A Scottsdale man was recently found with a dozen classic and late-model vehicles parked in an oversized garage on his property just off of Shea Blvd. Police believe the car collection began as early as 1992 and includes vehicles from the 1930s through 2014 or 2015.
Police discovered the cache while casually investigating eight unpaid vehicle registrations to a single address, an anomaly that the DMV had believed to be an error. When the owner of the house refused to let them enter his property without a warrant, officers noticed an outbuilding with a slightly open garage door and the smell of unburned gasoline. Within five minutes, a search warrant was issued and the officers discovered a horrific scene.
“I don’t know a lot about cars, I just have my one Honda Accord,” said an attending officer [name withheld]. “The garage was packed, bumper to bumper. He even had an original Acura NSX that was on a poster in my bedroom as a kid. Mint condition with 12 miles on it. Tragic.”
A full inventory of the vehicles cannot yet be published, since some of the foreign cars are under 25 years old and may potentially have been imported illegally under Federal statutes.
Neighbors claim they occasionally heard loud revving late at night, but it never raised any real suspicions. None of the neighbors we interviewed had ever seen the man leave his house in a vehicle; they claim he used Uber or his bicycle for all personal travel.
“I went and knocked on his door once at about 11 at night,” recalls Joe Bock, who lives two doors down. “He was polite about it and just said he was working on his lawnmower. But I know the sound of a straight-eight [cylinder engine] when I hear one. I thought did hear a lawnmower once, but I looked out the window and it was one of those Civics with the big exhaust pipes.”
Although it is not illegal to own 12 cars, the longstanding unpaid vehicle registrations could allow the judge to charge the man with a misdemeanor. But the ethical implications of keeping so many “garage queens” has the car enthusiast community in a tizzy.
“This is just inhumane!” says internet car celebrity Dave DeMiro of AutoSwapper’s Countersteer website. “I haven’t seen people treat cars like this since that YouTube guy ran over a PT Cruiser with a Hummer. But you’d already know about that if you followed me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.”
Pressure is mounting for the vehicles to be impounded and auctioned for charity, but law enforcement and judicial officials insist there is nothing that can be done right now.
“We are looking into our options,” says police spokesman Terry Fowler. “But apart from the potentially illegal imports and unpaid registrations, we can’t take action. We can’t just force someone to drive their cars. As much as it pains us all to see, it’s his right to let them sit idle in his garage as long as he wants.”