Car Collection

A couple years after my passion for cars was reignited, an employee and I found two beat up abandoned Isetta’s in a barn in Carver, Minnesota. I brought them home and intended to bring them back to their former glory. At this point I hired Jeff Oates as a part-time body tech mechanic and my hobby became more serious. I couldn’t just leave them in their terrible state, so Jeff and I started working on the car restorations. I was semi-retired and loved working on the cars as I eased out of my business. I was good at taking things apart, but needed help putting them back together.

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By 2001, my collection grew to six cars and I stored them in my company’s warehouse. I had moved my shop to my residence and by the time I sold my business in July 2007, Jeff and I were in the shop almost full-time. Not only did I need somewhere to store my growing collection, but I was frustrated that there was no place to display and show off the beautiful restored classics. Then in late 2008, my dream came true when I found what turned out to be the perfect place – the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen, Minnesota – a 40-acre complex where you can purchase your own private car showroom condo! Not only did I now have a community of other car crazy fanatics to talk shop with, but also the opportunity to participate in regular events and car shows held at the AutoMotorPlex.

In total I have had 33 cars in my collection. Five of my restored cars, I have donated to K-State over the years and three of the cars I bought, I ended up reselling unrestored. Of the 25 still in my collection, my body shop team and I have restored all but five of them. Most of the cars were in pretty terrible condition when I got them and needed complete body off the frame rebuilds. They all finished as high quality restorations. I bought the two 1956 Ford Thunderbirds, the 1979 Volkswagon and the 1972 Reliant Bond Bug already restored in mint condition. The 1952 Henry J is 100% original and in beautiful condition with only 27,000 miles. I have restored seven BMW Isetta’s and six BMW 600’s. Two of the 600’s are rare sunroof models which makes them more valuable.

Here’s a look at all of the cars I’ve had in my collection.

A couple of my cars on on display at the BMW dealership in Minnetonka – check out the video.