When I had my dream garage addition built earlier this year, I made sure the dimensions were a perfect fit for the most crazy looking car storage lift I have ever seen. Even though it was worth more than half the hooptie fleet, I was hoping I could figure out a way to justify purchasing it. When the company that built the lift decided to give it to me, I felt like hit the lottery.
Originally, I had planned on buying a house with a large storage building or enough land to build a cheap pole barn, but then I got married. She wanted nothing to do with country living, where houses like these are plentiful, and honestly, I didn’t like the idea of spending my weekends mowing several acres either. So we compromised on a beautiful home in suburbia with the potential for a large garage addition. With a 1.3-acre lot, it certainly had enough room to build out, but a utility easement limited how far we could go. It’s also the reason why the addition had to turn away from the existing garage at a 45-degree angle. The width of the original plans were just a few inches short of the listed dimensions on the lift I wanted, so we managed to find another foot before beginning construction.
As for getting the lift for free, it started with a cold email shortly after starting construction. Bendpak, the company that builds the lift, had given several of their products away to YouTubers in the past, but I was told they were now focusing on promoting their other products. The lift I was asking for was $23,000, which costs way more than your standard 2-post or 4-post lift for single cars. After months of intermittent emails, I figured they weren’t interested in helping a goofy man from Kansas stack his hoopties, and I actually came close to purchasing the lift outright.
Since our emails had gone cold, I was really surprised to hear from them with the news that I would be getting their lift for free. They would be sending out one of their technicians from California to help with the installation. A few months later, the largest gift I have ever received arrived, and the massive beams were assembled like a giant erector set. The main benefit of this lift is the 3-car lifting capacity that comes without a bunch of support beams to clutter up the garage. All three lifting platforms are suspended by cables, which are pulled up by massive hydraulic rams. You can adjust these platforms to raise as high as seven feet, which allows most SUVs to park underneath.
I chose to have my cars lock into place at around five feet in the air, as I still wanted to see and display my cars without them being blocked by the massive main support beam. It is a little unnerving to see the cars sway slightly on the cables as they are lifted in place — and to walk underneath — but I’m told they are just as safe as a standard lift once the platforms are locked into place. I had the perfect car to use for the first test of my new lift, my DeLorean, with which I was able to re-enact the ending scene of the first "Back to the Future" film pretty faithfully.
I brought in more hoopties to the garage later that evening, and with the lift full, it was one of those moments where you pinch yourself. My real cars were stacked like the model cars I had on the shelf when I was a kid. Not only does it greatly improve storage capacity, it also gives a gallery feel to the back of my garage. I’ve spent several evenings now just sitting in the garage and staring at it. As long as I don’t forget to set the parking brake before lifting one of my hoopties in the air, this will be a very fun addition to my dream garage.
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