Here we are again this month with another awesome garage as we are soundly resurrecting this popular component of Corvette Fever. Again, if you haven't responded to the call I have been putting out asking for more cool garages to run in this same space, please drop me an email to let me know what cool garage you own or you have located in your own neighborhood. Now, let's visit the Tom Dellamalva garage in Scranton, Pennsylvania!
Like most teenagers growing up in the late 1960's in northeastern Pennsylvania, Tom Dellamalva was a muscle car enthusiast and during those cool times, nothing turned heads more than the Corvette. However, also like most teenagers, unless your parents had money, the Corvette was way out of your price range. So he settled on a 1969 Super Bee. But the dream of owning a Corvette was always there. Years continued to roll on and life continued through marriage, children and a career. It wasn't until Tom's children were grown and he had started his own business that the Corvette dream became a reality. The first Corvette in his collection was a triple black '67 small-block. From that first car there was no looking back.
Originally, the first few cars were garaged in a spare room on the ground floor of his business. But that space was needed for some new machinery, so the cars had to be moved. For a while, he rented some garage space nearby but it wasn't until his son had given him a book showing how other people stored and displayed their cars that Tom decided to build his own garage.
Soon after that conversation with his son, he bought a piece of land on the outskirts of Scranton, Pennsylvania and hired a local contractor to construct the new 5,000-square-foot garage. He wanted the new garage to fit into the current neighborhood as much as possible. The profile from the street had to fit seamlessly among the single story residences.
From the very beginning, the idea was that the garage should not only be a place to work on and display the cars, but it should also be a place where you could sit and relax. This is the reason space was allocated for an 800 square foot office/den area. Access to the den is through double 12 panel, glass and wood doors just off of the display area. Some of the highlights of the den include a full-length antique bar with a custom made matching wall unit behind it. The wall unit houses a Plasma television with surround sound. In the middle of the den is a floor to ceiling, 10' wide fireplace made from locally quarried stone and the mantle is hewed from a single piece of solid oak. Around the top of the entire room is a standard gauge electric train with replicas of some local points of interest. The train travels through the fireplace by means of a tunnel. At the opposite end of the den is a circa 1920's Brunswick pool table. The pool table took 2 years to locate and restore. A local artisan who provided pool tables to a long list of celebrities did the restoration. Instead of regular chairs around the pool table for players and spectators, the den has 2 antique barber's chairs. One is solid oak from the early 1900's and the other is from 1950 with a complete restoration in 2006. The bathroom area measures 7' by 20' and is located just off of the den area. The bathroom contains a full walk-in shower and a basin style sink with foot pedal activation switch. The sink was rescued from an old gas station prior to demolition.
The car display area is approximately 2100 square feet, with parking for 12 to 14 cars. The floor is made up of 6-inch thick cement with moisture barriers under it. The floor is covered with commercial grade carpeting. The walls are adorned with in excess of 450 vintage signs. The signs came mostly from 4 different venues: Carlisle, Barrett-Jackson, Hershey and Bloomington. Approximately 25 of the signs are original neon. The signs are a result of needing something to finish the nostalgic look of the garage in addition to the vehicles themselves. Complimenting the signs are 6 fully restored, vintage fuel pumps. In addition to the automobilia, there are glass cases positioned throughout the den and display areas to house the numerous other collections, which have been gathered over the years. The display area of the garage is climate controlled coupled with a dehumidifier system.