A Michigan man has filled his suburban Detroit rental property with 12 automobiles. Locals are calling it an “eyesore,” though some say it’s an artistic masterpiece of vehicular corrosion. Our reporter, David Tracy—who just so happens to conveniently be the hoarder himself—took to the scene to get us an exclusive look at the leaky herd. What he discovered may shock you. More after a quick commercial break.
All kidding aside, this video here, shot by former Jalopnik superstar (still a superstar, no longer a Jalopnik) Kristen Lee back in November, will act as a reminder to my future self of just how much I once leaned into my love of cars.
Over my five years writing for this website, I’ve owned lots of Jeeps, and in some ways, it has all seemed a bit absurd. But really, it’s not.
Imagine a passion you’ve had since you were just a small child snapping photos out of your family’s minivan as you road tripped through Europe. The Opel GTs, Ferrari 360s, TVR Tuscans, Lamborghini Diablos, Audi TTs (be still my beating heart), Porsche 911s, and occasional Dodge Vipers—these captivated me even at the age of 10. When I was 11, I saw a Bugatti Veyron prototype in a small exhibit in downtown Berlin, three years before the car launched. These kinds of things have long-lasting effects.
Fast forward a few years, I’d moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, and my Dad had bought a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee for commuting to the army base. That Grand Cherokee ZJ was the first vehicle I learned to drive, and it was one that my five brothers and I off-roaded the crap out of pretty much non-stop through high school, despite having been expressly forbidden by our parents.
In the thick silt of those Missouri River flood plains, I fell hard in love with that Jeep and resolved that I’d someday work at what was then DaimlerChrysler. I devoured Allpar (a Chrysler-focused car website), attended Chrysler Ride-And-Drive events in Kansas City, wore Chrysler-themed apparel I’d bought from the local O’Reilly Auto Parts store, and even watched Chrysler’s incredibly dull internal corporate news videos “Under the Pentastar.” That one vehicle set the trajectory for the rest of my life.
I’ll skip ahead a bit here for brevity: I ended up achieving that dream. I got that job at Chrysler, moved to Michigan, and serendipitously arrived just as the company was beginning development of the new Jeep Wrangler—the only vehicle the company makes that truly connects me to the Jeeps of my youth. Then, through lots of luck, I was given this chance to combine my love of writing with my obsession with cars.
This is all just a long-winded way of saying that this enormous collection of cars was totally inevitable. Here’s a single dude living in a house with a giant yard, with a strong passion for old Jeeps that can all be obtained for less than $1,000, with Detroit-area friends who share his love for cars and willingness to lend a wrenching hand, and with a job that actually encourages him to live his passion to its fullest.
It’s honestly a miracle I didn’t end up owning more. Twelve vehicles on my property (three Jeep Cherokee XJs, a Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, a Jeep J10, a Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a totaled Kia Rio, a Postal Jeep, a rare manual ’94 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a ’66 Ford Mustang, a ’48 Willys CJ-2A, and a Land Rover Discovery) will be the absolute maximum as I shift my focus to more important things.