This month, we are featuring a garage owned by Andy Roderick of Lebanon, Tennessee. He recently moved there from Bowling Green, Kentucky, home of the Corvette and one of the most beautiful places on earth. I have known Andy for several years, and he is well respected in the Corvette hobby. He also has an extensive collection of car memorabilia that is housed in his garage, and on one of my visits with Jerry Heasley, we decided to shoot his garage so we could share it with the rest of the world right here in Corvette Fever. If there is one thing I would like for our readership to take away from this article, it's how cool a two- to three-car garage can look if you just put some time, effort, and a little money into the project. Andy is a great story teller, so I will let Andy tell his story from here.
Andy relates: My love for Corvettes started when I was in grade school. A teenage neighbor of ours bought a '58 red-with-white-coves Corvette. I drove him crazy begging for rides, and he almost always took me for a ride. Sadly his Corvette was destroyed in a garage fire, where he had left it to have a new intake manifold and two four-barrels installed on it.
I started getting serious about Corvettes in 1994, when I bought my first new one. At the time, I lived on a 100-acre farm in southern Ohio. The main part of the house was a 200-year-old original hand-hewn log cabin. I purchased another 200-year-old cabin, disassembled it, moved it to my farm, and rebuilt it. The down stairs was set up as a garage and wood working shop. When I bought the Corvette, I found the log garage too small and hard on the car. Our dogs slept in that garage and would shake mud all over my Corvette almost every day. That spurred me to action to design and build a new garage. When I told my wife of my new plan, she was all for it, and asked me to design and build a dance studio/gym upstairs. That garage was named "Garage Mahal," and it was in Car and Driver's top ten Garage Mahal's issue in 1998. That article was seen by the then-editor of Corvette Quarterly. He sent a photographer and writer to do a four-page article on that garage, and the article ended up being published in the Fall 1998 issue of Corvette Quarterly.
Not too long after that, we moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, as I had been hired by the National Corvette Museum as the fundraising coordinator. We bought a home near Bowling Green, and I set out to transform my next garage-in fact, two garages. One was attached to the house, and one was a stand-alone. The one attached to the house was named by a friend of mine, Jerry Heasley. He saw it and said, "This is the C5 Taj Garage." That one was in several magazines, and a picture of it was used in the ad for Kiwi Tile for several years.
There were people who came to our house that never saw anything of it but the garage. I would invite them in and they would say they were fine hanging out in the garage. We entertained a good number of friends there. The stand-alone garage started life as a metal pole barn. My good friend Jerry Watts (yes, the same Jerry Watts who worked for the Corvette plant for many years) helped me build the inside. One third was my wood working shop, and the other was a two-car garage. The artwork on the inside of the garage door made the top ten garage door art contest in Car and Driver. This garage, being the third garage I had designed and built, was named "Garage-a-trois."
After I left the NCM, I decided to build houses. I bought a small development and built houses and sold lots. At the same time, we decided to build a lake house. We found two lots on Barren River Lake, about 35 miles south of Bowling Green. My next garage would be titled "Menage-Garage," which loosely translates from French to English as "Zoo Garage." While it would not be quite as large as I had hoped, it served its purpose. My garages have always sparked my interest in collecting things. Some are collections within collections. I started planning this garage as my wife Bethany and I planned the house. Since we could not build a large enough house on one level because of the lay of the land on our lots, we decided to build up. When all was said and done, we had designed a three-story, 4,800-square-foot home.
We are firm believers in bigger is better. My fourth garage ended up being 30 feet by 25 feet, with an 11-foot ceiling. In the garage in Ohio, I had a Stinger lift, but I sold it after we moved to Kentucky. Then, I missed it so much that I bought another Stinger lift while working at the NCM. I'm still not sure what made me offer the lift with the house, but I did and then I was without a lift again. The Stinger lift is the best-built lift on the market, as far as I'm concerned. As luck would have it, a close friend who lives near Atlanta had two lifts and decided to sell one. The price they were asking was too good to pass up.