Features & Books

My Garage - Al Wagner by Phil Berg Car and Driver

My Garage:
Al Wagner

by Phil Berg

Right after Corvette design engineer Al Wagner's boss Dave McLellan, chief engineer for the Corvette from 1975 to 1992, called the 30-year-old into his office to congratulate Wagner on his engagement 20 years ago, a half dozen colleagues tackled Wagner in the hallway, clamped a shackle around his ankle and padlocked it. Attached to the shackle was three feet of steel chain bolted to a 16-pound bowling ball. "You had to wear it for a week; take it home and shower with it," he recalls. Another gift was use of 1990 Corvette ZR-1 serial number one, a prototype, to use during the wedding. more...

Tom Stephens - Right Place, Right Time Autoweek

Reader’s Garage

Tom Stephens:
Right Place,
Right Time

by Phil Berg

The first evidence of Tom Stephens’ car nuttiness emerged when he was about five years old: “I used to watch The Mickey Mouse Club, and I would see kids driving miniature cars in Disneyland—I couldn’t see that the cars were on tracks and the kids were just riding along—and I was so jealous. I wanted to drive.”

Pursuing that desire was made easier because Stephens grew up a few miles north of the epicenter of General Motors’ engineering at the “tech center” in Warren, Michigan. With no money to buy a car, he spent his high school years borrowing cars to drag race, and helping friends and neighbors work on their drag cars. more...

Ralph Lauren's Garage Monster in the Sky - Hummer Storm Chasers
by Phil Berg

Sitting in the 40 or so minivans, trucks, cars, and the H3T in a parking lot in Kimball, Nebraska, Friday at 4 pm, the VORTEX2 project was waiting for a call to go mobile.

A supercell storm was gathering energy above La Grange, Wyoming and the teams deployed. The H3T followed the CSWR Doppler On Wheels radar truck among rolling hills and bluffs and a few non-descript missile silo sites.

As the supercell grew, a classic dark wall cloud hung over the plains, producing a funnel cloud, which gently dropped to the ground. The storm was remarkably silent, while the H3T began its mission of placing instrument pods on the side of the road in 150-meter spacing. Three other probe vehicles from CSWR also dropped pods, making a total of 12 in the path of the tornado. more...

Ralph Lauren's Garage Ralph Lauren's Garage
by Phil Berg

Looking for the look: - Finding the next cool car gets harder every day.

At least each week, world-renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren visits his cars, about half of his collection of 70-some peacefully parked in sight of the ocean on Long Island. The cars are all ready to drive, and often he'll emerge from the secluded cluster of three garages in one of three '96 McLaren F1s, an '88 Porsche 959 or a Ferrari F40 and rack up some miles across the back roads.

"Once you drive the McLaren, it's over," Lauren says. "It's like no car I've ever driven. The McLaren is like Star Wars--a hovercraft. I feel like I'm not touching the ground. It's an experience I've never had before. more...

Ultimate Garages II Ultimate Garages II
by Phil Berg

For the ultimate group of car collectors and restorers, only the ultimate garage will do. In this larger, lavishly illustrated sequel to the best-selling Ultimate Garages, author Phil Berg takes readers inside more than two dozen exotic private garages that house some of the rarest and most beautiful cars in the world.

For these enthusiasts, a garage is more than just a place to store and service cars. It’s often a showroom designed to display their collections in the best possible light, complete with automotive memorabilia, vintage posters, and photographs, and in some cases even Hollywood-style sets. More from Ultimate Garages II...

Bob Lutz' Garage Bob Lutz' Garage
by Phil Berg

The 75-Year-Old Adolescent’s World - A rare glimpse inside the playground of GM's Vice Chairman.

Fit-and-trim 75-year-old Bob Lutz has a reliable gut sense of what is a cool car and what is not.

Every recent business story about the veteran General Motors vice chairman mentions that he flies fighter planes and has had such a cool, confident life that he could make Arnold Schwarznegger cry uncle in a boardroom or in a bar fight.

Naturally, GM’s “product czar” would have garages full of cool stuff.

But before Lutz could attend to the garages where he keeps 13 of his favorite cars, hidden in the thick woods of suburban-rural Michigan, he had to wait. The first priority of the Lutz household, dictated by equestrian and chopper jock Mrs. Lutz, was to get the home’s closets redone with all the racks and shelves and neat stuff that would impress the design eye of Martha Stewart. “Denise’s closets look nice. Mine are overflowing and are a mess,” says the vice chairman of the world’s fifth-largest corporation. more...

 Hummer H2 Tornado Chaser Hummer H2 Tornado Chaser
by Phil Berg

The Best Excuse To Drive a Hummer H2 Really, Really Fast

It seems like a dream. We're in a big, black Hummer H2 with a flashing light bar on the roof and the sheriff is urging us to drive even faster down the smooth two-lane pavement that stretches across the prairie to the horizon.

It's May 24, and Phil Henry is being urged by two sheriffs to lead a group of storm-chasing tourists away from the path of a tornado in Oklahoma. Phil is navigating while Kathy Henry, his wife, drives this Hummer H2, a dedicated tornado chaser painstakingly outfitted with sophisticated electronics so it can receive updates from satellite-based weather radar every six minutes.

When she's chasing big storms, Kathy Henry's right foot often has the accelerator planted to the floor of the Hummer and she keeps it there in controlled bursts of gasoline-sucking speed that even the Sierra Club would reluctantly admit is necessary.

An array of amber flashing lights and white strobes warn less-informed motorists on the road to make way for the Henrys' Hummer H2, similarly outfitted cars of other chasers, and two Crown Victoria sedans carrying the men with badges. more...

Sharks, Geeks and Us
by Phil Berg

We infiltrate the biggest speed-enforcement test extravaganza in the country

We think of speed cops as the enemy, restless predators who can smell your car-guy scent from beyond your view, whose sharp high-technology teeth will coldly devour your ability to enjoy your passion.

To test our perception, we attached ourselves like remoras to an unlikely gathering of predator and prey. They meet annually on neutral ground, the Switzerland of speed enforcement, which consists of several deserted highways outside El Paso, Texas. It’s a spot where weather favors consistent electronics testing and the participants bare their shields.

Here’s what they said: Imagine mobile broadband service being adopted by the commercial trucking industry the way CB radios proliferated in the 1970s, and mix in simple GPS. Instead of broadcasting Smokey’s location on a cheap two-way radio, a trucker’s mouse click will record the coordinates of every traffic cop in the United States and display them all on a real-time navigation map in your car. Four-wheelers, of course, are free to join in the fun. more...

Ultimate Garages
by Phil Berg

The garage is more than just a place to store cars. It is a place to work, hang out, and show off the vehicles that are an integral part of car lovers' lifestyles. This lushly illustrated, large-format gift book caters to America's fascination with the garage and looks at 25 of the most incredible garages in the United States.

The list of garages compiled by author Phil Berg is a mix of over-the-top garages built by some of the most well-known names in the auto industry, including Ken Gross, Brock Yates, Don Sherman and Bruce Meyer. Amazing garages, from Peter Mullin's fantastic underground garage full of Delahaye roadsters to Jay Leno's three buildings full of vehicles, are featured in full color detail.

Corvette C6
by Phil Berg

2004 marks the introduction of the 6th-generation Corvette as a 2005 model. As with any new-generation Corvette, anticipation is rampant. C6 represents an important departure from C5 both in terms of exterior and interior styling and chassis dynamics. It features a revamped platform (to be shared with the new Cadillac XLR roadster), fixed headlights (for the first time since 1962) and an edgier, more compact body. This GM-licensed book takes the enthusiast on an illustrated tour of how C6 developed from the drawing board to the production line.

• Officially Licensed by GM
• Full development details and technical specifications
• First-person stories from key Corvette engineers and designers


Car and Driver
My Garage: Al Wagner

 Road & Track 

American Driver Magazine
Ralph Lauren
Looking Good

Popular Mechanics
Cloud Computing for Commuters

Hummer H2 Tornado Chaser: The Best Excuse To Drive a Hummer H2 Really, Really Fast

War of the Speed Detectorheads: The Rise of Laser

Maxim Magazine

Maxim Magazine

Maxim Magazine


Truck Trend
Storm Chaser: One Hummer H3T Helps Scientists Gather Data in Tornado Alley


The Car Connection

Cars Direct

New Car Test Drive

Ultimate Garages by Phil Berg, as seen on CNBC.

Ultimate Garages II, as reviewed by MotorWeek

Phil Berg, author of Ultimate Garages, as quoted in Garages motor to new heights - USA Today www.usatoday.com

Phil Berg, author of Ultimate Garages, as quoted in Building The Ultimate Garage - Forbes www.forbes.com

Ultimate Garages by Phil Berg reviewed by Veloce Today

Corvette C6 by Phil Berg reviewed by Motor Trend