Taylor made|Local 'garage' reflects auto body theme; too bad it's anything but

SANDUSKY John Taylor, owner of T&T Towing Company, doesn't get many customers. Yet he considers
May 24, 2010



John Taylor, owner of T&T Towing Company, doesn't get many customers. Yet he considers that a good thing since it isn't a typical 'garage.'

It's anything but.

Taylor's 'garage', 622 Hancock St., has the look and feel of a local auto body shop with hub caps on the walls and a 1946 Chevy truck with a wrecking boom on the back. However, the non-working shop is simply a showcase of Taylor's home and reflects the atmosphere of a 1930s or 1940s auto body shop.

When Taylor bought the house in 1995, it was originally a welding shop with an apartment upstairs. From the start, Taylor had an idea of what his place would become.


"It's what I do," Taylor said. "It's a really good showcase of what I can do."

Taylor, who has worked for the Planning and Design Department of Cedar Point for the last 30 years, used his skills in art to completely transform the building from the ground up.

The 1,500-square-foot building features the 'shop' portion of the building. A Sinclair Gasoline pump graces one wall of the shop. Taylor and his father restored the antique since it was at a former gasoline station in Sandusky, Taylor said.

The office includes antique wrenches, pipes and automotive equipment to make the shop more authentic. Taylor even has pictures of his grandfather, father and himself in front of antique cars to give the shop a more personal appeal.

The 30-foot-by-50-foot junkyard/garden behind the shop blends old tires and rims with shrubs and flowers. Within the center of the garden, visitors can see a rusted 1946 Chevy truck that's been sitting in the yard for 10 years. What's odd is the water flowing out of the grill of the truck into a pond full of gold fish.

Taylor's idea behind the garden was to include non-traditional items.

"I made a garden around stuff people would not want in their yards," Taylor said.

Along one wall of the garden, a hose intertwines with a rustic tire inflator. On the opposite side are rows of tires with flowers and plants growing out of them.

The auto body theme does not stop with the shop and garden, but includes the upstairs apartment as well.

The living room sticks to the theme with reproductions of 1920s furniture and chicken wire formed into drapes on the windows.

Taylor is a stickler for the details. He used a lug wrench for a towel rack and went so far as to transform a Craftsman tool box into a sink with running water.

"Once you get started, you just go for it," Taylor said. "It's just kind of evolved."

Taylor's automotive theme spills over into several other rooms throughout the apartment, but is most notable in the dining room.

Pliers double as candleholders and the dining table consists of diamond plating often used on the backs of trucks.

Taylor considers the rules of home design endless.

"You can do what you want," he said. "Take it as far as you want."