Dave Ashe is a Boeing 757 jet pilot and instructor for Federal Express, but his real passion is more grounded — collecting and maintaining classic cars.
He and his wife Beth, a substitute teacher, recently added a new 36-foot wide, 16-foot tall, 48-foot long hobby building next to their Bellefonte home that currently houses three classic vehicles and the family’s 30-foot RV they use for camping trips. The project illustrates a popular trend in the local area as well as nationally — homeowners building freestanding structures to support their hobbies and other recreational interests.
“When we built our house, we said someday we wanted to add a storage garage,” Dave recalled. “The house has a three-car garage but we quickly outgrew it.”
Their collection includes:
- A 1983 Dodge D150, which was Dave’s father’s truck. “My dad drove that until he was 88 years old and handed over the keys to me,” he said. Dave completely restored it before the new shop was built.
- A 1958 two-door Plymouth hardtop, which Dave calls his “total pride and joy.” He purchased the car from NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, who had completely restored it.
- Beth’s car, a 1980 Corvette that won third place in a recent APA car show. It has all original parts — except for a second set of tires and new air filters — and just 60,000 miles. “I drive it only when it’s nice outside,” she said. “I use it to get around and really enjoy it.”
The hobby building, designed and built by Morton Buildings, is also used for basic maintenance for the classic vehicles as well everyday cars used by the family, which includes two daughters in high school.
“I’m not a teenager anymore who enjoys crawling under cars to change oil,” Dave said. “But the new shop provides space and equipment to store and maintain our collection in one space. We really love it.”
They also planning to install satellite TV with surround stereo. “It’s truly going to be my workspace,” he said.
Other features include:
- An energy performer package to help provide year-round comfort and energy efficiency. The Ashes also plan to install solar panels for additional energy savings.
- Large 14-by-14 foot overhead doors to accommodate the RV.
- An eyebrow overhang above the side door to shield against inclement weather when entering and exiting the building.
- Making the roof pitch match that of the house, providing a consistent design look, and a cupola further enhancing the building’s aesthetic appeal.
Ed Neudeck, Area Manager for Morton Buildings, said hobby garages like the Ashes’ project are among the most requested projects the company is now experiencing in the local area. “For homeowners seeking to enhance their property and support their interests, adding a free-standing hobby shop, storage facility or recreational building has become a popular trend,” he said.
“The shop is definitely there to support Dave’s passion,” said Beth, who stores some of her mother’s heirlooms in the shop’s second floor loft. “I have my car there, but don’t use it that much. It’s just nice that he has a place to go and work on his projects, especially after he retires.”
The Ashes also appreciate the professionalism that Morton provided throughout the design and building process.
“Working with Morton’s sales consultants made the whole project pretty seamless,” Beth said. “They were on top of all of the steps from start to finish.”