Who really is R's Garage?

Posted in People
Wellington-based R’s Garage has become something of an internet mythology, so we caught up with ringleader Reuben Bemrose to find out who the crew behind it are and what they are about

The internet is a wonderful tool for partaking in automotive voyeurism, and has helped educate people on many new trends, wild styles and crazy builds from the around the world. It has also seen the rise of Wellington’s R’s Garage, which has been blowing up people’s computer screens thanks to its all-or-nothing build style and shed full of amazing projects, enough that if they ever finished everything it would easily fill an entire issue of NZ Performance Car

Behind the fame is a group of hard-core car guys who simply began hanging out in the basement of Reuben’s parents’ house, as he explains. “Four years ago, I managed to beg my parents to let me use their garage for an hour so I could tint the front window. That one hour turned into two years — I ended up ripping the entire car apart. Naturally with this kinda thing friends are always keen to come over and lend a hand, or spin a yarn. Pretty much every night somebody would be over till the early hours of the morning, talking smack and spinning yarns: 2am would come, my mother would come down and tell everyone to f#ck off home and turn all the lights off. Some nights there would be upwards of 10 people.” Yep, in short R’s Garage is Reuben’s (parents) Garage. “The ‘troll’ FB page was started, and the dream was born.” 

The group soon moved out of the basement garage and into the first lock-up, a place where they could expand their empire, and bring everyone’s projects together in one place. Reuben continues, “We began working away not knowing WTF we were doing, the purchase of a few grinders/welders and good intentions were all we needed. Armed with shitty camera phones we began uploading terrible photos of our cars — people seemed to like it, and we found people wanted more, and to be a part of it.” 

So the word was spreading, and the builds became more and more wild, but in those early years they never really took what the outside world thought all that seriously, and posted up naked chicks and other random stuff, with only a sprinkling of car-related content. But neverless, they were clearly doing something right as the crew was expanding, growing from the original eight members to around 30. “We got some stickers and T-shirts made and found people hounding us to actually pay money for them, we were so taken aback, and were honoured people wanted to support us.

We never sold stickers, only gave them away, and when we do have a clothes run we make no money off them, we don’t want to be another sell-out automotive clothing brand, we are just a bunch of guys wanting to play with cars and have a good time,” Reuben explained to NZPC. That’s not to say that things haven’t got slightly more professional, as the group sold a few parts and did the odd job on other cars, but only to make a little on the side to pay the rent for the larger digs, as he continues. “We get loads of contacts from people wanting us to do this and that on their cars, but it’s pretty hard. We were never really in it for the money, just some laughs and a place to show off our shit.” It is after all just something they do on weekends and after work, hang out, spin yarns and take the grinder to someone’s ride. And they have some pretty wild projects to finish, cars like Reuben’s own 2JZ WRX build which we featured in Issue No. 215. While they aren’t shoehorned into any one kind of car, old Toyotas seem to be the biggest flavour, and nearly everything is street legal, caged and extremely impractical. 

There are no future plans to take over the world, open Wellington’s next performance shop, or battle Fatlace in the clothing industry, they will just keep things casual, keep hanging out, building cars, and not giving two shits if you agree with their build style or not. There is a new workshop on the cards, plenty of projects to finish, and a few new ones planned that will surely cause a stir. This won’t be the last time R’s transcends from the internet into print, but in the meantime if you want to keep tabs on the guys, check them out on Facebook. 

Marcus Gibson

Marcus Gibson has spent his life getting a little grease under his fingernails growing up with a fascination for all things loud, fast, and low. Growing up during the boom of the import scene, the last ten years have seen him work for a few publications, as well as running his own website before taking up a role at NZ Performance Car in 2011. Marcus is as at home with a keyboard or camera in-hand as he is getting dirty in his workshop or at the track, championing that Kiwi DIY attitude.