You’ve been dreaming about your own personal man cave for a while and you really want to pull the trigger on getting a custom garage. As you envision the design in your head, we thought perhaps you’d find inspiration from five unbelievably luxurious and extreme garages owned by some very rich guys. But, don’t let a silly little thing like money stop you from getting what you want. Keep in mind, there’s a reason they call it custom – it’s built just for you and your garage needs. And, if your garage happens to need a 60-foot elevator that can lift 250,000 lbs. of sexy metal and steel, so be it.
Rich Guy #1: Jerry Seinfeld
What is it with the lack of space in Manhattan? Comedian Jerry Seinfeld answered his own question by building a 3-story, subterranean custom garage three blocks from his Upper West Side home. The high security, climate controlled garage holds Seinfeld’s collection of 46 Porsches and also houses an 844-square-foot club room with a billiard table, a small kitchen, bathroom and an office.
Rich Guy #2: Jay Leno
On the opposite side of the country, Jerry’s buddy is well known for his car and motorcycle collection garaged in two buildings next to his home outside of Los Angeles. Dubbed “Big Dog,” the garage is 17,000-square-foot and has a machine shop, a fabrication shop and a kitchen. In 2010, Leno outfitted the garage with environment-friendly solar panels and although the garage is closed to the public, Leno periodically offers tours of it with ticket sales going to charity.
Rich Guy #3: Tom Gonzales
If your sons are not going to be comedians, then let them group up to be software engineers. After he sold his software company, Commerce One, Tom Gonzales retired to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. And, on the family compound he built a 12,000-square foot subterranean parking garage to hold some 30 cars from his 400-car collection plus dozens of motorcycles. He also installed a 60-foot long elevator – similar to the kind on an aircraft carrier used to lift planes onto the ship’s deck – that can lift 250,000 lbs.. When the elevator isn’t being used, it’s camouflaged on the outside with both real and artificial rocks, plants and trees. Gonzales eventually sold his estate and garage when he downsized and later moved to Florida.
Rich Guy #4: Francis Wisniewski
The CIO of property management company, Forty4 Asset Management, lives in Chicago but prefers Las Vegas. So he decided to design his man cave with a Vegas theme. It also helped that his garage happened to be 15,000-square-foot, which allowed Wisniewski to properly recreate The Strip. In addition to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, the garage also holds his collection of sports memorabilia, has a small basketball court and a gambling room with a full-size craps table. The cars are stored on the sides of the garage on lifts and the entire garage is lit like a showroom.
Rich Guy #5: Craig Jackson
When you’re the CEO of a collectible car auction house, you have to have an impressive garage and Jackson – of Barrett-Jackson fame – has that and then some. When Jackson was building a garage to house his muscle and luxury car collection, he had to build around the mountain in his Paradise Valley, Arizona home.
The 2-million dollar, 3,600 square feet garage was built in the shape of a circle so it wouldn’t cut into the mountain too much and shaped like a tire with the lighting and roof designed to resemble a hubcap. All of Jackson’s cars are parked diagonally facing the center like wheel spokes and in the middle is the crown jewel, a Bugatti Veyron that sits on a rotating pedestal. The walls of the garage are lined with soundproof leather panels and the garage is equipped with a lighting system that is programmable so the cars can be lit properly when displayed.
Ah, it’s good to be king.