooting garages; poor, uneven, neon lighting, wide angle shots, tight corners and tough angles make garage photography extremely difficult. To their credit, each photographer has done a superb job under the circumstances, giving us the feel, color, and the scope of the individual garage.

Finally, we can wonder, as did Peggy Lee, "Is that all there is?" Perhaps more such books are on the way.




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