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Dreaming of a man cave

A room for men to do as they please. But does every home need one?

Often referred to as ‘the last bastion of masculinity’ a man cave seems the perfect fit for any hobby enthusiast – so let’s explore the idea a little further.

Having moved recently it got me thinking, dreaming even, that a dedicated space for slot cars was a reality for the first time. The idea of a loft or garage with every millimetre covered in track can only be a good thing?

So away from the club track,  I started to think if I had a blank canvas what would my dream slot car track/man cave look like?

My first thought was that the garage seemed the best environment to build a man cave. For me, it has the largest uninterrupted floor area and head height. Daylight isn’t a bad thing too. Plus it’s in a corner of the garden away from distractions of work. However, not being insulated it would require more work – the irony, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Garage it was.

Prefabricated concrete panel garage

The track

Next my mind started to wonder wooden or plastic track? Analogue or digital layout? Having grown up as Scalextric ‘rug racer’ my comfort zone was almost certainly plastic/digital. When I considered the limitations of a 3m x 5.5m garage I quickly came to the conclusion that a two-lane digital track would maximise the space and perhaps allow more than two racers to enjoy the thrill (or retreat) that only a man cave can offer.

However, there are clear benefits to a wooden track. The temperature variation, especially if the garage was to remain unheated, could no doubt cause movement in the plastic track and its many joints. Not to mention the metal rails of say Scalextric track, which are not stainless steel, which are more vulnerable to rust.

I’ve often been told that the flow of a wooden track is also second to none. But (and it is a big but) the skill and tools required to make this type of track a reality seems beyond my grasp. Unless of course you buy into the whole CNC (Computer Numerical Control) MDF idea… for another blog. I’ve read somewhere that ‘why not run a plastic track first? If you like the layout, simply swap it for a wooden track at a later stage’. Not a bad idea after all – perhaps nothing worse than routing a track layout only to not enjoy the flow?

The era

Another consideration might be the era of racing. Take Silverstone for example. The track has evolved over the past 50 years not to mention the pits complex. If your thing is classic cars from the 60’s maybe a Goodwood fast-flowing layout with minimal gravel traps is the look and feel you want your track to have? Perhaps F1 is?! With its modern tracks, vast run-off areas and floodlighting found at Abu Dhabi? Of course, if Nascar is your fancy why not a massive banking oval! Some tough decisions ahead.

Let’s not forget, cars also make a track…

In any case, I like the idea of a British track with undulation, set in the back drop of woodlands and pit buildings with some age/character. Forget the floodlights and run-off areas. Nothing better than being inspired by the tracks you’ve grown up watching so perhaps a 00’s feel to the whole thing? We will see.

The must-haves

Finally, I think you can’t help but consider the must haves in any man cave. I can’t imagine a man cave without a TV and seating. Maybe even a bar? At this rate we’re going to need a bigger garage…

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