Nash Garage in Strasbourg builds on history with Airbnb rental | Every day
STRASBOURG — After a fire destroyed much of the Nash Garage in November 2019, owner James “Ricci” Troxell decided to take his family’s longtime business in a different direction and open an Airbnb.
Building on the family’s interest in preserving historic cars and Nash memorabilia, the Nash Vintage Garage Getaway showcases various historic items such as 1950s gas pumps, a vintage coke machine, a Eco Tireflator air pump and a Blue Ridge Arson Squad ACCA Temple Shriner parade car.
Since Troxell and his wife, Erica, opened their Airbnb at 144 Front Royal Road last June, travelers have been staying there nearly every weekend, with some offering recommendations that have made the space even better.
One suggestion they ran with was to turn their two vintage cars to face the TV instead of the garage windows, so guests could sit in the cars and watch movies as if they were in a drive-thru. -in.
The Troxells liked the idea so much that they started providing microwaveable popcorn in a giant movie theater tub. They also plan to install drive-in radios to complete the experience.
The cars are “perfect for here,” said Erica Troxell.
The 1954 Metropolitan Nash belonged to Ricci Troxell’s grandfather and was restored by Troxell’s brother, and the 1966 Rambler AMC Ambassador belonged to Troxell’s father.
They were the only two cars that survived the 2021 fire, although they were damaged by the roof and objects from the second floor that fell on them.
Although they have been cleaned, cars can climb in and around them, the Troxells said.
The family business began around 1934 when Ricci Troxell’s grandfather, James S. Troxell, opened the Shenandoah Wrecking Company at this location, according to the Strasburg Heritage Association website.
The business operated until the 1940s. Then, in the early 1950s, Troxell’s grandfather tore down the old building, replaced it with the current structure, and opened the Strasburg Nash.
When the car company changed its name, the business became known as Strasburg Rambler Dealership, the website says. Strasburg Rambler, Troxell and Son Body Shop opened in 1962, when Ricci Troxell’s father, James E. “Jimmy” Troxell, joined the business and the building was expanded to accommodate him.
Although Ricci and Erica Troxell have never run Airbnb before, they got advice from their friends who did.
“We were trying to figure out what to do with the building,” Ricci Troxell said.
Initially, after the 2021 fire, he thought he would rebuild, but two weeks later a windstorm removed the front brick roof of the building, including the original 1954 Nash neon sign. sign was torn in half but now decorates the interior of the Airbnb.
Yet by converting the old garage and museum of family memorabilia into a short-term rental, the couple was venturing into uncharted territory.
“I had no vision for this,” Erica Troxell said.
Since Ricci Troxell’s husband is in the construction business, he understood the logistics of renovating the space, while Erica Troxell focused on decorating it, managing her Airbnb page and connecting with the guests.
Guests get the whole building to themselves, although the rental is only on the first floor. For now, the second floor and the space next to a one-car garage are storage areas.
Nash Airbnb features two bedrooms and a bathroom, a kitchen, various living areas, and two office spaces, including the former Nash Garage office where Ricci Troxell’s father and grandfather once worked.
One of the highlights is the old stereo record player that the grandson of local pharmacist Bob Willey gave to the Troxells after seeing his ad on Facebook Marketplace, as well as three cases of records that guests can listen to during their stay. .
The other, smaller record player, located next to the Metropolitan Nash convertible, has the song “Beep Beep”, by The Playmates, already prepared to play.
Most of the guests come from nearby areas like Maryland, Washington, DC and the Carolinas, although the couple also had guests from New York and exchange students from China who stayed for four days.
Other guests have come for special occasions like baby showers and video game night, and the Troxells said their space is also suitable for get-togethers, paint parties and bridal showers.
The Troxells expected car and history buffs to love the space, but were surprised at how equally excited the other guests were. A couple told them they didn’t want to leave the rental to visit the rest of Strasbourg because they liked the space so much.
“It’s not just a place to lay your head,” Erica Troxell said. “That’s the story too.”