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Personal Stuff Your Life Story Staying the Course

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by JasonT 8 months ago.

  • Author
  • #11403
    • 3 Total Posts
    • Jacksonville, FL / Detroit, MI
    • Member Since: May 14, 2017

    Hello everyone, I’m Jake. I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan, but I’m currently living in Jacksonville, Florida and have been for about 2 years.

    I have always been a “car guy”. I still remember the first modified car I saw, I was about 10 years old, and my neighbor had a Fast and Furious style Honda Civic EK hatch that was on some sort of adjustable suspension, whether that was air or hydraulic I couldn’t tell you. After the first time I saw that car I was hooked.

    Fast forward a few years, and I’m spending a majority of my time browsing Craigslist for cheap cars, knowing that I would be driving soon. I took driver’s training as early as I could, at 14 years and 8 months. After what seemed like a million years, I was finally a licensed driver, and I was ready to find a car!

    What did I end up with? A cool Honda? Maybe an old Mitsubishi? No. Instead, I found a 1992 Ford Ranger XLT, 4 cylinders and a 5 speed manual, for the completely attainable price of $800! I begged my dad to take me to the guy’s house, my dad test drove it (I couldn’t drive a manual, ha ha), and I handed the man $800 for my very first vehicle.

    A year later, the transmission blew up, so being a young motivated kid, I pulled the carpet and took the top cover off of the transmission, which quickly humbled me and resulted in the truck being posted on Craigslist for whichever junk yard wanted it.

    A couple weeks later, I found a 1993 Escort GT for sale nearby with front end damage. The lady was asking $600. I had just enough, as I was working as a Professional Lawn Technician (who am I kidding, I was cutting lawns). I purchased the car, bought new headlights, a hood, and made a “custom” grille insert out of gutter guard. It was at this time when I found a local sport compact enthusiast forum, where I made many friends who I still talk with daily.

    After a few more vehicles (I was the king of sub $1k beaters), I was graduating High School, and my wonderful parents wanted to do something for me. I found a 1991 Civic Hatch that I wanted, and they matched my $600, allowing me to snag it up. The car had a D16A6 swap, so even though it was a DX, it had the SI drive train. The car was an absolute blast, and I enjoyed it for about a year after I graduated High School.

    It was at that point I decided that cutting lawns for someone else’s business was just not going to cut it, and even though I had earned a small scholarship and would be eligible for financial aid, I decided college was not the route I would like to take at that time. Instead, I followed a different child hood dream, and enlisted in the United States Navy. I signed a contract as an E1, left for basic training as an E3, and worked hard and advanced to E5 in under 1.5 years of service. Joining the Navy gave me plenty of opportunities, and I like to think that I have taken advantage of a majority of them.

    The increase of what I was making allowed me to finance my first vehicle; a 2012 Chevy Cruze LTZ RS. It was the nicest, most expensive purchase I had ever made, and it scared me to death to pull the trigger on it. After a year, I started getting more interested in 4X4s, and was watching a lot of “Dirt Every Day” on YouTube. A friend of mine was transferring overseas, and was selling his 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 for $800, so I pounced on it. After buying it, I found myself driving the Jeep much more than the Chevy Cruze, which made me toy with the idea of trading in the Cruze for something a little more fun.

    After looking at various trucks and SUVs, I thought came running into my mind. I remembered being a 13 year old, and seeing a blue car with gold wheels and vinyl on the side, loud exhaust, and a giant wing on the back. I fell in love. From that day forward, the Subaru WRX STi held a special place in my heart. I could never afford one, until now, that is!

    However, I needed to dial in my Cruze in order to secure the best trade in offer possible. This was my first time claying a car, taking time to clean it properly with a two bucket method, and it felt good! I took the car to the Subaru dealership, traded it in, and drove away in a lightly used 2016 Subaru WRX. I was in love. It was everything I had wanted. I quickly ordered Nameless Performance exhaust, Rally Armor mud flaps, Llumar window tint, and some detailing products from Adam’s Polishes. I was hooked.

    I detailed the car religiously, only driving it on the weekends, so it never even really got “dirty”. My detailing “hobby” (sorry Matt, I know, I’m weak, ha ha) led me to the Obsessed Garage YouTube channel, as well as the Facebook page and Dialed In podcast. I listened, watched, and read like crazy. I felt connected to Matt’s story, as I come from a low income family, and seeing his success (as well as everyone else’s in the group) added to my already sky high motivation.

    I loved my Subaru, but I had to take a hard look at my personal life, and what goals I had for myself. I had been relatively successful in the military, but I knew that I wanted more in life, for both myself and my wonderful wife. I wanted to go to college, be the first in my family to earn a degree, and try my hand at being successful in the civilian world. That being said, I have returned the Subaru to stock, sold the parts, and will be selling the car shortly in order to save money before I start on my new journey.

    As much as we love Florida, I’ll be moving back to Michigan to earn a degree, as I plan on working while attending classes full time, and all of my connections here will be transferring at one time or another. Ideally, I will earn a degree, and move back to Florida, as we have completely fell in love with the state.

    You asked for my life story, and you got it! Thanks to whoever was Obsessed enough to read the entire post, and I look forward to interacting with everyone here!


  • #11469
    • 1 Total Posts
    • Oakley CA
    • Member Since: May 14, 2017

    Great story.  Thanks for sharing.  I too had a ford ranger xlt but mine was a v6 and a 91.  I plan on sharing my story as soon as I figure out how to start it and post it here on Matt’s Forum.   Cheers


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