Moving might be one of the most miserable tasks people voluntarily burden themselves with — but at least when you pack all your worldly possessions, you find things that you thought were long gone. For example, I found the keys to my 1988 Jeep Wagoneer — which is useless, since I sold it six years ago. There was one thing that I was really happy to find, though, and it reminded me that all the work and new debt from moving into this new garage is totally worth it: and a decades’ old dream come true.
What I discovered was a childhood photo album, mostly filled with travel memories and special events — but there was one picture of my bedroom from around 1995, likely snapped to finish out a camera roll. It shows the mindset of a 9-year-old Hoovie, with a shelf full of model cars flanked by “Star Wars” posters and a lizard terrarium. On that shelf is a DeLorean, a Dodge Viper, a Porsche 911 and plenty of others, totaling about 20 cars. While my beloved lizards, named Shnookums and Meat, are long dead, a few of the “Star Wars” posters have survived — and the car display, thanks to my new garage, has gone full size.
Yes, my dream garage is finally (mostly) completed, in that I can actually bring cars inside and park them. Since finishing the floor coating and bringing a few of the cars into the garage, I’ve been sitting in here for hours at a time, just staring at it. It’s like seeing one of those old inspirational posters that my dad and I collected over the years in person, except it’s real, and it’s mine — and I can’t believe how lucky I am. I’m still hoping to put a lift system in eventually, so I can stack the cars along the back wall — but this new house project has left me financially tapped more than any hooptie ever has, so it will have to wait.
Outside, things have been slow going for the last three weeks thanks to almost constant rain. I don’t have a side driveway, or a back patio, or landscaping yet because of this, but I’m happy to be moved in and mostly settled. With the lifts I’ll have eventually, I will be able to store 12 cars inside — and with the extra driveway space, I’ll be able to put another 4-5 outside without looking like I’m constantly hosting a horrible car show. Since I plan on giving up hooptie fleet headquarters soon (the storage barn I rented) to help cover the mortgage, it means I’m way over capacity already with the current hooptie fleet.
I know I’ve documented several purges of extra cars in the last two years, but this is my most motivated one yet — since I’m now being financially tag teamed by constant car repairs AND the new house. The theme of the car breakage recently has been coolant, with five cars deciding to release this essential fluid on the floor — or in some other dramatic fashion. My 2005 Rolls Royce Phantom, unsurprisingly, did it in the most expensive fashion, with its coolant transfer pipe failing on the BMW V12. Without the flexible and expandable pipe created to replace the original, which is housed underneath the intake of the engine, this would have been an engine out job. Still, it wasn’t cheap to fix, since removing everything to access this pipe took a lot of time — and my mechanic, the Car Wizard, charged $2,000 to repair a common foible from BMW’s mis-engineering department.
I bought my Toyota Previa knowing it had a small coolant leak, which turned out to be a simple replacement of the coolant expansion tank. It’s ready to be picked up — and as always, I have several cars needing some attention from the Wizard to trade out. But one of them is leaking coolant so badly, I doubt it would survive the 30-mile trip. Strangely, the latest dead car is my 1990 Mazda Miata, a car that’s supposed to be super reliable, but coolant is spraying from what appears to be directly from the block. Hopefully it’s something simple.
The other two coolant leakers are cars that I haven’t made videos on yet, which are stored in the barn — along with my 1976 Cadillac Eldorado that I can’t sell. I can’t find a buyer for $8,000, so I’m lowering the price to $6,700, or about half of what I have into it, in a desperate hope that someone will take away my land yacht. I also have a few more cars that I need to get rid of eventually, like ” The Fast and the Furious” Prius — but not before I try a few nitrous runs at the drag strip.
Progress has been slow on the seemingly never-ending projects, like the DeLorean and the Maserati Quattroporte — but there are others, like my Hummer H2, that are actually behaving themselves. So overall, the state of the hooptie fleet is strong, and I’m happy to continue living the ideal life to a 9-year old — except for the whole massive, crippling debt part. Find a Used Vehicle for sale
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