AMID the period costumes, classic cars and motoring memorabilia from the forties, fifties and sixties at this year’s Goodwood Revival, one exhibitor will be sticking out like a sore thumb.
But Dura Garages says its ultra-modern fitted garage interiors deserve their place at the three-day nostalgiafest because they represent what people in the forties would have viewed as the ‘garage of the future’.
“We realise our modern garage interiors might seem incongruous among all the original forties’ cars, but people in those days were as fascinated by the future as we are,” said Dura’s managing director, Dominic Wishlade.
“And we can demonstrate that, too, because we’ve discovered a magazine article from September 1944 – exactly 70 years ago – that shows just how futuristic our garages of today seemed to them.”
The article, from the respected magazine The Shape Of Things To Come, informed its young, science-obsessed readers about columnist Uncle Archie’s encounter with a mysterious man in a silver car who told him he’d come from the future.
“Incredible as it sounded to Uncle Archie in 1944, the man revealed to him that families 70 years in the future would have at least two cars each, and that domestic garages – almost unheard-of in the forties – would be a normal feature of most people’s homes,” said Dominic.
“When you consider that the few garages that existed in those days were cluttered with oily rags, boxes of junk and old bicycles hanging from beams, it was a total revelation to Uncle Archie to be told that the garage interiors we create here in 2014 have fitted storage cabinets, built-in vacuum cleaners, flat-screen TVs, and floors you could eat your meals off.
“The poor chap had enough trouble getting his head round the idea that almost every home in the future would have its own garage, so he found it almost impossible to believe that some people would also have gyms, saunas, or pool rooms in their garages.”
Dominic said that although the garage interiors his company creates may seem futuristic even to some people today, it was intriguing to see how they were viewed through the eyes of a magazine writer almost exactly 70 years ago.
“Uncle Archie was bowled over by the revelation that Dura’s been called in repeatedly by the likes of Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin to fit out their own workshops, so what he would have made of our Queen’s Award For Export Achievement, we shall never know.
“And the idea of having a television set on the wall seemed preposterous to readers in 1944 because TVs then were giant boxes with screens smaller than an iPad, and people couldn’t have seen the picture properly even if the wall had been strong enough to take the weight.”
Dominic says there’s nothing odd about exhibiting state-of-the-art garage interiors because a lot of Dura’s clients already use them to cosset their classic and vintage cars.
“People with classic cars tend to want a garage interior that features memorabilia or artwork celebrating the marque or its achievements, and we’re able to bring our interior-design flair to that while making the garage immensely practical, too, with a place for everything and everything in its place.”
Dura Garages, based in Brackley, Northants, will have copies of the 1944 magazine article on Stands 111 and 112 at Goodwood Revival 2014.