Welcome to the The Garage Journal Board forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   The Garage Journal Board > The Garage > Garage Gallery

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-27-2010, 02:43 AM   #1
neonturbo
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 34
Default 1940's auto repair shop

How about a picture of a 1940's auto repair shop? It was built by my Grandfather (and his family), the property passed down to my parents, and I expect that someday I probably will own it too. It was built during WWII, my Dad told about how they did not have re-bar available due to steel shortages so they used any long scrap of steel they could find like leaf springs, and axle shafts. I can't imagine trying to drill the stuff, who knows what I will run into. Not surprisingly it doesn't have any cracks even with tractors, motor homes, and other heavy things being placed on it.

It will easily fit 5-6 cars, has a nice compressor and piped for air, it has storage upstairs, and is wired for 220 3 phase, so it can be used as a shop again with a little work. It will be for hobby use rather than a real repair shop though. The lower floor is completely clear (doesn't have any posts for ceiling joists) and there is a really unique set of trusses that suspend the upper floor joists. It is almost like a 4 foot tall lattice beam of wood, and I guess revolutionary at the time. It almost reminds me of an antique railroad bridge, or covered bridge, the way it is built, sort of like this: http://www.vermontbridges.com/lattice.gif I think my Dad said that my great-Grandfather designed it, and they had lots of trouble getting the building inspectors to believe it would work.

My short term plans are to replace the overhead doors and build some storm windows for the lower floor. I would put better windows in except they are an industrial sized window (large, steel frame) and it cost a fortune to replace all six. It needs some basic wiring repair/new outlets/lighting improvements, nothing much has been done electrical wise at least the 70's on, that I am able to remember.

The next thing on my list is I would like to insulate it (they did not need any back then when fuel prices were so low) so I can reasonably heat it, and do some cosmetic improvements like painting both inside and outside.

I am sure I will be asking for advice in the near future about some of these improvement projects. It is fun to remember these stories from my Dad, any comments welcome.

neonturbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 06:09 AM   #2
sids04
Senior Member
 
sids04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bucks County PA
Posts: 255
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Nice looking project. More pix please !
sids04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 11-27-2010, 06:50 AM   #3
Lookin4'67Galaxieconv
Senior Member
 
Lookin4'67Galaxieconv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7,817
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Would definitely like to see more pics of the structure, inside and out.

Just curious, where is it located?
__________________
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ght=rick+mears

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=34014

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=222480


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad54 View Post
It's because paying for your own stuff, and earning your own way, is what a man does.
Lookin4'67Galaxieconv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 07:46 AM   #4
Bull
Super Moderator
 
Bull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 15,256
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookin4'67Galaxieconv View Post
Would definitely like to see more pics of the structure, inside and out.

Just curious, where is it located?
Yes, this!
__________________

EUDAIMONIA
Bull is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 07:48 AM   #5
sooperdave
Senior Member
 
sooperdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: State Land, NY
Posts: 277
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

very nice, more pics! looks like tremendous potential there
sooperdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 08:30 AM   #6
ersatzs2
Senior Member
 
ersatzs2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mercer County, New Jersey
Posts: 555
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

That is a real treasure, you are lucky to have in the family! I'd love to see photos of the truss system.
Of course it's your shop (eventually...) and you can do as you please, but do you really want to replace those awesome doors? people have paid a lot of money to get that look...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Garage doors installed door detail.jpg (17.2 KB, 43 views)
__________________
My Shop, begun 8/06
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ead.php?t=5272
My 'second' shop, begun 9/13 at NJ Motorsports Park
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=217642

Ready to go racing? Formula Ford (F1600) highly developed, for sale:
http://www.apexspeed.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53152

Collecting all things related to Mercer Motors of Trenton, NJ, 1909-1925. Automobiles, signs, stock certificates, tools, photos...
ersatzs2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 08:49 AM   #7
magnusk750
Senior Member
 
magnusk750's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Estonia
Posts: 388
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by ersatzs2 View Post
That is a real treasure, you are lucky to have in the family! I'd love to see photos of the truss system.
Of course it's your shop (eventually...) and you can do as you please, but do you really want to replace those awesome doors? people have paid a lot of money to get that look...
Just my thought. These windows gives so much to the feel of this shop. Restore them, wire brush the steel frames and paint them, new putty for glasses and replace possibly cracked glasses. If you need better insulation make new frames of wood, bolt them to the inside of the windows with a sealing strip. Maybe make the inner frames in sections so that they can be easier to take away for cleaning.
__________________
Parts for russian motorcycles: www.henriksson.ee

Facebook: facebook.com/OyMagnusHenriksson
magnusk750 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 09:15 AM   #8
930dreamer
Super Moderator
 
930dreamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Amarillo,Texas & Abq, NM.
Posts: 9,924
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Single, teaser pictures of family build shop are not allowed
Just kidding, post some more pics please. How big is the shop? Thanks
__________________
I can take it apart.
930dreamer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
rlwhitetr3b
Senior Member
 
rlwhitetr3b's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 139
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Take lots of pictures and then take some more. Have you looked at Thomas and Chris's thread about their 1930's shop. I hope you have the same enjoyment and success with your project.
rlwhitetr3b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 11:02 PM   #10
markviii
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: east central IL
Posts: 996
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Yep, more pics needed! What's in the little add-on to the right side (it appears to have a pitched roof)? Is the rusty tank to the left of any use? Is there a driveway/lane leading up to the concrete slab in front of the garage doors? Is the grading adequate around the building so that water doesn't come in the garage doors? Is the place full of "stuff" like our property is/was? It could be fun discovering them.

Don't give up on the windows yet! You will miss the natural lighting they provide if you reduce or do away with them purely for energy-efficiency reasons. magnusk750 seems to have a good idea. Also it appears there are few neighbors (thus prying eyes) nearby, so having windows the someone could look through at all the goodies inside may not be a big problem, though you should think about some security measures anyway (especially if your parents or your home is not on site.

The gooseneck light fixture over the man-door appears similar to what we used on our Morton building. Looks like you need more exterior lighting.

Enjoy the restoration. That it's a family property makes it even more special.

Chris (thanks to rlwhitetr3b for referencing our Restored 1930's Auto Shop thread) (are we becoming notorious?!)
markviii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 02:59 AM   #11
neonturbo
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 34
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

I am trying to keep it all in one post, I am terrible with multi-quotes. I think you all are smart enough so you can figure out who asked what. Forgive me if I forgot to answer your question.

Quote:
Nice looking project. More pix please !
Quote:
very nice, more pics! looks like tremendous potential there
Thanks. I will take some more pics soon, I do not have any more at the present time. I just happened to have this picture on my computer.

Quote:
Just curious, where is it located
Due to privacy/security reasons I do not want to be too specific, but it is in central Michigan.

Quote:
Just my thought. These windows gives so much to the feel of this shop. Restore them, wire brush the steel frames and paint them, new putty for glasses and replace possibly cracked glasses. If you need better insulation make new frames of wood, bolt them to the inside of the windows with a sealing strip. Maybe make the inner frames in sections so that they can be easier to take away for cleaning.
Quote:
Don't give up on the windows yet! You will miss the natural lighting they provide if you reduce or do away with them purely for energy-efficiency reasons. magnusk750 seems to have a good idea.
If I have my story straight, the windows were from one of the original Oldsmobile factories, they were bought as used demolition surplus as I understand it. They seem to have recycled more then than we seem to now. The steel frames are probably roughly 80-100 years old and have about had it. There is potential to cut/weld/repair them, but by that time I might as well build or purchase a similar replacement that is energy efficient.

I have done a couple "storm" windows due to hail damage, we had a terrible storm a couple years ago and it knocked out windows, damaged roofs and siding in many places in the area. What I did was take pressure treated lumber, cut a dado to hold plexiglass, and then miter the corners and assemble them like a picture frame. I then caulked and screwed the units into the cinder blocks. It makes a big difference in the air that blows through them.

Quote:
Of course it's your shop (eventually...) and you can do as you please, but do you really want to replace those awesome doors? people have paid a lot of money to get that look...
I do not want to replace the doors, but need to. They are the 60 year old originals, they are getting dry rotted, and they leak air like crazy. The door company that installed them are still in business, maybe they have a warranty. That much glass sure adds light but is a security concern and being single pane is almost impossible to keep the heat in. I will try to retain the "flavor" of the doors when I replace them but as you say it will not be the same.

Quote:
Yep, more pics needed! What's in the little add-on to the right side (it appears to have a pitched roof)?
It is a 2 car garage that was later converted into office/storage for the business. My Mom wants me to restore that part to a garage for her to park in, and I agree that is probably the best use for it.

Quote:
Is the rusty tank to the left of any use?
It is the lean-to for the air compressor. See this thread for more info: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=82320

Quote:
Is there a driveway/lane leading up to the concrete slab in front of the garage doors? Is the grading adequate around the building so that water doesn't come in the garage doors?
That is a gravel street/road in the foreground of the picture. The picture of the approach is deceiving, it is about a 8" or more rise from the street to the garage doors. Over time the municipality has added gravel to the street so it makes the grading look wrong, but it is adequate. All I know is you do not want to push a car up that approach by yourself!

Quote:
Is the place full of "stuff" like our property is/was? It could be fun discovering them.
Without revealing too much, yes there is still "stuff". I am not sure it is to the scale yours was, but with that many years things accumulate. Grandpa knew exactly what everything was, he would sometimes come over and look for a "widget" that he left there in 1966 or something. He knew what wall and what shelf it should be on. Dad knew what much of the stuff was, but not everything. Unfortunately both he and Grandpa passed away without labeling anything or telling me what things were. I know what some of the stuff is, but not much. I am very automotive oriented so I can usually figure out a rough idea of what it fits, but of course I am too young to know for sure. I probably have a wheel bearing for a Model T, or an alternator for a Studebaker or something, but much is likely no good after all these years of hot, cold, damp, dry that our climate offers. That is going to be a project in itself sorting and cataloging everything, disposing of the scrap, and somehow selling the good stuff.

Quote:
Also it appears there are few neighbors (thus prying eyes) nearby, so having windows the someone could look through at all the goodies inside may not be a big problem, though you should think about some security measures anyway (especially if your parents or your home is not on site.
There are a few security measures already, but short of 24x7 babysitting more is better. The once quiet, rural, area has grown the last few years.

Quote:
The gooseneck light fixture over the man-door appears similar to what we used on our Morton building. Looks like you need more exterior lighting.
That is an original fixture, likely WWII vintage. The outdoor lighting (for my standards) is fine, there is also some street lighting nearby.

Quote:
How big is the shop? Thanks
Roughly, and I mean that because I have never measured, 32x50. All I know is that there were times where there were 3 cars wide and 2 cars deep with enough room for all the workbench/toolbox/jacks/other stuff associated with a repair shop and still room to work fairly comfortably.

Quote:
Enjoy the restoration. That it's a family property makes it even more special.
My family has owned the land for over 100 years. My siblings are not really interested except for the monetary value of the property. Mom has declared that I get the property as long as I keep it for a predetermined amount of time after I inherit it. If I sell, I have to split the money with my siblings. That alone gives me incentive to keep things, not that I am greedy, but they would just probably just sell to "whoever" and not care so much about history. They have their own lives and are not really into the car stuff like I am.
neonturbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 09:46 AM   #12
Woodfiddler
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atchison, Kansas, USA
Posts: 6
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Your building looks real similiar to the garage that my grandfather bought in 1946. He owned and operated an automotive repair shop in it for close to 30 years in upstate NY. I'll ask my brothers if they have a picture that I can post. Good luck, and I'll be watching. Pictures are what drives this site and as you know, we, the starving members, need more!
Thanks,
__________________
Chuck in Kansas
Woodfiddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
magnusk750
Senior Member
 
magnusk750's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Estonia
Posts: 388
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

If I have my story straight, the windows were from one of the original Oldsmobile factories, they were bought as used demolition surplus as I understand it. They seem to have recycled more then than we seem to now.

Yess, they have a story too! Sell them to me if you insist on scrapping Just a minor logistics issue as I'm on the other side of the pond.
__________________
Parts for russian motorcycles: www.henriksson.ee

Facebook: facebook.com/OyMagnusHenriksson
magnusk750 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 09:50 PM   #14
fasteddie24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Detroit
Posts: 188
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

Very interesting story. Well worth the read. Being from Michigan makes it even better. I often go to a blog site called detroityes.com that has great info on Detroit auto plants....maps of Detroit, plant pics, history, etc. Interesting stuff.
fasteddie24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 10:45 PM   #15
Lookin4'67Galaxieconv
Senior Member
 
Lookin4'67Galaxieconv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7,817
Default Re: 1940's auto repair shop

More pictures on the way?!?
__________________
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ght=rick+mears

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=34014

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=222480


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad54 View Post
It's because paying for your own stuff, and earning your own way, is what a man does.
Lookin4'67Galaxieconv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:10 PM.