Shop Visit: Bryan Rasch

My shop is a labor of love that I designed and built myself, including the drywall, floors and surround sound. I did all the work to finish this space.

It brings together more than two decades of collecting automobilia and tools into a functional garage for working on my cars: a Porsche, a 1961 Austin Healey with a Shelby GT350 motor, and any new project that may be coming soon.

My passion for cars, motorsports and people all combined to create my ultimate dream space for entertaining, working on cars, or just bench-racing with my friends.–Bryan Rasch

The Practical Dreamer's Approach

Never Too Big:
When planning, always make your garage bigger. You will fill the space quickly.

Start Collecting Early:
Even before your budget allows you to build your dream garage, start collecting the things you want to have in it. When you see something you want, buy it. Otherwise, it will be four times the price later or not around. I started my collection over 20 years ago. Until three years ago, there was no place to show it all.

Invest in Good Tools:
Tools from Craftsman, Snap-on, etc., are worth their weight in gold. Every cheap purchase has to be replaced. Good tools last for years and will save you in the long run.

Invest In Good Air:
If you plan to work on cars, get a two-stage air compressor and run piping to many locations. This will give you air where you need it. The new plastic systems are easy and cheap.

Put Power Where You Need It:
Install garage outlets at waist height, and make sure they are everywhere. Wire is cheap; extension cords are a pain.

Hose and Extension Cord Reels:
The cost is well worth the convenience. A good retractable reel for each hose and cord will make it easy to get air or power anywhere in the shop. Plus, it allows for quick cleanup.

Reuse and Recycle:
Some of the best storage solutions in my garage came from cabinets that I found on Craigslist. Take old file drawers (they hold a ton of weight), paint them black, and top them with sheet metal. Old kitchen cabinets and the like will work, too. Having the right storage ensures there’s a place for everything.

Never Stop Dreaming:
My dream garage lived in my head for 20-plus years, and every year things got tweaked–ceilings raised, layout changed, etc. But when you finally have the budget to build, all the ideas will come together to be a great, functional and amazing workspace.

This story ran in an old issue of Classic Motorsports. Want to make sure you're reading all the latest stories? Subscribe now.


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View comments on the CMS forums
dougie Reader
11/10/16 12:13 a.m.

Great looking shop. Nice to see the big Healey was represented. I just completed my own race shop after years of planning.

<img src="Garage larage bay" /> &#x27;57 on lift <img src="New Garage Lansdscaped" />

Gary Dork
11/10/16 9:05 a.m.

In reply to dougie:

Very nice!

nderwater UltimaDork
11/10/16 9:24 a.m.

Wow guys, great job!

wannacruise New Reader
11/24/16 10:07 a.m.

Your Shops look great. Mine isn't as pretty but it does the job. Just not BIG enough!

Gary Dork
11/24/16 2:07 p.m.

In reply to wannacruise: It looks like a very practical work environment. You're right to be proud of it. (In fact, my 2 1/2 car garage looks like that, but yours is a bit larger and I can't put in a lift because of the truss construction ).

wannacruise New Reader
11/24/16 4:43 p.m.

Hi Gary, thanks for the compliment. So now I will get you in trouble with your wife, you can put in a lift. I built my building about 12 years ago and the roof is all truss construction. But I have a son-in-law that is an excellent builder. 6 years ago,for the width of the lift, we did what is called "sistered" the existing rafters of the trusses. We used 2 X 12" lumber. My trusses were 2x6" and the 2x12s are nailed fast to the sides of the 2x6s. Only the 2x6s that are the roof rafter part. Then we cut "W" truss out. My garage is 28' deep and the boy says there will never be a problem with the roof, even in heavy snows. I think the roof pitch is 8/12 construction if memory serves. The underside of the roof ridge is 12' 6" high. The 10k lift needed 12' 4" to stand it up.
Another tip, don't buy a standard width lift, get an extra wide model. The LBCs are about the only cars I have that fit the standard width lift even though the advertisements show them holding a new Vette. I have a '70 Vette and a C5 Vette and the post are too close to the cars. You can make them work but the front arms and diagonal braces are very close and I jack up the Vettes and use truck riser extensions on the arms to keep the braces from hitting the rocker panels.

Gary Dork
11/24/16 7:18 p.m.

In reply to wannacruise:

Very interesting. Thank you for the tip. Actually, my wife Annie is a super-enabler, bless her heart, so she would encourage me to modify the trusses, along with adding insulation and heat! After a lifetime of being an extreme fiscal conservative, I have a difficult time pulling the trigger on those types of expenditures. But at 68 years old, I'm beginning to realize I can't take it with me. So perhaps a garage upgrade is in order.

wannacruise New Reader
11/24/16 8:27 p.m.

What a coincidence. At Christmas dinner about 6 years ago my wife with the son-in-law insisted that I put the lift in. We'd better hang on to those two. The son-in-law too.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/1/16 10:07 a.m.

You didn't hear it from me, but we have another "show us your shop" contest in the works.

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