As an adult, there are certain things in life you might aspire to. Things like a good job, a nice house, maybe a family… and a cool place to store all your cars.
Such a space is everyone’s dream, right? Well, today I want to show you two different but equally cool automotive man caves, each with their own unique characteristics.
First up there’s Ravi’s showroom-like man cave, home to a collection of American muscle. Ravi has been collecting cars for quite some time, and the American stuff – especially Ford Mustangs – have always been his favourite.
Ravi owns a high-end panel beating business called Auto Bonn, and it’s here that he’s built the special space for all his toys. He went with a clean, clinical type of feel with showroom lighting and highly polished concrete floors.
Keeping your car collection at the office is a great idea for several reasons. First and foremost, what’s better than being able to sit behind your work desk, and look over to your right to see your immaculate Shelby GT500CR’s rear end staring back at you.
This car was built for Ravi by Classic Recreations in Oklahoma, USA and it’s a real beauty. The 427ci V8 up front pumps out 545hp, so it’s fun to drive too.
Another great reason for Ravi keeping his collection here is being able to use the excuse of having to go to work whenever he doesn’t feel like doing domestic duties at home. Isn’t that just super smart?
The red car above is a very special one. You might have heard of the ’66 Ford Shelby GT350-H, in which the ‘H’ stood for Hertz. The rental car company’s Rent-a-Racer’ program allowed average citizens to rent Hertz’s special Shelby Mustang, of which around 1,000 examples were produced. There are stories of renters taking these cars to amateur track days and returning them looking a little worse for wear.
Ravi’s car isn’t one of the original 1966 cars; it’s one of the much rarer 1968 models of which just 224 examples were produced for Hertz. It was a barn find in the US, and after being acquired was repainted in its original Candy Apple Red.
No man cave is complete with some scale model cars, and Ravi has a display case with quite a few examples. The most significant addition here is a wire model of the Lexus LFA on the wall; significant because Ravi used to own the amazing silver LFA above, one of only three brought to South Africa.
There are two serious Chevy Impalas in the collection, both which have been completely overhauled with new paint, new engines, and air-ride. These cruisers are perfect for those lazy, late Sunday afternoon drives with the family.
Both the Jaguar E-Type and the Mach 1 Mustang underwent full nut and bolt restorations and are quite sublime. These might not be special edition cars, but that doesn’t make them any less special.
On the other hand, this Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition is one of only 750 cars produced by Ford. It’s basically an upgraded Boss 302, with Recaro sport seats, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, revised suspension tuning with unique spring and damper rates, and a larger rear stabilizer. It also lost its rear seat – something replaced by a cross-car x-brace to increase structural rigidity – and featured lightweight alloy wheels with R-compound tyres, and Ford Racing front ducts to help cool the brakes.
On top of all that, this particular car has been right-hand drive converted.Restorations
Being a panel beater by trade, Ravi can do all his own restoration and custom work right below the showroom. Every now and then he takes on custom projects for clients – but only if the car is interesting enough and the customer is willing to pay. As you might expect, Ravi’s quality work does not come cheap.
Downstairs, the variety of cars branches away from the American stuff, with Ravi’s big-power Supra, plus a completely original Volkswagen Beetle and a Mk1 Ford Cortina.
Delving deeper, I came across another two of Ravi’s cars currently under the knife. There’s a Mustang GT500 as well as a Chevy 3100 that was previously a real-show stopper and is currently undergoing a full rebuild.
A few other golden oldies are also being worked on right now, my favourite strangely being the Jeep Wagoneer. I can just imagine it with a big Hellcat motor under the hood and the paint left as is. That would be a proper blast.Industrial Vibes
Now that we’ve looked at a clean and clinical man cave, let’s check out a totally different one…
‘Custodian’ is the name Marius has given to his industrial-style man cave. This building serves multiple purpose; it’s a place for Marius to store some of his cars and hang out with friends at, and more recently, the new home for a friend’s detailing company, Gloss Monster Detailing.
This worked out pretty perfect for Marius; some of the unused space creates income, and his own collection is maintained in immaculate condition. It’s a real win-win situation.
This double storey hideout also has one big plus point over Ravi’s place, and that’s a bar – a fully stocked one at that.
Marius has done quite well in business, so he’s basically retired. This means he doesn’t need to do any work here, but he does like to entertain his friends.
He’s quite fond of old bikes too, and owns a few classic BMW motorcycles along with a lone Ducati – a limited edition 996 SPS.
Those odd, vintage-looking Soekoe bikes are locally made items that are brand new, but designed to look like they’re from a bygone era.
As expected, there are some decorations around the premises, with a few wall prints and some scale model cars scattered throughout. I’d gladly take that 964 Turbo, but I want it in a full-sized version please and thank you.
Getting to some of the cars in Marius’ collection, there’s real variety here. The stunning light blue Jaguar E-Type Coupé is joined by two Austin Healey 3000 MkIIIs, which have a really special place in Marius’ heart. A single German in the form of a completely original and meticulously maintained 635Ci finds its place on one of the four car lifts. Marius also has a beige E9 BMW which usually occupies the fourth lift, but was out at the time I visited.
Two Italian horses rest in the corner of the warehouse, one being a 458 Italia and the other a F430 Spider in manual.
The last car in the garage is an AC Cobra replica that makes for a real fun weekend car – if the weather allows.
Two man caves that look completely different, each with their own flavour, style and unique characteristics. I must admit, although Ravi’s clean style is amazing, Marius’ space would be my type of setup for sure.
What would your ultimate hideout look like, and what dream cars would be parked inside?