Car Craft
Click here to find out more!

Tim Dolan - This Guy's Garage

It's so small, we're not sure you could actually call it a garage.

By , Photography by

Tim Dolan
Los Angeles, CA
We got a lot of positive feedback from people who could relate to Editor Glad's column in the Oct. '09 issue dealing with having to work on your car in less-than-ideal locations. We received a flurry of pictures depicting carport and shanty-town-style lean-tos all housing readers' current projects. We must've struck a nerve. We'll continue the theme with Tim's garage, though we're not sure you could even call it a garage. The door opening didn't look wide enough to swallow his '69 Buick LeSabre. Garage is a relative term in Los Angeles and usually refers to an oddly shaped structure such as this-one that really only lends itself to storing crap you don't want to keep in your apartment. Believe it or not, however, Tim built the 500hp 455 for his Skylark in here. He's also currently putting together a Turbo 400 to go behind it. Let's take a peek.

A. A Buick 350 now rests in Tim's engine bay, marking time until he wants to put the 455 back in it. Tim says he's taking this opportunity to work on getting his launch consistent with an engine that doesn't hit as hard off the line.

B. This is the 455 that was in Tim's '69 Skylark when we ran the article on it in the Aug. '09 issue. Tim pulled it in anticipation of buying another '69 'Lark he wanted to build as a bracket car. He's since scrapped those plans after considering the logistics of parking another car, plus the requisite truck and trailer, on the streets surrounding his rental unit. Instead, he's planning to put the mighty 455 back into the Buick once he's done building a TH400.

C. That's the landlord's stuff in the loft, too. "I'm lucky to even have access to the garage-it wasn't part of the lease. I worked out a deal with the landlord where I would do some landscaping in exchange for use of the garage." Sometimes you have to make a deal with the devil.

D. By day, Tim is a photographer, so the other shelves behind the stack of burnout tires are full of props, stands, and lighting grips. He keeps the expensive stuff inside the house.

E. "That's my landlord's toolbox. I try to get by with hardly any tools," Tim says, joking about rebuilding a rearend with a butter knife. We think this may not be too far from reality, though.

F. This TH350 was the original transmission in Tim's Skylark. When he yanked the 455, it came along for the ride. A TH200 4R took its place, and Tim's eardrums and wallet appreciate lower revs on the freeway.

G. This is the front end of Tim's Skylark. Where's the rest of the car? Conveniently, we already did a feature on it. Grab your Aug. '09 issue and flip to page 80. (Cliffs Notes version: looks like hell, pulls the wheels at the track.)

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
21 comments
John Rodko
John Rodko

Bigger than the garage my 69 Camaro is sitting in

Justin Lee Karcha
Justin Lee Karcha

Lol its not small at all just cluttered. My galaxie doesnt even fit in my garage never mind work on it lol everything happens in the driveway not work gets done in winter lol

Robert Vander Velden
Robert Vander Velden

at least you have a garage. I live in wisconsin and i finally got to work on my car because it got up to 30!

DRobert John
DRobert John

BRAD said it ALL! Car Craft..pay attention!

Ralph Laakmann
Ralph Laakmann

I once built a race car in a garage and had to sell it after completion...an instructor of high performance at a local Lincoln Tech came to buy it.....he ask...did you build this car...where do work...told him I was a meat cutter...He then ask what shop did I build the car(including the paint,no decals...I told him he was standing in it...2 car with another frame , 3 motors & trans.,2 work benches,2 storage cabinets,2 wire feeds,lg rolling chest,a racing cart w/extra rims and tires hanging on the wall...........and some misc. yard equip.........and he shook his head...several times...lol

Rudy Gates
Rudy Gates

A real time garage with two Buick engines. ......nice.

Sean Burke
Sean Burke

yup, crumbling 2 car garage, 2 outlets, no air compressor, basic tools and a beer budget here. CL and horse trading parts or waiting till payday.

Brad Loertcher
Brad Loertcher

I'd much rather see garages like that and read about projects that the average smuck with kids and a wife taking home 40k a year are working on. I wish I had a 5000 sq ft shop and endless cash for my projects,but until I win the powerball I'm stuck with 1200 sq ft and trading stuff on Craigslist.

Dan Anchick
Dan Anchick

Reality garage. Throw in a bunny running around.

Kevin Lovdahl
Kevin Lovdahl

There's room to stand around the engine stand and drink beer, looks cozy to me.

Car Craft