Behind closed (garage) doors: Uncovering the ‘secret’ lives of Canadian auto buffs

Steve Bodrug in his Formula Ford race car, a 1993 Van Diemen.

Jeremy Sinek/The Globe and Mail

If you’ve ever ventured down the rabbit hole that is, you’d think every person and their dog owns some kind of classic, exotic, unusual or just, well, interesting car. From an ultralow-mileage Porsche 911 GT3 through all kinds of American muscle cars, Italian microcars and classic British roadsters to a one-owner 1985 Mercedes 300TD diesel wagon, the online auction site caters to every car buff’s taste and fetish. I could spend hours.

My dog, however, has other ideas. Too bad that our frequent long walks through the ’hood reveal a very different automotive landscape. In every driveway, boring SUVs and minivans, compact sedans and pickup trucks. Dull, dull, dull.

But wait, what’s that? As we pass a small, ordinary mid-century bungalow, the garage door is closing – but not before I get a glimpse inside. That’s not just the distinctive grille badge of a late-1960s Camaro SS – there’s also a massive chromed supercharger protruding about a foot through the hood. So. Not. Dull.

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I didn’t get a chance to talk to the owner, but the sighting set me on a mission to discover what else the gearheads in my ’hood have hidden in their garages getting extra TLC during the Big Stay Home, or just waiting to be exercised on a warm sunny day.

A 1972 Chevelle Malibu and Subaru BRZ are stacked on a lift…


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Common garage door repair related FAQ

How long does it take to replace a garage door?

Roughly 3 to 4 hours, if done properly.

How often should my a garage door be serviced?

Your garage door is a large piece of moving equipment made up of many parts. Some families use their garage door more than their front door. We recommend having your garage door and operator serviced every year in order to ensure a properly working door and operator. The noises your door or operator makes are your initial “warning signs” that something is not quite right. The longer you put off the necessary service, the more damage may result.

How long do garage door springs usually last?

The most common torsion springs have an expected life of about 10,000 cycles (one opening and one closing is a cycle.)

What is the life span of a garage door opener?

The average life span of a door opener can vary from 10 to 20 years depending on the model and usage.

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