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Car Advice


by James Ward


Suburban garages can be something of a puzzle.

Part everyday storage solution, part potential treasure trove, their big doors do a great job of hiding the riches within.

These doors spend the majority of their lives closed, but have you ever wondered what they could be hiding?

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has imagined whether the nice old lady at number six has some fantastic, classic metal squirreled away under a sheet behind the B&D. A languishing reminder of a late, lost love. Maybe taking the bins out for her each week may garner you favour, and a peek inside…

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More often than not, though, the contents are likely worthless. A space for the daily driver, some old furniture or just a mid-nineties Camry.

But sometimes, we find a door raised, and can catch a glimpse of something unexpected.

What better way to strike up a new neighbourly friendship, than a discussion about a fascinating car, driven by a chance encounter with an open door.

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It happens, too.

On a recent stroll to the laneway behind my house to pop some recycling in the bin, a neighbour with whom I simply share side-street with, had his garage raised while he washed the car.

I recognised the everyday wheels, but taking the space next to it, in an environmentally sealed ‘carcoon’ was something beyond surprising.

A stunning, Lamborghini Miura. A rapidly appreciating asset, potentially worth more than many houses around it, tucked away behind a nondescript garage door.

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I said hello and we chatted for ages about Ferruccio’s masterpiece and of cars in general. A bond formed thanks to opportune timing.

Another neighbour had a flat tyre on his Golf and asked me for some help. As the roller door raised, it revealed not only the stricken Mk VI, but also a car stacker with not one but two Porsche 356A coupes. I had known this man as a friendly neighbour for years, but had no idea he was a car guy!

A great story followed. His father in Germany had owned a 356 many years ago, and he had followed suit not long after moving to Australia. He had promised the car to his now adult daughter as a 30th birthday present, who at the same time had managed to find, purchase and import her grandfather’s original 356 as a return gift to her dad.

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Gifting Porsches to family members isn’t something we can all entertain, but to hear the tale and chat about the cars, over several glasses of wine and a very slowly repaired Golf has again cemented a stronger relationship, between people who just happen to live nearby.

But let’s face it, privacy is important.

Not everyone wants to open their garage, and their lives to random passers-by – no matter how close they live. Plus, keeping seven-figures worth of Italian supercar on site, for example, is not always something you want to broadcast.

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The chance encounter with an open garage remains the best way to discover what lives within. It maintains the mystery and extends the excitement of knowing, or wondering what might sit behind those doors.

What lives behind closed doors in your neighbourhood?

Have you caught a glimpse of something special inside a local garage? Let us know in the comments below.




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