Jones Garage - How It All Began
Jones Garage will be a monthly column by Kevin Jones, President of MIDFLORIDA and certified car guy to talk about his cars and automobilia and the cars of MIDFLORIDA’s members. In addition to his stories, we will feature a different member’s car and story each month.
In addition to my day job as MIDFLORIDA’s President, I am also a certified car guy. I like to buy, sell, drive and wrench on cars. This hobby started when I was in my teens in Indiana. Even in high school and college I owned multiple jalopies and enjoyed improving and repairing my own cars.
While I was in college in Indiana, I had three goals – 1. Get a job in accounting or banking. 2. Move to Florida. And 3. Have a warehouse to work on cars. A few years ago I finally accomplished the third goal. With the help of a weak commercial property market, I was able to buy a small warehouse and open the faux “Jones Garage.”
Jones Garage is what is commonly referred to as a man-cave. I have my office with a Coke machine, TV, die-cast models, car books, etc. In the main warehouse I store, restore and tinker on about a dozen cars that I have collected over the years. But you would be wrong to assume that I have a collection of trailer queens. Most of the cars I own were only a few thousand to a few hundred dollars to purchase.
What I enjoy collecting are primarily the cars that I lusted after in my youth but couldn’t afford at the time. After finally getting my warehouse, the next car I purchased was a 1985 Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate for a mere $1,600. (I had first seen it a year earlier in a yard on Fish Hatchery Road in Lakeland, but that’s another story to come.)
You might think I collect cars primarily to drive them. However, I realized many years ago that what I enjoy the most is the restoration, or what I like to call the preservation, of cars. Where I get the greatest satisfaction is buying a barn-find and bringing it back from the dead. My wife jokes that I prefer buying cars that don’t run. She’s correct. I love it when a car that hasn’t run in years chokes back to life again.
Jones Garage will be a monthly column to talk about my cars and automobilia and the cars of MIDFLORIDA’s members. In addition to my stories, we will feature a different member’s car and story each month.
Keep them running!
Please email your car story with a picture of your car to Julie Townsend at jtownsend@MIDFLORIDA.com . A special prize will be awarded if we use your car in an issue of Jones Garage.