Kim and Mitch McCullough are rare- and vintage-car enthusiasts who have spent the past decade assembling a small but wonderful collection of automobiles, from a Jaguar E-type to an Alpine A110. When they moved from California to New Jersey a few years ago—so Kim could take a job as vice president of marketing for Jaguar Land Rover North America—they finally built a dream garage next to their 19th-century house that’s worthy of their precious cargo. On a recent visit, Architectural Digest asked the couple to share their top tips for prospective classic car collectors and to describe how they’ve incorporated their passion into their home.
1. Decide where you’re going to store your collection.
Most home garages have space for only a few cars, so collectors must find a place to store their vehicles. Whether it’s a warehouse or specialized facility, make sure it’s as close as possible to where you live, says Mitch. “You don’t want to take a long drive just so you can take one of your cars out for a spin.” When the McCulloughs moved from California to New Jersey a few years ago, they built a structure on their new property specifically to house their collection. “It’s easy to heat and keep dry,” says Kim, “and best of all, it’s right there, and we can wander over and play with the cars after dinner.”
2. Look for ways to create space in your garage.
Hydraulic car lifts can be used to store vehicles vertically, and shelving systems, like the one the McCulloughs installed on one wall of their garage, keep spare parts organized and out of the way. “You always need more space than you think,” says Mitch. “We purposefully built our garage with high ceilings in case we want to add lifts in the future.”