April 8, 2020

By Paddy McGrath

It’s the Speedhunters mantra.

Along with ‘drive fast, take chances and talk to strangers’, these are words that will guaranteed make your life more exciting and often a far more interesting experience. They are words that have lead me to places that I never would have seen otherwise. They are words that have introduced me to people I never would have met and they are the words that lead to how this day unfolded.

Ben Chandler and I were in Pontiac, Michigan for the second annual Speed Ring event. I was documenting Cody Miles’ adventures that weekend, while Ben was doing 17 daily return trips between M1 Concourse and the local Starbucks. Either the coffee was really good, Ben was having internet withdrawal symptoms or there was a particularly beautiful barista working there. I never found out.

M1 Concourse is a relatively new race facility built on the grounds of an old GM factory outside Detroit. Its track is just one part of the equation, with the venue also home to private garages which can be purchased or rented from the track owners. There are some seriously special things hidden in here, but we can only show you so much for obvious enough reasons.

One of the garages exists purely as an example of how the units can be utilised. While they are supplied completely empty, they can be fitted out to the new owner’s taste. This makes every garage completely unique, despite their identical appearance from the outside.

It was through a trackside discussion with M1 Concourse’s resident photographer, Ken Cox, and his friend / accomplice, Matt Trombley, that I got to see inside this show garage and our conversation moved on to other things. But more on that in a moment.

This unit has been converted into a dual purpose garage with a living area upstairs. RV lifts have been used to get the cars high enough, so that one car can be raised practically into the living room.

The bathroom features some interesting decor, with a Dodge Viper motor being used in maybe the best way a Dodge Viper motor can be used. I kid, of course, although I did suggest to Formula Drift competitor Dean Kearney that this could be a good use of the engine he blew at Irwindale. Dean correctly pointed out that his might not be much use as a sink, considering the size of the hole in the side of it, but might make a nice coffee table instead.

It’s a bathroom that most of us can only dream about, as we know that the significant others in our lives would probably beat us to death with the repurposed toilet roll holder if we ever attempted to implement it in our own home.