Cool Collections! ’32 Fords Rule in Dave Ruhs’ Collection and Hobby Shop
Limitations are often about perception. Many car guys will limit their collection based on the size of their home garage. Dave Ruhs, on the other hand, thought beyond the boundaries of the garage at his house and assembled an incredible hobby shop a few miles away in a West Des Moines, Iowa industrial park.
Actually, the industrial property where Dave’s shop is located is part of a bigger picture for Dave and his wife, Sandy. The couple bought the complex years ago as an investment and rent out several of the units, while keeping a portion of the space for their collection.
And what a collection it is! With a dozen Deuces, a vintage Mustang belonging to the couple’s son, Kevin, a ’34 Ford Tudor, and first-generation Camaro among the mix, the Ruhs’ fleet is pretty enviable. Whether you’re up for a cross-country cruise (as demonstrated by Dave’s roadster, which graced the cover of the Goodguys Gazette last month), or a romp to the local ice cream stand with a blower whining in your ears, Dave has a car for the occasion. There’s even an electric-powered vintage quarter-midget for the couple’s grandkids.
Equally enviable is the shop space itself. Tall ceilings and a trio of lifts (two four-post designs, and one two-post) provide both storage versatility and a convenient way to get real work done. Multiple welders and well-equipped tool chests allow Dave to be pretty self-sufficient. He has built many of the cars in his collection and has others he has bought complete and either modified, personalized, or maintained.
In addition to the shop space, there’s a small office stuffed with memorabilia. Diecast collectibles and model car kits line the shelves, there’s automotive art on the walls, and a Rock-Ola jukebox provides a classic soundtrack for social gatherings. It’s a great space for hosting car-centered gatherings, like the Sunday-evening party Dave and Sandy have every year following the Goodguys Heartland Nationals and ahead of the Cruise to Columbus, which the couple has coordinated for many years.
Dave and Sandy have put together a fun, comfortable space to enjoy their cars and have fun with friends. A shop like this is a great way to stay motivated for working on projects – and an excellent example of having the vision to think beyond limitations to keep a collection growing.
Photos by Damon Lee