25/05/2024 11:24 PM

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Exceptional automotive

Lugnutz serves Calgary DIY auto enthusiasts who are crazy about cars

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Garage enables condo-dwellers to wrench on their own cars

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Besides getting rid of what were once treasures, downsizing also often means changes to lifestyle. Brenda Rose and her husband, George, have a passion for working on their cars, so moving into a condo with no garage meant that hobby had to be put on hold.

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Talking with automotive enthusiasts they found that many were in the same boat, wanting to do tinkering but lacking enough space to be comfortable enjoying it.

Eager to solve that problem, Rose did some research and organized focus groups to determine best needs, and the result is that she leased an 8,000-square-foot bay and turned it into a DIY garage equipped with all of the tools needed to perform maintenance, upgrades and detailing on a wide range of vehicles.

Lugnutz is in Remington Development’s new Barlow Crossing industrial complex just south of Glenmore Trail on Barlow Trail S.E.

It boasts 10 bays offering customers a clean, safe, high-tech environment to work on their own vehicles, and serve as a gathering place for enthusiasts.

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Each bay has a 10-drawer rolling tool box filled with mechanic-grade SAE and metric tools, all that are required for most repair and maintenance jobs. Additional air tools, a high-end Autel OBDII diagnostic reader, precision digital torque wrenches and all manner of other specialty tools are available for use at no additional cost.

Use of Lugnutz is costed out by hourly, daily and weekly rates, and even by the month — currently being used by a customer who is stripping down his 1961 Land Rover to rebuild it into a classic automobile.

President and CEO Rose has designed Lugnutz to be safe and environmentally friendly, equipped with a state-of-the-art air system to ensure exhaust fumes generated in the shop while vehicles are running are quickly evacuated. All fluids are recycled and the shop has an under-floor oil separator system that captures any harmful fluids that get into the floor drains, holding them for recycling rather than entering the sewer system.

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Whether the need is just to change back to summer tires or hoist out an engine to replace a transmission, Lugnutz has the clean-as-a-whistle space and new tools to do the job.

Eight of the bays are fitted with two post lifts, others are for electrical or interior jobs not requiring the vehicle to be raised off the floor. But Rose says although the customer is always in the driver’s seat, only the three certified staff are allowed to actually manipulate the lift functions.

If customers need a new part, a relationship with NAPA means delivery within the hour. And if the need is known beforehand, the part can be delivered direct to Lugnutz and held until ready for installation.

Her research told Rose that there was a need besides a place to work on vehicles; her new project could also serve as a learning, collaboration and training environment.

Lugnutz has a meeting room with an 85-inch flat screen and full sound system that will be used for courses in basic automotive maintenance, and is available free of charge to car clubs that have already hosted events there.

Rose has come up with an answer to her family’s quest and those of others who prefer and enjoy working on their own vehicles.

Planning and organizing the facility was just an extension of her hobby, and her accountant profession — she has been the CFO for Habitat for Humanity for the past 11 years — will help assure the success of her new venture.

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