From Classic Cars to Pinball Machines, Redondo Beach’s Garage 77 Keeps Your Inner Kid Engaged
- Written & photographed byKat Monk
On Tuesday night, a triangular sliver of property on the Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach is packed with members and guests eating pizza and playing pinball while enjoying a cold beer. The pinball league is the first of its kind in the South Bay, consisting of teams with four players. Each player takes a turn as teammates root them on.
“It is nice to be in a pinball league that you don’t have to get on the freeway to be in,” shares pinballer T.J. Fay. “I usually had to drive to Paramount or Long Beach to play pinball because there was nowhere to play in the South Bay.”
Thankfully for these pinball wizards, Garage 77 fills that gap. It all started when Hermosa Beach neighbors Brian Waldman and Cameron Murg shared a carport for Brian to keep his classic Speedster. Both worked from home, and it was their dream to one day open a social club where members could work and play.
“What I love most about being a Garage 77 member is that it is a cool place to hang out with a lot of fun people. The pinball and the classic cars are just an added bonus.”
Garage 77 is the product of that dream and a celebration of all things classic—like pinball machines, vintage cars, guitars, shuffleboard, record albums and 8-track tapes. It’s also a clubhouse to meet and socialize with others. This unique concept fits in a community where houses tend to be on the smaller side and garage space is limited.
“We wanted to create a venue where our members could experience the exhilaration and nostalgia of driving the most popular classic cars of decades past as if it were their own garage, without the huge cost of ownership or mechanical know-how,” shares Brian.
Members can drive one of nine classic cars from the Garage 77 fleet, which currently includes these beauties: 1987 Ferrari, 1967 Camaro, 1969 Jaguar, 1975 Bronco, 1977 Jeep, 1960 and 1974 Corvette, 1957 Speedster Tribute replica and 1963 Cadillac. “I have not driven all the cars yet, but I enjoy driving the Porsche Speedster and the Corvette Stingray,” shares member Mary Rennie. “I’m looking forward the driving the Ferrari 328 GTS very soon. I’m excited to drive it around Palos Verdes.”
Many people mistakenly assume Garage 77 is an automobile repair shop or a dealership. “It is actually not a typical car club,” explains Brian. “Really it is more of a social club with a recreational space based on community sharing.”
Members pay an annual fee with no extra cost for the additional perks. Checking out a car is easy: A member opens an application on their phone, touches the photo of the car they want to drive, and they are on their way. If desired, a member could pick their kids up from school in a different car every day or entertain guests visiting from out of town.
The most popular car is the custom-made Bronco, a model members love to cruise in around town or take to the beach. The club works on an honor system, and members communicate via Slack to know which cars are available. Brian hopes to add a couple of jet skis and possibly a boat to the club’s inventory.
A pinball enthusiast, Brian has long been fascinated with the machines and their moving parts. He played in a New York City pinball league with thousands of members and couldn’t wait to bring a league to the South Bay. The Garage 77 league meets on Tuesday evenings.
Boasting several unique pinball machines, Garage 77’s collection includes Fathom Mermaid, the Big Lebowski (with a matching rug), Medieval Madness, Godzilla, Rush, Diner and Big Ben. All tiebreakers are played on Big Ben, the classic pinball machine from Brian’s childhood.
“What I love most about being a Garage 77 member is that it is a cool place to hang out with a lot of fun people,” shares member Mary Rennie. “The pinball and the classic cars are just an added bonus.”