By Pat Sherman
Photos by Brevin Blach
Ex-professional wrestler and TV host Bill Goldberg doesn't worry about his wife banishing him to the garage during disputes.
"That's for sure, because it's probably nicer than the house," quips the 44-year-old host of the DI Y Network's Garage Mahal, who built a 6,500-square-foot shrine for his vintage cars on his remote Bonsall estate, northwest of Escondido.
The two-story structure, which has a deceptive, "McMansion"-esque appearance, houses five souped-up choppers and 17 vintage muscle cars, including a 1959 Chevy Biscayne and a 1970 Mustang Boss 429, one of only two made with an automatic transmission (the other was destroyed while being displayed overseas during the Vietnam War).
The garage also includes a kitchen and king-size bed (just in case), and a second-story, 2,000-square-foot weight room with dumbbells of up to 150 pounds, so Goldberg can keep in fighting-and fathering-shape.
"When the family goes to bed at night, I slither up to the garage and do a little work on my cars and then do a little lifting," says Goldberg, whose family includes stuntwoman wife, Wanda, and four-year-old son, Gage.
"That's my solace; that's my getaway."
Much like its owner, this garage sports impressive strength.
"The beams we had to install underneath that garage are quite substantial," Goldberg says. "The days of me putting 900 pounds on the leg press are still here, and that's sitting right above one of my cars, so I have the utmost of confidence in the integrity of these beams."
The more than $1 million garage began as a 1,500-square-foot house, which Goldberg purchased from the previous owner, before more than quadrupling its size.
"I didn't want to build an old barn or some kind of big, ridiculously abstruse structure," he says. "I wanted to build something that would blend and that was visually spectacular, (so) I pretty much duplicated the design of the house. Nine times out of 10, people don't even know that I have a separate house, which is the reason why I did it. It throws everyone off."
Though Goldberg says his "man cave on steroids" isn't quite made for entertaining, he occasionally invites buds like UFC heavyweight champ Josh Barnett over to work on cars and pump iron. Like a lifter who never thinks he's quite big enough, Goldberg could be said to have a case of garage dysmorphia.
"I'd love to make it bigger," he says. "I've got a couple cars that are out being restored and I don't have any room for them when they get back. There's no such thing as too much space."
Original square footage: 1,500
Square footage after renovation: more than 6,500
Muscle cars: 17 (including a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and 1970 Mustang Boss 429 "Lawman")
Motorcycles: 5 (1 Confederate Hellcat, 2 Harleys and 2 West Coast Choppers)
Amenities: 2,000-square-foot personal gym, kitchen, king-sized bed, plasma screen TV , outdoor driving range
Cost to build: about $1 million
NFL : 1990-1995 (including Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons)
World Championship Wrestling: 1997-2001
All Japan Pro Wrestling: 2002-2003
World Wrestling Entertainment : 2003-2004
Film appearances: The Longest Yard, Santa's Slay, Half Past Dead 2
TV : Law and Order, Family Guy, Celebrity Apprentice, Monster Garage,