17 July 2008

Michigan's Hoover Wins Garage Makeover

Jake Hoover saved for 20 years to purchase a collector car like the one he owned in high school. It took only a few clicks of his computer mouse, however, to score his dream garage.

Jake, a Grandville, Mich., resident who purchased his 1970 Oldsmobile 442 three years ago, was the winner of Hagerty’s $3,000 Garage Makeover contest. His name was entered in the drawing for taking part in the sixth annual Hagerty Hobby Survey, which last fall asked hobbyists about their attitudes, behaviors, aspirations and vehicles.

Jake’s name was drawn from over 10,000 entries. He was so convinced that he wouldn’t win that he had to be, well, convinced that he actually had.

“I’ve never won anything before in my life,” Jake said. “I thought it was some kind of e-mail hoax. But I called the number and they told me it was real. I kept asking, ‘OK, but what’s the catch?’ And they kept telling me there wasn’t one.”

Jake contacted Sharon Blum of The Garage Project in Middleton, Wis., and together they came up with a makeover plan for Jake’s 12- x 22-foot garage that included new interlocking floor tile, Gladiator cabinets and automobilia (in addition to what Jake already owned).

“She picked out the pretty stuff,” Jake joked.

Although Jake claimed that Sharon showed “a lot of patience” during the process, she said he was great to work with.

“He had a very clear idea of what he wanted in his garage after he examined our website,” Sharon said. “Now his car has a great place to live.”

Jake said the materials arrived in early April and, doing the work himself, he completed the project in about a month.

He did run into a little snag, however.

“I had rotator cuff (shoulder) surgery during all of this, so that slowed me down a bit,” he said, then joked, “The doctor told me that, at 57 years old, my major league (baseball) career was over. That was bad news for my 7-year-old grandson.

“But that’s a whole different story …”

Jake, a member of the Motor City Rockets Car Club, works for the City of Grandville and said he’s “looking forward to retiring and enjoying the 442 a little more.”

He said has already added to his enjoyment of his car and the hobby.

“It’s just great. I really appreciate it.”


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