60389: Custom Car Garage [Hands-On review]

Continuing our coverage of the 2022 LEGO City Lineup, today, I wanted to take a look at the 60389 Custom Car Garage. This is a great variation on the ‘Multiple Cars and Garage’ sets seen in LEGO Town and City lines over the years.

The first Garage and Tow-truck in the Minifigure era was 6363 Auto Repair Shop in1980: however, there were no cars requiring repair. In 1985, the scene took off, when a small garage and three go-kart-like vehicles (along with a tow/transport truck) came packaged on 32x32stud baseplate. The office off to the side of the garage allowed kids to get right into role-playing the shadier side of the auto crash repair business than might be considered normal. The cars seeking repair were go-karts, and could be customised in a variety of permutations very readily.

The 6561 Hot Rod Club of 1994 brought us a collection of car enthusiasts, as well as some fancy-looking wheels, including a rather spiffing chromed-up vehicle. I would consider this set to be the prototype for the set we are looking at today. While the bodies of the cars were 4 studs wide, the rear wheels extended their width to around 7-8 studs.

A custom garage for 6stud wide cars didn’t eventuate until the LEGO Factory 10200 Custom Car Garage in 2008. This set gave us three cars, with exchangeable engines, to say plenty of inspiration for your own vehicles.

Up to this time, these car workshops have been somewhat sheltered, with a roof to prevent all but the smallest of hands from getting in to arrange the garage exactly as you might like, and so we see a different format with 60389 Custom Car garage: with a workshop focussing on performance vehicles, this set is a little more open plan: imagine the walls and roof yourself, but the set provides the furnishing along with 4 minifigures and 2 cars, with a selection of interchangeable front and back ends, as well as a variety of engines that can be substituted in and out. All this in 509 pieces.

The set is priced at $79.99AUD, €49.99 £44.99 USD59.99 CAD79.99. So, what does it offer? Is it a poor man’s Fast and the Furious? Or does it offer something more?

The set comes with 2 instruction booklets and 5 bags of parts. Let’s look at the Minfigures first, however, and follow through on the builds and playability.

The Minifigures:

Unlike recent years, this year, we see no names attributable to LEGO City Adventures on the boxes of this year’s sets. Does this mean the animated series is discontinued? I am unsure.

Our first two minfigures are the brains behind the outfit. both are obviously capable mechanics, but our engineer in blue seems to be more of an academic sort with his pens and notepad in his pocket, while our lady in the denim jacket seems to be more of a roll-your-sleeves-up and get-it-done kind of a girl. To say nothing of the fact that she has a welding torch mounted on her wheelchair. I appreciate that she is wearing protective handwear, even in the absence of sleeves. The vest is brilliantly detailed, while the stitching is continued around to the back. Has she always been in the wheel-chair? Did she have an accident at high speed during some illegal street racing, but has now gone straight? The story is up to you. This is the first time I have seen the relatively new 3 wide wheel-chair in a LEGO City set since it debuted in AVATAR last year. The Octan torso has been around for a few years, appearing in around 6 sets previously, while the denim jacket over the flaming tyre is unique to this set.

I love her magenta hairpiece, while her coworker has a black short back and sides – as I said, more of a serious type.

Our drivers are ready to go. The lady has a teal puffer jacket over a purple shirt, with a dynamic logo printed on the shirt. This print has appeared in a few sets previously, but on characters of different demographics. She also has a teal cap with a ponytail incorporated, as well as a red helmet.

Finally, we have a man with a bright yellowish orange torso, featuring printed details front and back, touseled reddish-brown hair along with a bit of a smirk! This torso is unique to this set.

Here are the elements included in the set: Tray 1 includes the Teal Car, the male driver, the blueprints and the engineer. as well as one rack of alternative car parts.

Tray two (Bags 3-5)brings us the Jade driver, the flame yellowish orange car, a rack of components with the hoist, a small hoist, our welder, as well as a design work station, and tool-cart, along with some alternate engines.

Both cars are based on the 6×10 chassis element, but they have a different look and feel from each other:: the teal car has its engine in the rear, while the orange one has a front-mounted engine.

While we build 2 chassis, there are, ultimately 4 front ends, and 4 rear ends – equal quantities in each main colour scheme. they attach to the chassis using a couple of clips

Here’s the blueprint viewer: panels can rotate to give us a selection of several fronts, rears and bodies:

The ramp easily accommodates our car: the treads are tiled but have 1×1 arched tiles to prevent the cars from slipping off. Each tier of the racks holds a spare car component to allow you to mix and match!

Finally, we have our work-benches, as well as the alternative engines. we have a set of tools in matte silver. while we have room to work on car designs at the workstation. the yellow hoist can carry engines, to put into each car. the toolbox opens for additional storage. As you can see, there are 3 different engines: the ‘standard’ single element, one with side-mounted cylinders, and finally, one with lots of cylinders, and an air intake.

The final result gives us a great garage full of activity. The cars are sufficiently different from each other to avoid repetition, and feature contrasting colour schemes, The racks for spare car parts are suitably simple and connect with the vehicle hoist as well as the work/design bench using a technic axle into technic bricks.

The more I look at this set, the more fun I see built into it: 4 minifigures (2 men, 2 women, 1 wheelchair); a hoist, blueprints and a work area; a small lifter; 2 cars with alternate front and rear ends; printed roofs for the car; exchangeable engines- there is a lot of play value built into this set.

The Most Valuable Piece

I really enjoy the play mechanic (pun mostly intended) afforded by the swappable parts of the cars. The rounded brick 1×2 with 2 bars is without a doubt the MVP (most valuable piece) here. Since it was introduced last year in Monkie Kid, we have seen it enhance the modularity of play, – allowing parts of a build to be attached and removed more readily than if technic pins were used. We have seen it again in Monkie King’s Ultra Mech, as well as the Monkie Kid’s Combi Mech/ Mei’s Dragon Jet and finally. the reimagined Blacktron Cruiser.

Ultimately, if you enjoy racing LEGO cars, you will probably love this set. For good ol’ tradition LEGO car fun, its terrific: happy to give it four out of five 94/5) arbitrary praise units. for enjoyability. I do, however, find the pricing a little flaky on this one. It is uncommon for a set to be on parity with European pricing. (give or take a little), and not be significantly more expensive than the North American price

The list price of $79.99 compares favourably with the current exchange with the Euro and GBP €49.99 Euro=76.45AUD at time of publication. The USA list price of 69.99 USD and CAD 79.99 price equates to around 84.40. We seem to average out quite nicely between the two regions as far as pricing is concerned. that said, many major retailers are listing it at around $65-70AUD already, making it very reasonably priced.

If you are interested in purchasing the set from the LEGO Online store, consider using these affiliate links

Does this set hold any appeal to you? What do you think of the mechanism for customising the cars? Is it on your ‘to buy list’ either for yourself, or the children in your life? Why not leave your comments below, and until next time,

Play Well!

This set was provided by the LEGO Group for review purposes. All opinions are my own!

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