Comments or Questions: Brad Davies @ American Custom Lifts, 888.711.5438

ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) – Testosterone has found a home on Grand Avenue in Escondido.”It’s exciting to see guys come in here and have a shop on the street that’s tailored to them,” Cheryl Nauman said. Grand Garage Gear can turn any enclave into a man cave.”We do everything from the garage floor, custom cabinets, and then there’s the 50s to 60s car theme as well,” Cheryl said. It’s a road show for the male ego. Grand Garage Gear features replica gas pumps, remnants of the days when patrol was affordable. And don’t throw away those old boxes of albums and 45s.

Here you’ll find the father of all stainless steel, wood block tool benches. Miss the old drive-in? How about a set of speakers from the passion pit?

“We have this one hooked into our jukebox, but you can have it plugged into your TV or stereo system,” Cheryl said. Inside this male bastion, females find plenty of satisfaction. “The women love it too, because it makes the holidays, the birthdays and Father’s Day easy for shopping,” Cheryl said. “Guys love their toys, and this is a great place to find that.”

In this nostalgic big boy play pen, whatever was old is new again.



See the $5 Million Garage & Driveway Elevator



Where the Car Is King

Listings with Ultimate Garages

Featured High-End Slideshow

Garages are becoming lavish palaces where homeowners can showcase
prized collections and watch football while fixing their motorcycles



By Jan Morgan
Article from “The Robb Report”, August 2006

A Lift Can Create Space Both Under the Car and In the Garage

Article as PDF File for Printing

FOR THE CAR COLLECTOR WHO LIKES TO MAINTAIN a hands-on relationship with his
machines, the four-post drive-on lift has become the standard solution for storing, detailing, and servicing your automobiles at home. Besides providing
easy access for routine maintenance, the four-post lift let you stack two cars in a single parking space.

Above ground lifts come n a variety of sizes and capacities, to store anything from an Abarth to a stretched Rolls-Royce Phantom.

While most lift manufacturers recommend a 9-foot garage ceiling for adequate clearance, it is possible to use a garage with a lower ceiling height, based on the total height of both cars to be stored, plus another 10 inches to accommodate the lift structure. Removable lightweight drip pans ensure that the classic car above does not soil the daily driver below. Most lifts also have a jack bridge option to raise the car above the lift ramps for advanced service requirements, such as suspension or brake work.

If your garage ceiling is low, the Phantom Park
subterranean parking system by
American Custom Lifts offers a unique solution: It utilizes a basement area below the garage, or a pit constructed in the garage floor. You drive the car onto the Phantom Park lift, which is then lowered into the subterranean space, and then you drive the second car into the above ground (or garage-floor-level) parking space.

Although this system does not allow you to service or display the underground stored vehicle, it does solve the problem of limited above ground parking while offering secure, concealed storage.

(Article reprinted with permission of the publisher.
Emphasis added.)

Phantom up position


Car Elevators Are The Latest In Luxury — Just Ask Mitt Romney.

This story appears in the June 25, 2012 Investment Guide issue of Forbes Magazine.

In March presidential candidate Mitt Romney found himself in the kind of awkward situation reserved for One-Percenters: Blueprints for the renovation of his $12 million La Jolla beach house were leaked to the press and spread across the Web. Nothing in the plans—not the 3,600-square-foot basement addition or outdoor shower—caught gawking readers’ imaginations like the split-level garage, with the latest piece of must-have residential exotica: a car elevator.

The former Massachusetts governor, worth $230 million by FORBES’ estimate, has attracted criticism for this opulent amenity, but he is by no means the first high-end homeowner to install an auto lift.

“It may not be a common home feature, but its popularity is growing rapidly,” claims Brad Davies, owner of American Custom Lifts, an Escondido, Calif. company that manufactures the PhantomPark, Romney’s elevator of choice. “We have 19 on order right now; it used to be 2 to 3 on order each month.”

American Custom Lifts has installed PhantomParks in the modern-day palaces of billionaires and A-list celebrities. (Although in Romney’s case, “everything is on hold right now, and he’s waiting until after the elections,” notes Davies. Romney’s team confirms this.)

A basic PhantomPark model costs $42,000 plus installation, which typically adds $13,000 (Romney’s version is reported to cost $55,000). Customized models—for example, where the top level is designed to blend into its surroundings—can cost much more.

Like all things designed for the rich and famous in real estate, Davies and his team typically sign nondisclosure agreements to protect clients’ identities. He will say that projects have included grass-covered lifts for boat storage sunken into backyards, multiple lifts to haul catering trucks to an underground 50,000-square-foot ballroom, even lifts hidden under swimming pools that emerge while water drains down the sides of the pool perimeter as a car comes level with the patio.

“We’ve done one for an NBA player that wasn’t even for a car … it was for his billiards table to come up into the family room when he wanted to shoot pool,” chuckles Davies.

Davies installed his first subterranean lift in Aspen, Colo. in 2002 and has watched the orders steadily increase, most via word of mouth.


When the auto collection includes a $700,000 Porsche 959 or a McLaren El (like Jay Leno, left), a concrete garage filled with flickering lights and oil slicks simply won’t do.

“Garages can’t be an afterthought,” says Arthur Gallego, vice president of communications for SHVO Marketing, a New York City company specializing in residential design. “[They need] to be elevated from florescent and cement into a nice place.”

Jerry Seinfeld would surely agree with that sentiment…

CustomMade Garages For Car Lovers

His garage on Manhattan’s Upper West Side can hold 20 cars and is reportedly filled mostly with the comedian’s Porsche collection. It has terrazzo floors, wood paneling and a topend climate control system. Not a bad place to preserve Seinfeld’s $700,000 Porsche 959, a model which is technically not street legal.

And some say it’s not even the most impressive garage on the island.


Heavy Lifting

Farther downtown in Chelsea, developers at 200 Eleventh Avenue are building the city’s first ensuite garage system. The 15-unit building’s car lift system promises to delivers residents, in their cars, to their apartments.

As the car nears the garage, a computer chip installed inside the vehicle alerts the automatic gate. Once it is open, the driver turns in to the back of the building where the elevator is waiting. Once
the car sin the lift, the elevator registers in which unit the car belongs and delivers it to that floor, where the resident then backs into single parking slip which opens to their apartment.

Leonard Steinberg, director of sales for the property under Prudential Douglas Elliman, says the buyer of one of his units “doesn’t park on the street, and schlepping through the rain or snow to a garage is a humbling experience.”
The only drawback is that the building only has 14 parking spots for IS units. It seems the odd man out will have to settle for a driver at the front door.

For residential properties, lift systems serve both to maximize space and to provide security for pricey cars.

American Custom Lifts, based in Escondido Calif., design a variety of parking systems from basic multi-car lifts to subterranean garages. Their PhantomPark, which runs $50,000 for pads and installation, has two platforms that raise and lower cars from a single street level slip.

Highend homeowners “want to be sure about security” says Brad Davies, president of American Custom Lifts. “If you’ve got a half-million dollar car, you want it in a place where a robber can’t get to it.”


Greenbacks Into Garages

Designers like Davies say the market for customized garages is booming. In 2004. according to the National Association of Home Builders, consumers spent $2 billion on garages. Today, that number is higher than $3 billion.

“The garage is where the home theater was 10 or 15 years ago,” says Chad Haas, founder of Vault, a topflight custom garage goods company based in Beaverton, Ore. “If you wanted to spend $10,000 or more on a TV or sound system at that time it would have seemed crazy, but now it’s commonplace.”

Why all the hoopla surrounding garages?

With the size of investment made in a car collection, its only natural garages should follow.

The better the cars, the better garages need to be at servicing and protecting them. A brisk sea breeze can be great for driving in a convertible, but the salty air hurts the chrome and paint. In Corona Del Mar, CA, at the $75 million Portabello Estate, owner Frank Pritt, founder of software company Attachmate, has an underground parking lot, which holds 16 cars.

Given the ultramodern design of the house itself, and its smooth architectural lines, it’s only filling that Pritt’s garage should be stocked with classic droptop Cadillacs. Cars are raised and lowered to a gallery filled with the iconic fins and long bodies of cars iconic to the West Coast beach culture.

“Of all the overthetop amenities that you see being put into buildings, [luxury parking systems] will stand the test of time,” says Steinberg. “Everyone drives cars.”



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