As long as I can remember I’ve been a car guy. Whether it was playing with hot wheels as a kid or eagerly awaiting the day until I turned 10 so I could drive my first go-kart, I’ve always had a passion for cars. That being said, my first ride was nothing special (actually it was utterly boring) a 2004 Kia Sorento SUV that my parents purchased for our family. That being said, it was practical and I was lucky enough to be able to drive my friends around in high school which was about as much as you could ask for as a 16 year old.
My second car was when things started to get interesting. One day, my while my Grandpa was visiting, he told me that one of his friends was selling his car collection. In the collection was a 1951 Studebaker Champion that hadn’t been driven in probably 20-30 years. My Grandpa asked if I wanted to work on restoring the car as a project with him. As a 16 year old, I jumped at the opportunity and eagerly agreed.
My Grandfather’s friend was the original owner of the car, so we knew that it had a clean history and would be a great project car. A few days later we went to check out the car and bought it for $3,000. Over the next four years, my Grandfather and I would work on the car (mostly during the summer). It gave us plenty of opportunities to bond and I learned a great deal about cars and life from my Grandfather. The Studebaker has been at the epicentre of many fond memories including my wedding, family trips to Studebaker Car meets and more recently, outings with our young son (who also loves cars).
My third car was purchased in my final year of University. Not having a lot of money at the time, I was looking for an affordable yet fun car that would be easy to work on and upgrade. As a long-time fan of Mustangs, the Fox Body 5.0 fit the bill perfectly. After a few month of searching, I located a GT with only 130,000 KMs on it, which ran great. The car had a terrible aftermarket paint job which had faded in a very strange way and an unpainted bumper, but otherwise was in solid shape. Not being able to drive a manual transmission at the time, I had a friend come out to test drive the car for me and I purchased it for $2,800. The car was an absolutely steal. The best part of it was that I had just received a $5,000 scholarship. The money that was left over was used for future upgrades of course.
I quickly got the mod bug and began to modify the Mustang every chance I could get. I did all the work myself and continued to improve my automotive skills. I completed many projects including: heads, cam, intake, maximum motorsports suspension, racing seats, 5 lug conversion with big brakes and rear disc brakes, and many more. I started to get into Auto-X and track days with the Mustang and had an absolute blast taking it out with my friends. The car was even my daily driver for about a year, which was super unpractical because the car was pretty low and very loud with the side exit exhaust I had fabricated!
My next purchase was another Mustang. This time an 1995 Mustang 5.0 (SN95) that I bought with 2 other friends for $1,800. This was a fun project that we worked on together after work. We wanted to build a track toy, but ultimately life got in the way. We made some pretty good memories working on the car even though we had a few mishaps with some of our parts. Luckily all the parts were cheap and easily replaced. We did take it out for a few Auto-X session but ended up selling the car after a few years as we just didn’t have time to work on it like we thought.
With a baby boy on the way, my wife and I decided it was time to get a more practical car. We needed something reliable and affordable which also meant boring… We ultimately landed on a 2009 Honda CR-V in an ugly green color. Due to the cars detestable color, we got a great deal. Although I hate the way the car looks, I must say it is an insanely reliable and practical car. CR-V FTW if you have a small family!
The next car was again nothing exciting. With a growing business we needed a pickup truck to move printers, paper, boxes and other supplies. We decided to go the Honda route again and purchased a 2006 Honda Ridgeline for a song. The 4 doors have been great as we have plenty of room for the car seat even with a full load. If you’re looking for a practical light duty pickup a used Ridgeline is hard to beat in terms of value. They are insanely reliable and there are many owners out there who have hit 500,000 miles! With the amount of stuff we’ve moved with this truck, it’s probably paid for itself in the first year of ownership.
My last purchase has been perhaps one of the most exciting. Late last year, I found a 1965 Fastback Mustang a few towns over. It was in great shape and was upgraded with a 5.0 from a Fox Body. It also had a few other nice upgrades such as disc brakes, power steering, and other suspension bits. Overall, it’s a super fun, yet reliable car that you can pretty much drive every day. To increase the number of days of the year that I can drive the car, I’ll be adding heat and A/C in the near future.