What Could We Do With This Derelict Old Garage?

Photos by the author

Everybody loves a good barn find. The idea of a cool derelict car that’s just been resting, waiting to be restored, is as tantalizing as buried treasure. But what about when the find... is the barn?

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You can go down a rabbit hole of cheap property listings just as easily as you can get lost in old car ads. But on a recent trip through New York, I passed this deeply patinaed building and let myself fantasize about buying it for bottom dollar, resto-modding it with nice windows, couches and a coffee bar, and having myself a little upstate clubhouse that I could invite fellow motorists to come hang out in.

I’m sure, in reality, trying to do anything remotely glamorous with this abandoned auto shop quickly would turn into a game of vine-swing over a series of financial and legal pitfalls, but it’s nice to daydream.

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I had to look in the window. “What if there’s a dusty Porsche 356 in there,” said nobody. Or maybe somebody left a 10mm socket behind, you can never have too many of those. But a cursory investigation yielded a whole lot of nothing. The repair bays looked about as appealing as the Death Star trash compactor, and the office was just straight creepy.

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I briefly contemplated tomb raiding for interesting artifacts (that “50 percent down on parts” sign was cute) but was deterred by the No Tresspassing signs and the realization that I might have been living the first five minutes of a Supernatural episode and was about to get decapitated by the ghost of a disgruntled auto technician.

You can zoom in on the For Sale sign and grab the phone number for the seller if you want but I have a feeling what was once Bud’s Auto Repair in Hudson, NY is doomed to be a derelict until its completely reclaimed by wildlife. That, or flattened and turned into something somebody besides me might actually want.

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I’d still rather imagine it getting cleaned up and restored where it can house cars again, though.

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About the author

Andrew P. Collins

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik | 1975 International Scout, 1984 Nissan 300ZX, 1991 Suzuki GSXR, 1998 Mitsubishi Montero, 2005 Acura TL