Robert Bowen
Robert Bowen
3/23/09 11:23 a.m.

There are a couple of symptoms of true GRM-style car geekdom. One is finding yourself attracted to unloved, unwanted and pathetic project cars based on raw potential alone.

The second is constantly fantasizing about your ideal shop. There’s something very satisfying about looking for just the right combination of tools, storage and workspace. A comfortable and convenient workshop will make even the most boring tasks go much more quickly. (It won’t make body work fun, but that’s not really possible.)

Of course, for most of us our ideal shop is never the one we have now—all car enthusiasts can agree that whatever the stage in life, whatever shop is called home, there’s always room for improvement. That doesn’t mean that you need to be rich to have a nice shop, however. Some amazing cars are built in shops that were constructed on very tight budgets.

Yeah, we’d love to have the epoxy floor, four-bay home shop with two lifts, but for most of us it’s not going to happen unless we win the lottery. Money helps, but a bit of careful planning and smart shopping can get you a workable shop without depleting your retirement fund or forcing you to sleep on the floor with your cars.

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