Living in the northern climes has is challenges. If you are an automotive enthusiast in these parts, there is a question one must face: What are you going to do with the car you only drive between April and October?
The goal is to keep that precious spring-to-fall vehicle from exposure to the elements that may seep through most garages. Garage walls lack insulation and there may be gaps around the garage door that could let the cold air and humidity from snow and slush to filter inside. When you think that vehicle is protected, it is not. There could be some rust, body and chassis flex…all of the things that would be found if you happen you leave the vehicle outside during the winter. You could always a car cover. A good car cover would help, but some could expose the undercarriage to the same elements.
The garage at home may not be the solution. For those of us who own our homes, that requires a bit more work on the garage. It means putting up new insulation and wallboard inside, installing a climate control unit, redoing the floors and so forth. You could do it yourself or hire a contractor. With that said, good luck on that project.
There are plenty of alternatives available. This may mean taking your vehicle away from home, however. Some of these alternatives could actually be beneficial and necessary. Let me explain…
One option is to get a storage space. The selling point of this is an off-site, secure location that is accessible to both your home and your vehicle’s storage space. Most of these places offer climate controlled areas, where the vehicle will be protected from the elements, while maintaining a temperature that allows the vehicle to maintain its condition while in storage. Monthly charges vary depending on space size, amenities, location and storage access to the vehicle.
On the higher end of the spectrum are garage condos. These work the same as condos and townhomes, except they are designed for storing vehicles – multiple vehicles.
You could also build a shed on your property. The definition of "shed" varies depending on whether it is designed exclusively for vehicle storage or more.
Another solution is to get a communal storage place. Think of these places as an indoor car park with perks. To find out more, I talked to Mischa Redmond, the owner and founder Auto Vault LLC, to find out more about what he has to offer enthusiasts in the Twin Cities…and, soon, the Chicagoland area…with this type of solution.
V&R: Could you explain what Auto Vault truly is and what is the difference between Auto Vault and your competitors?
Redmond: Besides the tremendous security, feel and atmosphere we are an organization built for the love of cars. It’s not just a storage facility, like a McLaren is not just a car. It’s hard to describe but AV is a feeling. I want it to be a place where you feel good when you walk in the door. A place where you won’t be judged based on the cars you like or drive. An open forum to discuss your passions and thoughts about everything automotive. We want to be accessible [and] let people experience our super cars and be involved in philanthropy at the same time. Anyone can put up a building.
V&R: Knowing you offer extra amenities that a lot of storage places do not offer, what added value could a client enjoy at Auto Vault versus other storage places?
Redmond: Fantasy rides, concierge services, private car service, access to local sporting events, etc. We also have a lounge with a pool table, two big screens and hosting capabilities for groups.
V&R: Last year, Auto Vault sold out for the winter. What does this winter look like for Auto Vault?
Redmond: Last year, we mis-calculated our space – which was a big error. By the time we realized we had more room it was too late to call our people on the waiting list and get back to them. Fifty-two spots were sold. This year we will be completely full. Sixty-seven spots are sold—I am saving two for Morrie’s who is going to be keeping a Bentley and Maserati with us this winter and also 3 spots for 3 of my cars. We are also excited to be opening another facility on the West Side of town next spring. It will have even more amenities and be more like an auto club.
V&R: What suggestions do you have for enthusiasts that want to use you or other similar facilities for their winter auto storage?
Redmond: Storing with us means your car will be safe and secure and will never have to deal with the cold. Having said that, most people are probably just fine keeping their car at home in their garage. The difference is the people. The events we put on for our members that get them together to talk cars. Make sure the facility you choose is insured, secure and that you feel comfortable with the ownership group. It’s one of your biggest investments and should be treated that way.
Whichever storage solution you come up with, look at your options and your budget before you put your car away for the winter. You can be rest assured that car will be ready for next spring after a nice, warm hibernation.