Ian's Garage

At some point in my childhood, my interests shifted from toy tractors to toy cars. From that point on, I'd say you could consider me a "car guy". My experiences with the real thing began when my father (also a car guy) took me to vintage sports car races at Mid-Ohio and subsequently with the acquisition of a 1974 Porsche 914 in the late 90's. Starting at 16, I worked in a European car shop for 7 years, and that experience has been very useful to keep the ever growing and aging fleet on the road.
Here's a look at some of the vehicles past and present in the home stable:

1974 Porsche 914 1.8
In early 2010, this 914 was added to the line up (see article here) and is the current "flagship" of the fleet. We picked it up in New Hampshire after hitting "Buy It Now" for $10,000 on E-bay and drove it the 600+ miles back. Couldn't be happier with it. It's about as original as they come with only 54,000 miles at the time of purchase. Eventually, a few things about it will change here and there. Following the wreck of the old silver 914 (below), it's larger 2.0 engine will eventually be replacing the stock 1.8. That engine is moderately hot-rodded as well. More on that when the time comes though...

(Updated - Chrome bumpers added and front lowered about 1 inch)

2000 Volkswagen Golf 1.8T
My current daily driver is the Golf (see road-test). My dad got this car when it was new back in early 2000 and the miles have racked-up ever since, currently pushing 205,000 miles and counting. It's a little battle scarred and not as "fresh" as it once was, but it's really held up remarkably well. Honestly, it's not as fun as the Saab(s) were, though it is quick thanks to the 1.8T - only about 7000 4-door Golf IVs got that engine, and it's probably the most reliable part of the car.

I've made a few mild changes to the appearance of the car with clear side-markers and my own custom-fitted yellow fogs. It's amazing the stuff you can think up when you don't want to pay for the Genuine VW kit...

The Golf has transported me to many places, races, and car events over the years. Seen below at Watkins Glen in 2008.

It's occasionally required some maintenance...

1974 Porsche 914 2.0:
Currently (and probably for a long while), the car that started it all is out of commission following a hit-and-run accident in 2008. The car was built in September of 1973 and originally sold in Erie, PA at the now out-of-business Presque Isle Porsche in January of 1974. It has remained in the city throughout its life. The car was nearly fully restored over the course of the last decade and has had a few upgrades. It's purpose at the moment is basically to look forlorn and donate parts to the 'new' 914.

A relatively early photo (above) shows the original black bumpers the car had, later we upgraded it to these striking chrome ones (below) with fog lights.

The interior of this car never came with the optional center console- I rather liked the open feeling without it.

The result of the accident is shown below.

1988 Saab 900
Ah, my first car. It was an '88 - the last year of the 8-valve 900 but the first for the "slant front" styling. God, it was slow. I got this 900 with well over 100k on the clock for $1000. I drove the ever living hell out of this car for a few years and aside from a clutch, some suspension work, and a little bit of an idle issue, it served me well. I even hit a deer with it doing 70mph and the car only suffered a small cosmetic blemish on the bumper! I purchased it at a local Dodge dealer of all places, but the car was originally from the D.C. area and the clean body could attest. This car was a bear in the snow too, which came in handy for my young driving self in North-West PA winters. Two years after the purchase of my Turbo, it moved on to a new owner, though unfortunately, I have the feeling this old girl is no longer on the road.

 The sun didn't treat the interior too well over the years. The once burgundy seats faded to pink and the dash had some bad cracks. (I made the wooden shift knob myself in high school shop class!)

1993 Saab 900 Turbo
After the '88 was getting a little long-in-the-tooth, the very same Dodge dealer that sold me that car turned up this fine '93 Turbo with only 72,000 on the clock. I drove this car until 2008 when the rust (which came as a result of poor collision repair before I got it and several subsequent nasty winters) worsened and my dad donated the VW to me. I've always enjoyed this car, and it really got me hooked on Saab 900s. Even after I put over 100k on it myself, the only major mechanical issues were a failed ball joint and a water pump. Right now it awaits a new set of front fenders, other rust repair and a paint job with 186,000 miles on the odometer.

Dreaded rust repair...

Check back here, and the home page for future updates on our personal cars.