Did you ever have an object of obsession you just couldn’t put away? It eats at you, it’s likely not practical, affordable, even smart. I was the kid with the bedroom walls plastered with car magazine tear-outs, my favorites, the new [at the time] Porsche 911sc. The pronounced bulging hips, in your face round headlights.... come to think of it there may have been a correlation with the other pictures on the wall....
Fast forward 20± years...... I’m married, I’ve got a good job, a respectable house, I’ve slaked my automotive lust with more than a handful of mechanized shiny objects both old and new. I’ve turned to several 60's & 70's VWs as the more affordable substitute for what I really wanted. I still want that damn 911 in the worst way.
So without any clue how I’d afford one I start searching classifieds on CL, Autotrader & Pelican Parts [forums] (the latter where I spend WAY too much time absorbing every scrap of information I can about the care and feeding of these old beasts). This goes on for a few years....
Now I’ve got a 2 year old bouncing baby boy, I see what I want as ever more ridiculous by the day. But does that stop me from looking and day dreaming.....hell no! Then one day I happen across an ad on the forums. It’s a stalled project car! It’s a relatively small amount of cash that I can somehow scrape up! It’s mostly disassembled. It’s a relatively small amount of cash that I can somehow scrape up! It runs (uh huh...lets revisit that later)! It’s a relatively small amount of cash that I can somehow scrape up! It comes with shiny wheels and new paint (uh huh...again...)! It’s a relatively small amount of cash that I can somehow scrape up! It’s a mere 20 hours from my house.... I’m sure you see the pattern here.
Over the course of a few days I’ve spent a couple of hours on the phone with the owner’s friend who sends me videos of the car running (sort of) and more pictures. In honest retrospective he could have sent me pictures of his purring cat wacked out on buttermilk. I had the better part of a quarter decade of desire within reach of my currently ungreasy fingers.
I call up my Dad, who happens to live 5 hours in the direction of my planned 20 hour trip, and
con talk him into using him, his old pickup and a friends car hauler. Even in my Porsche fueled haze I had no illusions I’d be driving this thing home (I thought about it). I drove from my home on the coast of Alabama to Tennessee on a Friday afternoon. We left early the next morning for the east end of Long Island, New York.
Somewhere well after dark, after blowing an [unladen] trailer tire in New Jersey 2 dumb-ass boys from the south are threading an old Ford pickup pulling a 16' car trailer through mid-town Manhattan on a Saturday night. I read somewhere you weren’t allowed to pull a trailer on the bridges or something, I still have no idea if this is true. I remained giddy w/ excitement a reasonable 30 something year old man shouldn’t have about an old car he’d never seen nor touched. We made it to a hotel within a couple of miles of the body shop where my precious was patiently waiting.
The next morning we met the owner at his body shop, nice enough guy who proceeds to show me my new car. It takes at least 10 minutes to get it started. The clutch pedal is FUBAR, making getting it to move quite interesting. We visit half a dozen places in his shop to collect parts that belong to the car (like lights and bumpers). She’s beautiful, I’m completely in love.
I made a half-hearted attempt to lower him from the asking price because of some of the lets say “less described” aspects of the car, but who are we kidding, I’m not leaving there without this car and we both know it. On to get that damn trailer a new tire and make our way back to Alabama.
Next up.... Where do I start?
Everyone else has a quip here so why not..... Travis is a normal guy, with a normal home in a normal place and not nearly enough car budgets to go around. He has been automotively obsessed since he could push a matchbox car on the floor and say pbpbpbpbpbp. He’s currently driving cars no. 30 and 31 and doesn’t plan on limiting that figure any time soon. He has no idea why he’s using 3rd person....