Automotive

Nine Cars Is Too Many Cars


Art by Jason Torchinsky

Something has been off with me lately. When I start typing Detroit into my search bar, the Detroit News home page is the first thing to pop up, not Craigslist. In fact, I’ve refrained from habitually checking Craigslist for months now. I just haven’t been in the mood, and I think I know why: I own nine cars. That’s too many cars.

I can say that, for the very first time in my adult life, I’ve lost my desire to buy more cars. Upon realizing this shortly after my “My House is a Junkyard” episode in October, I promptly checked my pulse, and found it to be idling fine at about 650 RPM, per usual. It appears that I’m suffering from an ailment.

There may be a pill I can take to repair my newfound apathy towards what was once my fieriest of passions, but I refuse to take it, because it’s time for me to face this head on. I own a stifling number of cars, and I can’t buy any more. As the youths might say: I literally just can’t.

Here’s the list:

1. 1948 Willys CJ-2A

2. 1966 Ford Mustang

3. 1979 Jeep Cherokee

4. 1985 Jeep J10

5. 1991 Jeep Cherokee (manual)

6. 1992 Jeep Cherokee (auto)

7. 1995 Jeep Cherokee

8. 2003 Kia Rio

9. ???

That number nine car escapes me; I have no clue what it is, though I’m sure I own nine vehicles, as I counted a few weeks back.

Is the ninth a Forward Control Jeep? No. What about a Jeep Comanche? No, definitely not; if I owned either of those, I assume my right hand would be constantly in fist-pumping mode and I’d be endlessly yelling with joy, thanking the car gods profusely. Instead, I’m sitting here in my pajamas, quietly blogging on my couch. Yeah, whatever car number nine is is probably a total shitcan.

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Oh, crap. Yes, it is. It’s that postal Jeep. That piece of crap postal carrier. Oh how I love it dearly.


My Kia no longer sits in a mud pit, but it is still immobile and in my backyard.

That Kia, though. It must go. It’s horrible. It gives me nightmares. It doesn’t even run. It’s totaled. It’s sinking into my backyard. Please go away, Kia. And the ‘95 XJ, my beloved Project Swiss Cheese. Its powertrain is a true gem, but everything else—the rotted body that excreted my wallet through its non-floor back in August, the broken door locks, and the completely failed electrical system—makes it truly depressing to drive.

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Swiss Cheese and the Kia must go. They are just too far gone. That will bring me down to seven, which is fine. Well, not fine, but better.

All seven of them need some work, and though I’m not about to spend the next 12 hours compiling a list of faults across my fleet (that will come later), I can say that the required repairs are enough keep me occupied well into my 30s.

At this moment, I don’t need another car. And until I can get my ‘79 Jeep Cherokee’s engine rebuilt, my ’85 Jeep J10’s transmission rebuilt, a new front axle on my ’91 XJ, a new cylinder head on my ’92, a repaired frame on my Postal Jeep, and who knows what to the ’66 Mustang, I bet my desire to browse Craigslist will remain deflated.

Granted, staying off Craigslist hasn’t always worked, since two of my latest purchases came after people emailed me about awesome vehicles they wanted to sell me for a song. And while I can’t say to you with a straight face that I’d be able to resist something like a clean XJ for under two grand, I can say that I’d be a lot more discerning now than I’ve ever been.

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I’ve got seven pretty cool vehicles, and for the foreseeable future, that’s enough, no matter how badly I want an SA22C or FB Mazda RX-7. Nine vehicles is too many. Seven is, well, also too many, if we’re honest. But I think I’ll roll with it. Or maybe I’ll try eight if I find a nice RX-7. But never again will I own nine cars.

Consider this a hiring freeze on all new automotive recruits into David’s House of Misfit Machines.

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