A question about garages

Hello all,

I'm putting together plans for a "shop" that will eventually house my GT40 project. My question is: from the point of view of building a gt40, how big should the garage be and what components should I include?

Mind you all these suggestions have to get by my wife.

Thanks for any input...
Size does matter.

My garage is 24' x 24' and I have enough room for my GT40 project plus some of the kids' junk. I built a 16' x 12' garden shed specifically so I could get most of the extraneous junk out of my garage. I do wish I had a second workbench, but that would interfere with the eventual use of the other bay to actually park a car.

Bottom line - build the biggest garage you can afford / get permits for. Equip it with ample power outlets. Worry about hard-plumbed air lines, insulation, HVAC, etc. after you have the structure built. Three (or more) bays with a wall separating the work area from the parking area would be ideal.

Howard Jones

Gold Supporter
It can be done in a one car garage but a two car garage that houses your 40 in one bay with the other bay open as required, move the wifes car out, would be better.

The single most useful tool I have is dollies to go under the tires. I made mine out of two pieces of 1/2" plywood glued together with a 1x1 perimeter large enough to fit the rear tires. This way all 4 are the same size. I used 4" wheels and this arrangement will put the car high enough off the ground to allow most work under the car and still be low enough to hoist the motor in and out.
The best part is you can move the 40 sideways, instead of rolling it on the tires out onto the driveway and back into the garage, by yourself when you move out the other car so that you have the whole space to work in. I can't begin to tell you how much time this has saved me over the last 3 years.

Other things, air compressor, 25 gal tank min, air powered rivit gun, air recipocating saw that uses small hacksaw type blades, I used this a lot. small gargage size drill press, torque wrench.

Add lighting to the garage, more is better, old refrigerator, phone, and music in garage, you will spend several 1000 hours out there. Start a notebook to record information in, phone #s, part #S etc.

Also collect parts catalogs. Jegs, Summit, Ford motorsport, etc. If you don't have hand tools buy a good set, craftsman are fine and you can take them back and get them replaced for free when you break them.

If you have rafters then floor them in so you can put all the parts up there. If you don't you will need shelves along one wall. At least ten feet worth, floor to ceiling.

New Member
Just to add, size is important. Build the largest garage as you can. You will always use the room, even if it is just for storage. You can add cabinets and shelves for more storage. My garage is 3200 sq ft and I wish it was bigger.

If you have the room, I find large work table, 4 by 8 if you have the space, 3 by 6 if not, is the best work area. Much better than a bench for working.

Also, some type of floor protection is good. Epoxy paint for example. You need to use product that is specific to the application and follow prep directions. Prep is the most important part. And before you pour the cement, be sure to put down a good vapor barrier.
I agree with you all regarding the bigger the garage the better. However, I was limited for space as my garage is only 21' x 9'. But to overcome this problem I fabricated a build table mounted on 4 swivel castor wheels. This enabled me to move the chassis around the garage to give maximum space depending on which side of the car I was working on.
Also with out doubt a reasonably equipped tool chest is a definite. Although you will probably find that you add to this on a weekly basis.
Sufficient power points are a plus, as trailing extension leads are a safety issue.
Painted ceilings & floors are a good idea, not only to reflect maximum light but it mkes it easir to find things when you drop them on the floor!! So it follows that a well lit garage is a necessity.
It's already been said, but BIGGER works much better! Spend what you can now for the largest empty space you can - everything else (but more space) can be easily and relatively cheaply added later. Now, having said that, it can be done in a very small space!! (the attached picture shows Farhad's garage that he built both the cobra and the gt-40 in!).

The most important things I've found are;
Lighting - the more the better!
Storage Space - for all the parts you don't need just yet!
Safety - enough room around any machine tools and the car so you can move/work/live safely.

beyond those items, you are just adding "niceties".



Don't forget to include heat/AC! VERY IMPORTANT! Comfort is everything! If your garage isn't comfortable to work in for one reason or another(size, temp, etc.), the amount of time spent working on the car will suffer, and so will you.
There were a bunch of great ideas in the previous thread on this subject. I'm sure that some were omitted here. Follow that link, compile all of the best ideas, and have the garage that dreams were made of!

Thanks guys for all the ideas... I've decided on a 24'x24' shop (the term "shop" being used only because it sounds better than "garage" to my wife. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif ). I agree HVAC is a must... especially when summer temps are usually in the high 90's here in North Carolina. However I don't think that I can get away with a car lift.. as much as I'd like it. I already have a cherry picker and a good friend has given me nice large compressor (assembly required). I have decided to install a small loft for storage, and since we're remodeling our kitchen next year, I should have some nice used cabinets to use as well.

Thanks all!!


New Member
The single most valuable item in my garage is the lift I installed last year. It is a two-post, clear-floor, 10,000-pound model from Autolifters. It has been absolutely invaluable in my projects, especially the Lister replica I've been working on. It is a little bit of a hassle to get low cars on it--they have to be lifted with a floor jack first--but the ease it adds to what would normally be unpleasant tasks (transmission install/removal, oil pan removal, even bleeding the brakes) more than makes up for the time spent getting the car on it properly. Drive-on, four-post models would be even more convenient in that respect, but I like having the wheels free so that I can remove them if need be for brake work, etc. while the car is on the lift.

Aside from that, you can never have too much lighting. I've seen garages where there were spotlights installed in the floor to light the underside of the cars, which seems like a neat idea. Having air lines plumbed overhead, to enable you to use air tools all over the garage without dragging the air hose around, is neat, too. A sink and/or parts washers are great additions. I have a "dirty" workbench--where my grinding wheel and drill press are located, and which sits next to my parts washer--and a "clean" one, which I try to use mainly when reassembling stuff that's already been drilled, modified, and cleaned up. Helps keep metal shavings and bits of gasket out of carbs that are being rebuilt.

Also, ventilation is paramount. I have a large (48", IIRC) box fan mounted in the far wall of the shop that I turn on whenever I'm running an engine. I don't have to deal with cold weather much but it does get hot so I keep another large, portable shop fan running at low speed during the hot months just to keep air flowing around the cars, and I also have one of those Portacool swamp coolers that I use on ME when I'm working on something. It's like a portable A/C unit and really helps you keep your cool (no pun intended) when a project is not going according to plan (i.e., all of the time, at least for me).

A stereo is a welcome addition, too, especially when working on something in the middle of the night (as per usual for me, the only time I can get to do my "garage stuff").
Pitch the roof as high as possible to allow easy walking
and more storage space in the attic. And of course run
electric circuits so you can install lights/outlets
in the attic as well.


New Member
The best thing the old boy did to our shed was building runners for the endless chain to attach to. So much easier for getting engines out of the car, especially when on chassie stands. As for lighting, consider the opaque roof sheeting, every couple of feet, adds a lot of daylight during the day. Old rims from the wreckers are great for coiling airhoses and power lines on, and my uncle made his own acid bath, it gets sooo much use. Have fun, as we say in OZ....All australian boys need a shed!!


Bronze Supporter
Having started the other thread on garages, I am now in the position to commission construction and report back what I am ending up with.

Floor space is budget driven for me not land dependant. Planning/permit was an issue but final design of building meant no permission actually required. In the UK we have permitted development rights.

From my thread I was advised to go from 24 to 25 foot width. My aim was to be able to rotate my car trailer around inside the garage as it was to be stored in there as well.

My success in design versus budget came from seeing pre fabricated agricultural buildings. A search on the net lead me to Leofric Building Systems who basically have off the shelf, pre designed, pre fabricated buildings from single garages up to 40,000 sq ft warehouses.

I was asked if I could jump up a bit on size to get a standard sized unit which lead me to order an 8.4 by 16.2 m garage. Thats 27 ft by 52 ft internal dimensions. Excluding footings and options that came out at under £18,000 constructed plus VAT.

I have, thanks to Charles, found a refurbished Bradbury 3 ton 4 post lift (wheels free design) at good value. I am recessing the floor so that it is a flush fit. 4 m (13 ft) ridge height may be an issue but I can't go higher with out planning consents. It worked out cheaper and better than a pit.

Power floated concrete floor should make life smooth inside.

Masses of lighting planned. From the house I will be ducting gas water electricity telephone alarms and CCTV.

Through the footings I will plumb in foul drainage for future connections.

Anything else can be added later.

I expect to fill my 1400 sq ft but how on earth does Bart fill his 3200 sq ft? That is enormous!


I have a metal dolly that puts the car at perfect standing height. It is strong enough to complete the car on. At least, it held my car until it was done. I'll let you use it if you'd like.

Beyond a vast array of hand tools including both SAE and metric taps &dies, you must have a vise, grinder and a drill press. Harbor Freight has a small drill press on sale occationally for like $40. It is worth ever penny and will last long enough for you to build your car. Air compressor and tools are very, very handy (get as big a tank as you can afford.)e Also a must have is a die grinder, dremel or something of the sort. (Do not get a Roto-zip: junk.) A small metal brake can be very useful as well. I always wished I had on of those multipurpose bending tools as wellEastwoods Heavy Duty Metal Bender . Another very useful set is hole cutter/die set. They come in all sizes and are the absolute best way to put a hole in sheet . Round Hole Punches They come in rectangles also. I could go on and on. Oh yeah, an air nibbler or shear is good too. See what I mean. (I am not promoting Eastwoods, it was just a quick, easy way to illustrate some of the stuff.)


Ron Earp

Staff member
Don't get the air compressor type I have. It works for small jobs - but DOES NOT work for sanding or heavy duty work. Mine is a 20 gallon screw type compressor and it will run constantly and is loud as hell! Coupled with a little one that sleeps at night it means you can't use it except on Saturady and Sunday when naps aren't taking place. So, basically little time at all. Get a good quiet compressor, it is worth the cash.


Ron Earp

Staff member
Oh, and if you are pouring a garage you might as well fit some floor heating in it too. Cheap to do, can run on the hot water heater (if gas it is cheap), and will make it really nice for those in colder climates.


New Member
Thanks to Hershal, I now have a really big (I think 70 or 80 gallon) compressor. It kicks my old little one's ass - like Ron says, a must for air tools.

And of course, since I sell epoxy and urethane paints, you need to paint your floor! (Not that I'm advertising.)
And of course, since I sell epoxy and urethane paints, you need to paint your floor! (Not that I'm advertising.)

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Haa!! My wife and I are in a battle right now. She wants a new kitchen, I want a garage. But her's cost three times what mine does. Damn, how are those cabinets SO EXPENSIVE??? But what can I say? "That glaze looks great dear...". But I'm not giving up without a fight!