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Car Storage Options/Suggestions


Guest Oldschoolgent
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Guest Oldschoolgent

I'm looking to purchase my first classic car, but storage, or rather lack thereof, is holding me back.  My downtown loft does not enable me to have another vehicle, so I will have to turn elsewhere.  What are some affordable options that you all would suggest to properly keep a car stored?  I live in Denver, so I do have snow/inclement weather to take into consideration.  

 

I appreciate your input and suggestions!  Thank you. 

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There is a widowed lady down my block who has a 21/2 car garage. She only has one car which left her with plenty of space. I shovel her driveway for free storage of one of my cars. You might ask around to see if you could do the same.

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I used to do care taking work for the houses across the road from me and they in turn let me store my cars their.  Mow the lawn,  look after the place when they were gone.  Little stuff.  They appreciated not having to pay someone to take care of the place.  Especially the older folks on a fixed income. That's probably your most economical route. Sometimes they don't even drive so they don't have a car.  I actually ended up buying one of the houses when the owner passed. 

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Look for a clean, dry, safe, secure, well lit storage facility with easy access for you to get it

out to use. Then buy a quality cover for it. In some cities the $175 @ month would be a bargain,

in our town that would be to much. Safety and security and easy access should come before cost in

considerations.

In the old days, many cities had car staffed storage garages in the city for people in your situation.

Denver may still have some. Good luck & welcome to our hobby,

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I'd pursue the "widow lady" option.  That's how I stored my car for years.  I actually advertised for a place to rent,  in the newspaper classifieds.  If there is a senior citizens center around there, where elder folks gather, you might stick a note on the bulletin board.  Or at a supermarket bulletin board.  Or even on a website for local old folks.

 

Another storage possibility is to rent a storage unit, 10' x 20'.  I did this for years, too.  It's a tight fit, but it can be made to work.  The owners allowed it, but asked that I keep my gas tank full at all times, so there wouldn't be a lot of gasoline vapor around.

 

Also, ask around the "old car community" to see where people are storing their cars.  If you belong to an AACA region, you can ask, during a meeting. In the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC there is, for example, a high-rise condo building that rents (or at least, once rented) long-term storage space to people with old cars, in the basement.  Easy access, with an entry card.  But the only people who knew about this, were people in the old car owners' network.

 

You'll probably find that the rates (for garage rental, or storage units) are cheaper out in the suburbs, so you'll have to balance rental costs against the time it takes to drive out to pick up your car.

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There is a widowed lady down my block who has a 21/2 car garage. She only has one car which left her with plenty of space. I shovel her driveway for free storage of one of my cars. You might ask around to see if you could do the same.

. I have found that these arrangements can be rather unreliable. My first car was a red '62 Impala SS convertible. The alcoholic divorcee across the alley had a huge two car garage and only parked her black '59 Coupe de Ville in it. The deal was that I would service and maintain her Caddy, earning the right to park my car in the garage along with hers. She would reimburse me for the cost of parts and materials. This all worked out fine until it came time to collect the money I had invested in parts. Then it was, when she got paid or got a chance to cash her check, or this came up and that came up, and every excuse you could think of, until it got to "I paid you for that already". Needless to say, it ended up costing me a lot of money that I couldn't afford, to end up parking on the street.

Fast forward about three or four years to when I acquired my first collector car, a red and white '57 Olds S88 two door Holiday. About five or six doors south of the divorcee lived the recently widowed mother of Joey and his '57 Belair, and Sonny with his newly purchased '65 GTO, who was now living alone when her sons married and move away. She had no garage, but in her back yard was a parking area about three cars wide, adjacent to the alley. A deal was struck to pay fifteen dollars every three months, which lasted for about two or three timely payments, and then abruptly terminated; no reason given.

These deals can be a win/win for both parties, but can also leave one scrambling to find an alternative storage arrangement.

Edited by Larry W (see edit history)
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I was in the storage business for many years; I leased a second story of a huge factory, that, the first floor, was turned into retail space. It was OK, as it was heated, mostly from the retail first floor; I essentially had free heat. And it was secure also, again due to the retail stores.

 

Being a antique/vintage vehicle guy; I was aware how people valued their cars and motorcycles.  This is not the case with most storage owners.

 

In my contract with the car/motorcycle owners it included, that No mechanical work, waxing ,polishing,; would be done in the building. Again, I respected the other peoples vehicles. I didn't want polishing dust, wrenches, oil or whatever to touch anybody's prized possession.  You could not believe how people tried to get around that, the crying and begging was hilarious.  Those people were asked to leave.

 

My point is: I have heard horror stories, where people rented a residential garage space at someone's home.  That space would be also used to house the home owner's car, lawnmower, baby buggy, basketball hoop, whatever.   You can see where I am going. You go back to get your car one day and there is a huge gash in the door, whoops, nobody knows anything.

 

Best not to get into that situation.

 

intimeold

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Guest Oldschoolgent

I appreciate you comments, so thank you, everyone.  Having only recently moved to Denver, my social circle is very small, so seeking out a friend or acquaintance probably won't happen for a while.  I'm a member of the Colorado region CCCA now, but not involved in AACA locally at all (I'll look into it further).  I'd like to rent space from a "car guy" as opposed to some random situation I find along the way, but anything reliable would be fine. I'll look explore Craigslist and the club routes for now.   I am young, 25, so the widow seeking a young companion could happen. :)  

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Like anything you need to check everything out. (I would be cautious of leaving my car anywhere if there is an alcoholic with a car near by)   With the Widow being a caretaker for her for the space works best.  As in my case I was the only one to use the garage as I mowed the lawn and shoveled for her.  Look for the super tidy pretty much empty garage.  2 stalls are best if they still have their own car as yours is totally isolated and often even have posts down the middle of the garage so a nice buffer. Many don't even drive any more so you may have the whole empty garage.  Usually once you get to know them and do them a few minor favors.  It might even be changing a blown light bulb in the house or something,  you develop a friendship,  one they don't want to jeopardize either.  They like to have some one they can rely on for little things they can't do any more.

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Important to have an electrical outlet in storage space so as to be able to  have a battery trickle charger.

 

Most general purpose storage units do not have electrical service in them.

 

Some communities have specialized storage facilities for vehicles, these are preferred.

 

Find a storage facility in a safe area and one where the management takes site security seriously.

 

Rent can get expensive after a few months easily costing over a thousand dollars per year.

 

Make sure your car is covered by insurance while in storage.

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I wouldn't worry about the trickle charge.  Just unhook the battery fro short term storage.  Under a month.  Over a month or two just take it with you. The battery won't go dead in 2 months unhooked. If it does,  you need a new battery.

The fun of owning an old car wears off fast when you are paying over 100.00 a month to store it in an unheated tin can. 

Time to move to the burbs and build a garage or buy a house with atleast 3 stalls or a nice barn.  It's easier to sleep at night when you own the place your car is stored and can visit it within a minute or two walk. 

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I presume your not referring to a project car but one which is operable.

 

Let your insurer know what your storage plans are and the value of the car you plan to purchase.  Mine would not be comfortable with a the garage across the street, where I don't control the access.

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Buy a building, an old dealership or warehouse shouldn't cost more  than a good CCCA acceptable car. Be sure to incorporate a holding company for the building. There are a lot of benefits to that plan. You will not regret it.

 

You will probably find that owning a building is like owning a car; buy one and they start spouting. Things might feel a little tough with the economy over the next few years, but in 2030 you'll be a smiling 40 year old. I'm an old guy and I'm getting ready to commit to a commercial building to run two companies from.

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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Buy a building, an old dealership or warehouse shouldn't cost more  than a good CCCA acceptable car. Be sure to incorporate a holding company for the building. There are a lot of benefits to that plan. You will not regret it.

 

If anything, I now regret NOT being able to do just this.  Back in the day, when I had a handful of cars, I kept looking for a building to buy, but either the price was too high or it needed too much work that I couldn't do.  Now that I don't have the cars anymore, probably a good thing I didn't buy; however, never know how things might go.

 

One of the 1st storage situations I had was an old lady who had a 2-car garage & needed a renter for it.  She no longer used her car, though she kept it, an older model (well, comparatively, of course) Oldsmobile Delta 88 (1980s, I believe).  Anyway, a friend knew her & her family well, so I willingly put my car there.  It was fine for a couple months ... until her grandson got a car & needed a place to put it.  Family before paying renters, so I was out.  Luckily, at nearly the same time, my grandparents decided they needed to rent out half of their 2-car garage, so I was able to put my car there ... & yes, I paid them some rent.

 

 

Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com

1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"There was something in the country that he said he couldn't leave" __ John Denver & Emmylou Harris __ 'Wild Montana Skies'
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 The widow lady I store my car at will not allow her kids to "take" my place for my car. She knows that I am dependable to come and blow out her driveway right after ANY amount of snow. She could never count on her kids to come right away, so I have always won out. The oldest daughter is a b**** and unplugged my trickle charger so I no longer use thatshe had a small pop up camper she thought she could store, but her mom said no. That is how she got back at me].

 I just go there every couple of weeks and hook up the battery and start the car,

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