View Full Version : A garage fit for a 1913 Model 35

04-28-2018, 05:25 PM
My great-grandfather bot a 1913 Studebaker Model 35, brand new in 1913, and built a garage behind his house, to keep it (and the cars that followed it) better preserved. It was simply but sturdily built, and in the mid 1980's l was allowed over-winter my '57 Champion in it too. l've never seen another garage built the same way, and reflecting on it, l think it was perhaps quite clever. l do not have any construction background, and could not ask him about it since he died 23 years before l was born. For some unknown reason l was recently thinking about it and thot l'd run it by you good folks with lots of technical knowledge, to see what you thot - and what l could learn.

It had several roughly 4x4 upright posts to hold it up and 2x4-type framing to support the roof and fasten on the sides, both of which were of a sturdy corrugated (and galvanized?) metal. The doors were wood, if l recall correctly. The floor was lite gravel, raised several inches higher than the surrounding lawn. Unusually, the sides (and front) of the garage never met the gravel floor. Instead, the metal panels were about 4 or 5 inches off of the gravel, allowing the wind to go thru. In fact, the fit of the roof to to walls was not tight at all, with we would now call a large gap of a couple of inches and the wind would surely howl thru pretty good. There was very little overhang, and the only window was at the front. l don't believe the structure ever failed and it was only brot down when the property was sold and renovated in the late 1980's.

l'm thinking that the structure was made that way to allow lots of air thru so that humidity/moisture was not a problem. Also, there was no place for a rodent to find a home and l never saw any birds nests, altho l wouldn't put that past them. The cars would have been out of the rain and snow (as long as it didn't blow too much), allowed them to dry readily, not get too hot, yet secure from theft.

Has anyone seen a similar garage - perhaps even similar vintage? Are my theories as to the benefits correct?

By the way, between my great grandfather and his kids, that garage housed the 1913 Studebaker, a first-series mid-20's Chrysler, a self-shifting Reo (1935?), a '39 Studebaker Champion (for 20 years) and a '59 Lark.

04-28-2018, 05:47 PM
Come on Roger, where’s that picture of you next to a 1913 Model 25?

04-28-2018, 06:28 PM
I think many garages were similarly built, allowing the air to circulate, either wood framed or metal. The walls being raised up from the floor level kept most of the snow out and even more if it drifted because it would self seal on the sides the wind blew from. You can sort of consider it a carport with partial walls and a door. The same concept is being used today with metal framing and metal siding, mostly used to shelter farm equipment or RV's from the elements. Fairly cheap and quick to construct.

04-28-2018, 09:35 PM
Old Dyke's Manuals include directions to build such garages.

Stude Shoo-wop!
04-28-2018, 10:09 PM
Could it be that the garage started out in life as a Sears-Roebuck DIY kit (sold through either the store or mail-order) that your grandfather felt the need to modify (raised gravel, galvanized steel, etc.) to better suit the car and his living conditions?

04-29-2018, 07:30 AM
My grandfathers garage in Brookhaven Mississippi was built the same way. As a kid I never gave it a thought, now I figure it was to allow for air circulation.

04-29-2018, 09:39 AM
Oh boy - a couple of hours after l posted this thread a light finally went on and realized how similar it was in concept to some metal kit-type structures l've seen on road trips to the southern states. Up here in the Great White North, we see almost none of those. We apparently try hard to keep the weather OUT most of the time.

l still appreciate the benefits of an open-air like great-grandfather built, but he obviously didn't foresee doing much (or any) work on the car in the winter (probably only used in very favourable conditions since it was a touring type body, of course).

Matt, l DO have a few good pictures of a certain speedster-bodied Model 25 taken recently!! And a magnificent picture of my great-grandad's Model 35, taken about 1915. BUT the picture-posting method for the forum alludes me. "Clouds" are just those nice white things in the sky, as far as my computer skills are concerned.