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.
The work area of the garage is approximately 2100 square feet, where any type of repair from a simple tune-up to a complete restoration can be performed. It is equipped with an Eagle hydraulic lift with 7000-pound capacity. In addition to the lift there is also a bead blaster, steam cleaner, welding machine and torch sets. Complete sets of hand and air tools complete the tool inventory. A 7hp compressor provides the air for the garage with a 60-gallon tank delivering 175psi. Air ports are located at regular intervals throughout the work area. Electrical outlets are also located every 6 feet throughout the entire garage and at every 2 feet around the workbench areas. The entire work area also has full Internet access points. This is useful when the need arises to locate that hard-to-find part.
Sixteen Halogen overhead lights provide light for the entire garage. Security is provided by electronic sensors on each entry and overhead door along with motion detectors located in each area of the garage. To date, four frame-off restorations have been completed in the work area and yet another restoration was underway this past winter for a friend on his 1960 Corvette. It's safe to say that Tom's garage is a working man's garage even though it houses one of Pennsylvania's premier Corvette collections.
By The Numbers Garage Specs
• 50' x 100' stand alone garage
• 5000 square feet
• 12' ceiling height
• Display area has parking for 12 to 14 cars
• Display and work area are each 2100 square feet
• Den area measures 800 square feet
• 3 separate concrete driveways for access to the 3 overhead doors
• Building is 12" concrete block covered with finished stone
• Trusses are 2" x 6"
• Interior wall are 5/8" fire-code drywall with steel studs
• The two front windows are constructed of 6" thick opaque glass
• 1 - 10' x 10'
• 1 - 9' x 8'
• 1 - 10' x 16'
• All doors are 2" thick steel/foam/steel fully insulated with vinyl perimeter seals. There are no windows in the doors for added security. All doors are equipped with electric door openers.
• The floor contains a moisture barrier on compacted stone. The moisture barrier is covered with a 6" concrete slab reinforced with rebar. The floor in the display area is covered with industrial grade, wall-to-wall carpeting. The floor in the den area is covered with interior wall-to-wall carpeting with heavy padding.
• 16 Halogen overhead lights throughout the display and work areas. The den is illuminated with indirect lighting except for the pool table area, which uses an 8' four bulb fluorescent pool table light.
• 225-amp service with 220 for the air compressor. Wall outlets are located every six feet throughout the garage and den area according to code. Outlets are located every 2 feet at the workbench area.
• Cable television hookups in the den area.
• Internet hookups throughout the entire garage.
• Ceiling fans located at regular intervals throughout the garage and den areas
Heating and Cooling
• Heating for the garage provided by 2 Modine High Efficiency II units each delivering 175,000 BTU's mounted in the ceiling in both areas. Both are controlled by thermostats and are zoned separately.
• Air Conditioning for the den and display areas is provided by 2 Fujitsu IAQ 300,000 BTU central air systems. The A/C systems have built-in electrostatic air cleaning systems. The work area is non-air conditioned.
• The garage is equipped with electronic sensors on each entry and overhead door along with motion detectors located in each area of the interior. The system monitors any loss of power and automatically notifies the security-company and appropriate authorities.
• Hot and cold water in the work area sink, bathroom-sink and shower areas.
• 1 floor drain in the display area. 1 floor drain in the work area for washing cars during inclement weather.
• Professional grade 7 hp, 240v system with a 60 gallon tank delivering 175psi located in the work area of the garage.
• Full bathroom with shower facility
• Full length wet bar
• Wine chiller
• Plasma television with surround sound
• A fully functional vintage six-card pinball machine
• Circa 1920's Brunswick pool table
• A Standard gauge electric train circling the entire 120' of wall space with a tunnel through the fireplace
• 2 antique barber's chairs
• Air compressor
• Bead Blaster
• Hydraulic lift
• Complete set of Snap-On tools
• Steam Cleaner
• Complete set of air tools
• Welders and torches
• Separate parts storage room
• Band Saw
• Drill Press
• In excess of 450 vintage signs
• 25 vintage neon signs
• 6 vintage fuel pumps
• 2 vintage Coca-Cola soda machines
• Other items too numerous to list
Current Tom Dellamalva Car Collection
• 1958 Blue Corvette High Horse Car (Bloomington Gold)
• 1961 Red/White Cove Fuelie (NCRS - Bloomington Gold)
• 1965 Cobra Replica built for and owned by Reggie Jackson
• 1967 Triple Black Corvette Coupe Roadster 350 hp
• 1967 White Corvette Coupe 400 hp
• 1967 Elkhart Blue Corvette Coupe 390 hp (fully documented 1 of 1 COPO) NCRS - Bloomington Gold
• 1967 Red Corvette Roadster 435 hp
• 1967 Silver Corvette Roadster 435 hp (Bloomington Gold)
• 1967 Shelby GT-500
• 1970 AAR Cuda
• 1972 Orange Corvette Coupe (Duntov P.V. - Featured in Corvette Fever Magazine)
• 1995 Ferrari Spider
• 2004 Yellow Z06