An 8-Car Garage

“Don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched.” My version of that axiom is not to count your chickens until they’re fried and on your plate.

Although we have not yet sold our house, at least not technically, I have been looking at desert properties for ages. Maybe I should be heeding my own axiom, but we don’t want to be totally unprepared for the day when our house is really sold and we need to find another one.

If you read the comments for yesterday’s post, and you should have, you would know that Dirty Dingus McGee, Philip Maynard and I exchanged our thoughts about the “ideal” situation for a car lover. Philip wrote an hysterical comment, “You all are pikers. I would NEED a Home Depot Warehouse store size garage including a shop to maintain/build the car collection.”

This picture comes from the listing for an available house in the desert. It is not in my desired area in terms of location and elevation, the house has a septic tank (the thought of living in a home that has a metal box in the backyard filled with human waste is anathema to me), and the asking price is really more than we should spend. So, why am I mentioning it? It has garage space for eight cars!

 

 

I think the building in the lower left of the photo is a detached, 60-foot long, 5-car garage and the property also has a 3-car attached garage. Oh, the house is much older than we would like to buy AND shows little evidence of upgrades that might “force” us to consider a house of that age. Also, the price would leave me/us no money to fill an 8-car garage. Still, it’s nice to dream.

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On this day in 1954 production of the original Ford Thunderbird began. The car was developed rapidly in response to the introduction of the Corvette, going from “idea to prototype in about a year.” [Wikipedia]

It is well known that even though the Thunderbird was “inspired” by the Corvette, Ford marketed the car as a “personal vehicle.” In that idiom, the Muntz Jet was also inspiration. Today, personal luxury vehicles are SUVs, which is a very sad turn of events in my opinion.

The first-generation T-Bird was produced for model years 1955 through 1957. It is true that no comparison existed between the sales figures for the T-Bird and the Corvette in those three years. Ford produced 53,166 Thunderbirds in 1955-57 while Chevrolet produced 10,506 Corvettes. From Hemmings a picture of a ’55 T-Bird:

 

See the source image

 

Yes, the removable hardtop is correct in that it has no portholes. Those tops were not introduced en masse until 1956.

Of course, the two-seat T-Bird would go away for more than four decades with the introduction of the “Square Bird” Thunderbird in 1958. Most car enthusiasts know that sales skyrocketed, as Ford produced 196,191 Thunderbirds in the second generation from 1958 through 1960. However, while some current enthusiasts like all things Thunderbird, most prefer the original two-seater “Baby Birds.” Personally, just in terms of looks I much prefer the first generation and among those cars I prefer the ’55 model.

The Thunderbird model is no more, having last been produced in 2005, the final year of the “retro” 11th generation Thunderbirds. I think Ford should bring the name back as an electric sports or sports/luxury car, but little evidence exists that Ford knows what it’s doing at present. It is simply riding the wave of the long success of its F-150 pickup trucks and the Mustang. The company’s recent ouster of CEO Jim Hackett, who only had three years at the helm, is a sign the board knows something is amiss. Alan Mulally, who successfully led Ford through some difficult times including the “Great Recession,” was CEO for almost eight years. (Hackett actually succeeded Mark Fields, who succeeded Mulally.)

As always, I welcome thoughtful comments about Ford, the Thunderbird, or almost any topic under the sun. See, a desert reference.

Stay safe and be well.

 

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12 thoughts on “An 8-Car Garage

  1. An 8 car garage gives you the option of the multiple vehicles that you wish to own. I once owned a 55 Torch Red Thunderbird as pictured. But that was many moons ago and not in that condition. Good luck with the garage search, when you find it the house will be fine.

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  2. Ooh! Ooh! Ford Thunderbird! I want, want, want one! It would be on my list of favorite 10 cars. Many moons ago, as a flat broke college student, around 1969, I wandered through a now defunct used car indoor “lot.” They had, not one but two 1957 “Baby Birds” for sale both at $395.00. If I had that kind of money I would have bought the maroon one and would still own it now. Baby Birds sell for stupid money; however, I think the bubble in their prices has burst. There is a dealer in Dallas who specializes in them.

    Ford’s recent attempt at capitalizing on the Thunderbird popularity with the anemic little “Baby Bird” reincarnation was anything but successful. They should have brought some of the people from the Mustang group and from the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) into the planning and had a more performance oriented car with an edgier design. I think they tried to orient the car to the older generation, like myself, who remembered the original but didn’t necessarily want a more performance type car. Result: Failure. It would be difficult to even take one and turn it into a modified, more performance oriented car.

    At least the “garage” has solar power panels on the roof. That much space has its advantages; however, for us it is a never considered as it has “STAIRS” to get from one space to another. On our last move, one of the criteria was that the house be all on one level. Always plan ahead for when you get “old…er”.

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    1. Thanks, Philip.

      My wonderful wife would prefer a house all on one level although stairs are not a deal-breaker. I would like stairs as I try to walk at least 10 flights every day in addition to x,000 steps in addition to running 25-35 minutes three times a week.

      I agree that the “retro” T-Bird was a promising concept with poor execution. No performance variant was even available. I also don’t like the bulging rear valence and bumper. Like you, I think the car needed some more sharpness; it was too round, for lack of a better word.

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  3. I suspect in a few years, style will be low on the list of what will make a car desirable to most folks that are coming of age now. More relevant will be: how far can I get on a full charge of my electric box, can I charge it for a few pennies per day, WHERE IS MY SPECIAL PARKING PLACE?

    Even though I sometimes feel I was born 5-6 years too late, I’m still glad I’ve at least had a chance to experience the performance cars from the 50’s thru now. I have owned many that I admired as a youngster, but there are still many I would make room for in that 8+ car garage.

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  4. Before I partnered with my cousin to run some small car shows, I used to help him and his friend run them. The friend has a really beautiful 1959 Thunderbird. It’s red with white hardtop and black and white interior. He’s a little fanatical about it, sometimes replacing perfectly decent parts due to some imperfection on he sees. I say that not as a real criticism so much as to illustrate the level he tries to maintain on it. Anyway, I recall him always talking about how the Square Birds were so superior to the Baby Birds. The Baby Birds rode too rough, you’d kill your back and kidneys, and they were so cramped compared to the 4 seaters. Personally, the Square Birds have too much of that ‘weird’ (to my eye) design language found on the contemporary Lincolns. I much prefer the Baby Birds and the Bullet Birds and Flair Birds that came later.
    As for a huge garage, I dream of having an old barn, like a traditional barn where I can set up a photo studio for cars. Inside I’d have one side for solid colour backdrops with direct overhead lighting, on the other, I’d use the barn itself as background. Plus the outside for outdoor shots. Plus, a large modern barn to house my personal cars.
    By the way, if you get a garage tall enough, you can always outfit your 8 car garage with lifts to house 16.

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  5. I really wanted a three-car garage in Arizona, but finances dictated otherwise, and we have what I laughingly call a two-car garage… if the cars are smaller, and they aren’t too long. Of course, there is plenty of room in it for my 40th Anniversary Mustang and the pre-1958 Thunderbird that I would love to own.

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    1. Thanks again, JS. A three-car garage is a must in our new house. What I really want, and this is not unreasonable, is a house with a 3-car garage and an RV gate with a side yard of sufficient size to park another vehicle, under a cover of course.

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