Tom Hanley / Jackson, WI
When you live in Wisconsin, the winters tend to get long and cold, and a man needs a nice, warm place to spend his time spinning wrenches when it gets too nasty to go outside. Tom Hanley's garage is just such a place. His shop is, as he put it, a childhood dream he finally got to fulfill in 2004 when his youngest son, Joe, brother-in-law, Scott Kaylor, and friends Kurt Bauer and Kyle Kaylor laid down the footings and block wall construction and peaked the roof over where the hoist is located to create an outstanding 1,620-foot recreation area. The shop measures 45 by 36 with three vehicle access doors into the shop. While the exterior effort took a mere eight weeks, Tom says the inside required another two years to complete with lots of help from his wife, Donna. Tom lives not far from Milwaukee and Lake Michigan, so there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor two- and four-wheeled fun in the summer-but come the cold weather, this is where you'll find him.
A. The blue '66 GTO is Tom's ride with "a number of Kaufman racing parts, Edel-brock aluminum heads and intake, a Moser 12-bolt, four-wheel disc brakes, and a four-speed to put everything to the ground."
B. If you work in the elevator trade, it would also make sense that you would have a nice, 10,000-pound, two-post hoist in your shop. The ceiling is vaulted over the hoist to allow plenty of clearance for tall vehicles. Those are skylights over the hoist that are "awesome when the sun is out," Tom says. Check out the cool flames on the hoist.
C. Tom says his toolbox is a Rick Mears-edition Snap-on version that he bought back when he was a GM technician. Near the toolbox and beautiful yellow cabinetry is a vintage Sun VAT tester. VAT stands for Volt Amp Tester and was a classic test unit in the '60s and '70s.
D. That's an '09 Harley Screamin' Eagle Road Glide with a few modifications. The Harley connection makes sense with the company's corporate headquarters only a few miles away. The bike sits on an in-floor motorcycle lift with controls for it located on the wall.
E. These are vintage Harley oil cans from the '70s. If you're old enough, you remember when oil came in tin cans that required a special spout with a built-in cutter that pierced the can. Your grandfather can probably recall oil that came in refillable glass bottles.
F. Tom says the stainless steel countertop on his workbench is actually an old elevator door. Tom works in the Milwaukee area as an elevator technician.
G. The 383 small-block stroker sits on the engine stand ready to be installed, along with a Turbo 400 trans in a '70 Monte Carlo project that is not in the photo. Other tools Tom has include a Miller welder, a drill press, a 20-ton press, and a set of torches. Sounds like a completely outfitted shop!
H. So, how many friends do you know with not only an Atlas tire machine but a matching electronic tire balancer in their garage? The machines came from a tire store going-out-of-business sale. "I change a lot of tires," Tom says. Those multicolored containers are for balancing weights. Within reach are a floor jack, a hose reel, and a battery charger. Tom says, "Those are DOT-legal slicks on the machine, ready for race day.
I. This is friend Randy Barr's '34 Ford; he stopped by to mount some new rubber. Note the Rat motor stuffed under the flamed hood.