My stable vastly expanded in 2018. I went from three cars to four cars and six motorcycles. Honestly I never saw this coming and I never planned it either. Despite that, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s what’s going on with my projects..
These vehicles are in order based on when I got them.
Tucker - 2012 smart fortwo passion coupe - 154,600 miles.
Tucker will soon turn 154k! Aside from the unfortunate fire of 2016 and a few wear items breaking, this car has been astonishingly dependable. Reliable? No. But I could depend on it to not let me down.
Status: Needs muffler flex pipe fixed, serpentine belt tensioner replaced, and towing hitch recoated. Daily driver.
Phil - 2016 smart fortwo edition #1 - 4,900 miles.
This was the car that was supposed to replace Tucker. When I realized I could fix Tucker I retired Phil to being a garage queen. Yep, I went from being a proponent of “cars are meant to be driven” to understanding why people own garage queens. For me, getting the 453 was one of the best days of my life and I’ve been offered the opportunity to actually experience a new car at my own pace. Tucker (the 451) had its side skirt blown off, tailgate keyed, and door card scratched before it even had 1,000 miles. And since I was driving 30k miles a year at the time the newness very quickly wore out. That’s not been the same case with the 453. It still looks, drives, and smells like a brand new car. Getting into it is like hopping into a time capsule back to 2016. I love it and hope to keep it forever. I finally see why old guys hang onto super low mile cars that aren’t collectible.
Status: Still contested with MBFS. It seems they’re currently trying to leverage the “we’re calling you but you aren’t answering” angle but I’m not saying what they want me to say. Even their Private Investigator is now saying that almost verbatim. I think they’re trying to get me to say I’m getting calls and must be missing them. Nope, I’m just straight up not getting calls from them. I even ask them to spell out the number they’re dialing and it’s mine. So unless Straight Talk is magically blocking MBFS and now their PI, I don’t buy their tactics. Nobody else has issues calling me. Since their latest attempt I told them that if they want to speak to me they’ll have to go through my lawyer first. Stored...indefinitely.
Chelsea - 2005 smart fortwo passion coupe - 25,000 miles.
I got this car for free with the promise that I’d restore her to her former glory. Indeed, she was basically left abandoned on the side of the road with windows cracked open. None of the lights worked, it was rusting, the windows didn’t work, and the interior looked like Mike Rowe had driven it after filming an episode of Dirty Jobs.
Status: I’ve restored the interior, restored the exterior, fixed the rust, and fixed a lot of the dead electrical. I still need to fix the window regulators. Stored until Spring.
Laura - 2005 smart fortwo passion cabriolet - 31,000 miles.
I got this car because I wanted a unique smart I didn’t have to hopefully make into my new daily. I’ve always loved convertible smarts but never had one of my own, until now. Surprisingly, this car turned out more of a project that the free car that was abandoned. Regardless, I was happy for the challenge. First on my list was fixing the stuck convertible roof and fixing the wonky lights. It turned out the light stalk was the reason why the lights didn’t work and the roof needed an extreme amount of lithium grease. At this point the car’s transmission stopped working and I have spent the better part of six months figuring it out.
Status: I discovered the battery in the car was in fact new, but it was so poor quality that it never really provides the proper 12v. I swapped it out for a quality battery and it appears to have worked wonders with the computers. Unfortunately now the alternator is a little stuck, so it won’t start. Once I get this car running reliably enough I want to make it my new daily. Stored at my condo.
Gambler - 2012 Jinlun Ruckus clone - 900 miles.
This little scooter was intended to be the vehicle I would take offroading on the Gambler 500. That didn’t really go to plan. I briefly thought about an engine swap, but instead I just bought another two stroke. I kinda want to keep it, but if I get a fifth smart I’ll have eleven vehicles...and that scares the crap out of me, so it’s gotta go.
Status: I may replace it with a tiny minibike to accompany whatever vehicle I’ll use for the 2019 Gambler rallies. So it’ll be six bikes, but at least #6 won’t be a road-going bike with the costs that goes with one. I know, I know...why not just make the scooter an ORV? Well, it weighs like 250 pounds while a decent minibike is half that or even less. I’ll take the lighter option. Stored.
Atlantic - 1982 Suzuki GS850G - 27,000 miles.
I got this motorcycle on an impulse. It was between this and a Honda Interceptor 500 and ultimately I got this. I’m happy I did. Aside from a hiccup with crap in the tank the bike has been absolutely awesome for me. I think I’ll make it one of my forever bikes.
Status: I’ve been a bit too busy to get around to repainting it. It runs and rides extremely well, but it is a liiiiittle ugly. Stored until Spring.
Poseidon - 1980 Honda Goldwing GL1100 - 29,000 miles.
Well I really really wanted a liter bike and the look of this Goldwing drove me bananas, so I bought it. The bike was restored maybe a year or two before I bought it and the restore is still holding up pretty well. I absolutely adore this mad machine. It’s comfortable like a Cadillac but also has no issues going well over the ton.
Status: Needs new turn indicators and a brake light fuse. Still at my condo, playing with it on warm days.
World Discoverer - 1972 Yamaha DT175 - 3,000 miles.
My first two smoke! This little thing is so absolutely fun to ride and it’s in such great condition it didn’t need any work before I put it on the road. Unfortunately I got it so late in the season I only got a ride or two out of it before I had to retire it.
Status: Needs turn indicators, in storage until Spring.
Phoenix - 2009 CF Moto 250T-F - 980 miles.
The little scooter that just won’t die! I got it with varnished fuel and an incorrectly installed starter solenoid. Fixed both and got the scooter running like brand new. I even replaced one of the missing panels. Then all of a sudden it stopped running. I made the critical mistake of not allowing the engine to warm up while riding it. This allowed the oil in the crank to turn into milkshake, which then spewed out, ruined the air filter, then ruined the carburetor. I also discovered an awfully rusty fuel filter. Doing this properly. I decided to gut the entire fuel system from carb back. The fuel now runs clean and I sealed the air intake off from the crank breather. I still have to do some tuning, but the scooter has risen from the dead for a second time.
Status: Not the daily it was before, but I still let it stretch its legs. The engine’s still getting too much air for the carb and exhaust it has. Working on it.
Arctic - 1979 Kawasaki KE100 - 4,000 miles.
I decided to name all my UJMs after oceans or ships. Since this new addition is the smallest in the fleet, I named it after the smallest ocean. It’s my second “barn find” since I started riding and the barn find I hope to do right with. Unlike my other projects where getting them running and legal were the names of the game, I actually want this little KE100 to be the initial flagship of my new YouTube channel with a full reconditioning. This bike was stored in a barn for who knows how long. Amazingly I’m actually the second owner of this bike. I was given the original title and original key. The bike was first titled to a woman in 82, rode 3k miles, then lived the rest of its life in a barn ever since. I now own one bike from each of the Japanese big four!
Status: It needs a carb cover (check), new carb, new throttle cable, seals, and tyres before I can even consider trying to call it road ready. This is going to be my mild cafe racer project.
There you have it, a ton of small projects but a fleet full of runners! I’m not entirely sure how this fleet will change into 2019 as I fear exceeding ten vehicles (and I’m still space-limited). But who knows, maybe I’ll get a nice former dealership with a nice showroom for my future museum. :)