Our local car club wanted a website and a forum. I use forums every day, but I have never had any experience building them. Turns out they are pretty straight forward to setup. I'm using PHPBB 3.0.14. The website is hosted by Arvixe and I am using a MySQL database. This is all standard stuff and Arvixe makes it really easy to install. However I wanted the garage page I've seen on other forums. This was more difficult than I realized.
phpBB is an open source forum which is great. A long time ago someone made phpBBGarage. This was way back when the forum software was back in the v1.0 days. This guy is no longer around. A few years later someone else picked it up. They made a bunch of enhancements, and ended up not having time for it. They put it on the backburner and haven't provided an update for years. So this is where I started.
The phpBBGarage software he left us (which he called BBGarage when he left it to us) did technically work. However there was a bunch of clutter. The idea is a user can document multiple vehicles they own. These are stored in his/her garage. Other users can view your garage and see pictures of your cars and read your blog about them. There were other components such as adding businesses, adding insurance info, car mileage, adding individual mod pages (like you can add an "exhaust" mod to your car), car color etc..
These features may be useful to some people, but I had no use for them. Some of the stuff I wanted to remove (like top 5 cars with most mods report) I was able to filter out using the Admin Console. Other stuff (like miles, purchase price, total spent in mods, the "Add modification" button) I had to hide by modifying the XML. Then some areas I changed the XML around to better utilize the space. In the end it turned out pretty well. Below is a list of what I changed around:
You can see the forum I manage at 802Nation.com/forum. Below are some pics of how it looks after I modified it. I wish I had taken some before pics.