Are there really places like Darnell’s Do-It-Yourself Garage in Stephen King’s Christine?
Click and Clack (Tom and Ray) used to run a do-it-yourself garage when they first got in the business. I"ve heard them discuss it a few times on their show - the liability insurance eventually got prohibitively expensive, IIRC.
I knew of one 30 years ago. Haven’t seen any since then.
I too, remember articles in Mechanix Illustrated and Popular Mechanics from the mid 70s (think recession and inflation, causing DIY to really boom) about the coming next thing - DIY garages, where you could rent out a repair bay, plus any heavy/expensive equipment (e.g. air compressors, engine winches, timing lights, etc.) you needed.
I guess they didn’t take off (perhaps because most modern vehicles are a pain for the average person to repair (or it’s not worth their time), while those who are really into car repair are find it easire to outfit their own garage.
In addition to the liability, I heard one of the Tappets in an interview mention that they still wound up doing most of the work. (Hey Ray, could you look at this for a minute…Am I doing this right…?)
There is a do-it-yourself garage in my town, but it’s not open to the public. It’s only for members of the local car collectors club. Anyone can join the club for a fee, but it’s not a pay by the hour situation.
Unless you’re in the military this won’t help you, but most US military bases have DIY auto shops for use by base personnel as a sort of “recreation and welfare” perk. (At least they did when I was on active duty in the late 90s) I guess the liability is less of an issue since for the most part service members cannot sue the government.
I’ve never heard of a public do-it-yourself garage, but the married student housing co-operative (built in the '70’s) I once lived in had one that residents could use. We never used it, though I’m sure it beat changing your own oil in the street. I know that they had pretty strict controls on using it–they didn’t want people running their own businesses out of it. I think that there had been some abuse of the privilege in the past.
My sister was in the Army, and mentioned that they had a garage on the base for people who lived there to use.
I’d guess that DIY garages caught on to some extent with people in a communal living situation who are more likely to be broke and have older vehicles–i.e., students and soldiers.
Yes!! I saw one a couple of days ago in Denton, Texas. I could hardly believe it because I also heard Click & Clack talking and I got the impression it was a flawed business model and would never work. Jeez… I forget the name… DIY Repair or something like that.
There’s one up the street from my house (in Hamilton, Ontario).
They’ll rent you the bay, tools, even has facilities for painting. Never used it (and only just saw it), but based on the ads out front it’s open to the public.
As of October, 2001, when I was writing relocation guides for the NCOA (Non Commissioned Officers Association), they still had them.