The Geek / Non-Geek Divide

I took this picture in La Jolla this weekend -- it is of a house with a very narrow driveway that has a turntable to help the car get in and out of the garage facing the right way.




I thought it was amazing, but my wife immediately began saying things like "well, I think you could easily get the car in and out without it by... blah blah."  I told her you don't have a turntable because it is necessary, you have it because it is awesome.   Didn't she watch the Batman series growing up?  It's a freaking turntable for your car!  What further justification is needed?


  1. Seattle Steve:


  2. Mike Powers:

    Ugh. I can just imagine trying to keep it in balance to it works, and fix the damn thing when the bearings wear out, the motor fails, crap starts growing in the track and stops it's a cool idea but I'm just not feeling it.

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    "What further justification is needed?"

    The ability to Pay for it?

  4. irandom419:

    It is water front property, so they can afford the maintenance. Unfortunately, for me, I'd wear it out much sooner. I'd literally take my care for a spin too often. Also during Halloween, activate it when kids walk on it too.

  5. lelnet:

    It's completely and utterly insane. And that's a huge part of what makes it awesome. :)

  6. lelnet:

    It's like a smaller version of wanting to be Howard don't actually want to be bugnuts crazy, but you really really super-duper want to be sufficiently rich and powerful that you could get away with being that crazy.

    If you wanted practical, you'd tear down the (apparently purely decorative) wall that sits between half of the driveway and the street. But they didn't want practical, they wanted cool. Cool is usually the opposite of practical.

    And I'm OK with that.

  7. Dan Wendlick:

    In the immortal words of my brother-in-law, "We're way beyond need here."

  8. southpaw0609:

    Its the same answer to why do you want to climb Mt Everest:

    Because its there

  9. mesaeconoguy:

    Problem: It's in CA.

  10. marque2:

    They might not be able to tears down that wall, because of city ordinances and permit needs and such wonderful, for your own protection things

  11. Seekingfactsforsanity:

    Actually - I think it might be an underground elevator. Lower to park whatever needs parked then raise the platform until its needs to be lowered again. I think your wife's thought was right. Anyway, that is my guess. Possibility?

  12. Sam L.:

    And there might be water underneath the other side of that wall; we can see some further out.

  13. Coyote Little Sis:

    Or why dogs lick their testicles.

    Because they can.

  14. Ward Chartier:

    Saw this application in the UK over 15 years ago. Turntable wasn't more than 10 feet in diameter.

  15. SethRoentgen:

    Turntables are common in cities in Japan. Typically drive into the "parking", park on a platform and collect your ticket. The platform is attached to an endless vertical loop. The door closes and away you go. When you come to collect your car, the attendant punches in the number and the loop cyles around until your car appears. Reverse out, they spin you around and away you go into the city traffic. These systems can typically hold 50-60 cars in a footprint little larger than a double garage and short driveway.

  16. Tim:

    A super quick search shows that you can have one for $12,000 (presumably plus labor for installation; so figure ~$15-17k)

    For a California sea-side residence; that's a full-on bargin.

  17. southpaw0609:

    Negro please. That's for the little people to fix. Send us the bill. We'll put on our Amex Platinum.

  18. jic1:

    If that's what it was, why would there be a garage door visible on the left? Also, since it's a waterfront house, that would put the car on the beach.

  19. martynW:

    What's really cool is that it flips over and Black Beauty appears.

  20. Adobe_Walls:

    The wall appears to divide the sloped ramp of the driveway from the relatively level area in front of the garage.

  21. sardiverdave:

    I had to look this up to see what you were talking about. It's neat looking.

  22. epobirs:

    Ah, the Tracy estate. Actually, that isn't just for getting in and out of the driveway. If you press the right button on your remote, the elevator delivers you, car and all, to the underground complex where you can drive directly into a payload carrier for Thunderbird 2.

  23. ThomasD:

    I'm guessing it is a steel frame platter with a thin layer of concrete, that it rides on a set of automotive tires, and that the platter can be jacked up for easy service.

    Mechanically it is not much different than a carnival ride.

  24. Forrest Waller:

    Nice view of the Pacific Ocean, too. I feel sorry for the poor people who live there. Can't even pull straight in to their garage. Is it two level? You know, a car elevator?

  25. Forrest Waller:

    Amen, Mesa.

  26. upfrigger:

    You guys should see the giant turntable underground, backstage at Barclay's center in Brooklyn. They have to spin around a 53' semi trailer + tractor to get them into the loading docks. Oh yeah, and 2 giant elevators that the trucks have to drive into at street level, in order to get down to the dock level. I guess real estate is expensive or something there...

  27. Quancho:

    Mine didn't cost any stinkin' $12,000.

  28. qdpsteve:

    What would be REALLY cool is to have a sticky driveway segment that, upon your stopping, would FLIP OVER and thus store your car in a cool underground chamber.

    The only hard part I guess would be either (1) always making sure you and all other passengers get out before you flip the car, or (2) figuring out how to safely exit your car while it's hanging upside down.

  29. Reno_Dave:

    Of course, if you have a house in La Jolla with no on-street parking, your name is Romney, and you put in an underground garage with an elevator, you're not cool, but an evil capitalist pig with no compassion for the underclass.

  30. Mike Anderson:

    Reno-Dave. Thanks, a**hole. Thanks for being the guy who has to drag politics into everything. We get it. You are super superior and if you made a ton of money from your job (assuming you work), you would be one of the "good" rich people. Go away and stop dragging everyone down. The personal IS NOT political. Leave us alone.

  31. jaytrain:

    Evidently turntables were not uncommon in the early years of the auto. Reverse gear was unreliable / persnickety and it was a better bet just to be able to spin the whole car around in the garage than fuss with the gearbox . There's one in the Ford museum and one in the B&B in Calumet Michigan . The more things change , ....

  32. Reno_Dave:


    You completely missed the point. I think that the turntable tech is cool, as is putting in an auto elevator when that is the only option in the close-in La Jolla beachfront area. The tech becomes a political weapon if you're running for president.

  33. brian mckim:

    IIRC: Ernie Kovacs built a house in Hollywood and installed a similar turntable... and IIRC: Kenny F***ing Rogers bought the house and promptly ripped the turntable out. Nice going, KFR!

  34. HoundOfDoom:

    Or getting your car unstuck when you wanted to use it again.

  35. Marj:

    An episode of Modern Family" featured a home with a turntable. Could've been this house, but I'm not sure. Worth looking up-hilarious.

  36. epobirs:

    They have one of those giant turntables in the Metreon in San Francisco.

  37. SethRoentgen:

    Thanks sardiverdave. That's exactly what I was trying to describe. One of these stacks can fit into a narrow space between two tall buildings. When you drive on to the platform there's a mirror in front so you can place your wheels. And there's a red light for stop. Very convenient and efficient.